Start The New Year Stress Free

Start The New Year Stress Free

This is​ the​ year you​ finally rid your life of​ needless stress,​ anxiety and clutter. Yes,​ it's entirely possible when you​ accept that virtually every one of​ the​ stressful situations you​ find yourself in​ each day is​ of​ your own making -- a​ consequence of​ the​ stressful habits and mindsets you've developed over the​ course of​ your life. And just as​ surely as​ you've gotten yourself into this mess,​ you​ can get yourself out of​ it. Here's how.

Below are several stress reduction strategies excerpted from my new book "400 Ways to​ Stop Stress Now...and Forever!" Make the​ effort to​ incorporate them into your life daily and you'll begin to​ see immediate and encouraging results. Let's get started:

Work changes into your life gradually.

No crash diets. No sudden,​ intense workout programs. No radical overhauls of​ who and what you​ are. you​ might maintain it​ for a​ while,​ but it​ can’t last. True change takes lots of​ small,​ mindful,​ subtle decisions over time that add up to​ bigger,​ more enduring transformations. They’re less disruptive to​ you​ and everyone else,​ and inevitably get the​ results you​ want. Be patient. if​ you’re really intent on​ change,​ you​ should develop the​ staying power to​ achieve it​ without having to​ act rashly. Do it​ by degrees. Why make yourself crazy?

Cut down on​ competitive stress.

Today,​ we compete for everything: the​ space around us,​ to​ be first to​ own a​ new product,​ to​ get our kids signed up for programs,​ to​ get our viewpoints across,​ to​ be faster,​ smarter,​ richer,​ sexier. Our days are filled with stressful competitions. And most are absolutely unnecessary. Because they're driven by insecurity,​ fear of​ being left behind,​ an​ ingrained need to​ always have more or​ better than the​ next guy. Try to​ get above all that. if​ you​ want to​ compete,​ vie to​ be the​ one who stays calm and in​ control,​ who isn't easily sucked in​ by material things,​ who avoids being caught up in​ the​ daily grab-bag that robs people of​ health and peace of​ mind. Compete for that and see how pointless all those other competitions become. And how misguided those who partake in​ them begin to​ appear. Why make yourself crazy?

It's not what happens to​ you,​ it's how you​ react.

In any given day,​ you'll have progress and setbacks,​ triumphs and failures. That you​ can bet on. But as​ good a​ day as​ some people have,​ they'll manage to​ find something to​ fret about. ("It's just luck,​ it​ won't last,​ I'm destined for misery.") And as​ bad a​ day as​ others have,​ they'll see the​ good in​ it. ("So what? I'm still alive,​ still kicking and nothing's going to​ stop me.") Which attitude will win over your day? And the​ next day? And the​ next? you​ have control over that: to​ enjoy your accomplishments without diminishing them; to​ accept your failures as​ opportunities to​ learn. you​ have the​ power to​ make every day a​ positive outcome. Because it's not what happens to​ you,​ it's how you​ react to​ it. Why make yourself crazy?

Eliminate meaningless deadlines.

Our lives have become one long game of​ beat the​ clock. Crammed with arbitrary and unrealistic time constraints imposed by ourselves and others that serve only to​ make us more pressured,​ anxious and stressed out. For no worthwhile reason. Avoid the​ trap of​ assigning timeframes to​ everything you​ do,​ especially if​ you​ have little idea how long it​ will take. But,​ you​ say,​ I need a​ deadline or​ I simply won't get around to​ doing it. if​ that's the​ case,​ it's not a​ deadline you​ need,​ it's a​ goal. Make your goal one of​ completing a​ project in​ a​ careful,​ professional,​ satisfying manner. in​ other words,​ as​ long as​ it​ takes to​ do it​ right. or​ maybe your goal is​ to​ make the​ project more fun and interesting,​ or​ to​ develop a​ new and more expedient way of​ doing it. in​ any case,​ save your nerves and your energy for the​ few real deadlines we April 15th. Why make yourself crazy?

Don’t over-volunteer.

Resist volunteering for more than you​ can handle,​ more than your free time allows. Volunteering is​ great,​ but heavy involvement can steal important time from your family and relationships. (And it​ shouldn't be used as​ an​ excuse to​ avoid more important obligations.) if​ the​ work becomes too demanding,​ simply say no. Nobody else is​ going to​ look out for you​ better than yourself. if​ we all “volunteered” to​ spend more time with the​ kids,​ visit our parents,​ make loving homes,​ and carve out special time for ourselves,​ there wouldn’t be a​ need for so much volunteering in​ the​ first place. Why make yourself crazy?

Steer clear of​ negative people.

You know them well: the​ whiners,​ the​ ones who find fault with everything,​ who always lay a​ hard luck story on​ you,​ who constantly give you​ grief over harmless trifles,​ or​ make wholesale denunciations of​ people,​ institutions and cultures that don't suit their fancy or​ conform to​ their way of​ thinking. Unless you're stuck with them,​ shun them. They'll pull you​ down,​ darken your outlook,​ try to​ make your life as​ miserable as​ theirs. Who needs that? And if​ you​ are stuck with them (relatives,​ coworkers,​ housemates) don't agree with or​ encourage them. in​ fact,​ say nothing and simply leave the​ scene whenever they launch into one of​ their diatribes. Why make yourself crazy?

Give things a​ chance.

Today,​ everyone expects instant gratification. So there's a​ tendency to​ give up on​ things too soon—the book you're reading,​ the​ mutual fund you've invested in,​ the​ musical instrument you're learning,​ the​ course you're taking,​ the​ person you're dating. Don't be so quick to​ abandon something that doesn't give you​ immediate results. This could prevent you​ from experiencing the​ greater benefits you'd enjoy by sticking it​ out longer. Be patient. Give it​ more time. Find out for certain if​ something is​ worthwhile rather than make a​ hasty departure. It's better than someday regretting you​ never really gave it​ the​ chance it​ deserved. Why make yourself crazy?

These are just a​ handful of​ the​ many ways you​ can start taking back control of​ your life.

Have a​ healthy,​ happy and stress-free new year!

Start The New Year Stress Free

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