6 Tips to Make Your Life Less Stressful

An important, but often overlooked, aspect of health is mental health. Every individual should prioritize mental health care in the same way that exercise and healthy eating are considered. Stress is a component of mental health that nearly every individual struggles with. Start caring for your mental health by focusing on reducing stress in your life. Use these tips to get started:

1. Upcoming challenge? Make a plan.
If there is a big life event or situation that is coming up, it can be difficult to find a way to “turn off” the stress, just to improve your health. While it would be ideal to simply turn off the stress, it is unrealistic to tell your mind to do so. Instead of turning off the stress, find a way to redirect the energy positively by making a plan. Worried about family coming to stay at your home? Make a plan for your most pressing concerns. Unsure about how your kids will handle an upcoming move? Plan a few activities for them that will make the transition easier. Use this approach the next time you have a challenge to redirect your energy.

2. Do not worry about what you cannot control.
When you cannot redirect the negative, stressful energy, remember this: do not worry about what you cannot control. All too often, we find ourselves worried and stressed about situations that we cannot control. For example, it is easy to worry about whether your friend will join you for today’s workout or whether your boss will be satisfied with the project you delivered; however, in both of these situations, you cannot control the response of others, you can only control your own. Let go of what you cannot control and focus on what you can change: your own mindset and actions.

3. Say “no.”
If the commitment is causing unnecessary stress or is emotionally draining and is not a requirement, just say “no!” Get used to the idea of turning down invites and offers. You only have so much time in a day and you must prioritize your energy to ensure you are able to fill up your own cup first, before spending your energy on others.

4. Treat your body right.
Often times, one of the greatest contributors of stress is not eating healthy, nourishing foods or not getting active. When your body is in good shape, your mind will follow. Give your body the nourishment it needs to tackle those tough days and situations.

5. Reflect and rejoice.
When your present situation is causing stress, take a few steps back to reflect and find things to be grateful for. Sometimes we can get caught up in the moment, creating more stress and tension for ourselves. Use this as a tool to step back and find escape.

6. Schedule in YOU.
Make yourself as important (or more important!) than any meeting or appointment. Write down your “me” time and stick with it. Put it on the calendar, your phone, or wherever you keep track of your most important events. Then, take this time to unwind and unplug from your day-to-day demands.

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