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Ways to Immediately Lower Your Stress

Ah, for the good ol’ pre-pandemic days! I only thought I was stressed then. Here are some things I’m doing now to lower my stress:

Let go of drama. My former neighborhood is on nextdoor. It’s mostly people selling stuff and complaining. They complain about wildlife, they complain about HOA rules and dues, they complain about what other people are or are not doing. My heart rate would go up just reading it all. I finally stopped reading – but I had to move first!  FOMO kept me on there. Looking back, in 5 years on the platform, it brought me far more stress than joy. Is there a source of drama in your life it’s time to let go?

Be more intentional with your time. Even if I just spent 5 minutes a day on nextdoor, in 5 years that was almost a week! What a waste! How many weeks are you spending on Facebook or TikToc? Is that really how you want to spend your time? What could that time mean for your marriage or your friendships? Or your health? Much of our stress comes from feeling we don’t have enough time. The problem is we don’t determine what REALLY matters and allocate our time accordingly. Your health REALLY matters. Facebook? Not so much. Small amounts of time accumulate into large amounts of time.

Realize the source of most of your stress is you. I have spent a lot of time stressing over 6 pounds. I gain them, I lose them. I gain them back. If I were the only human on the planet, I wouldn’t give a toss about those six pounds. I’m totally doing this to myself. What is your six pounds? Expectations you think other people have of you? An arbitrary income goal? Recent studies prove that 1) people like us more than we think they do and 2) people don’t pay as much attention to us as we think they do.  So people like me (even if I have the six pounds) and they probably don’t even notice! Why am I causing myself so much stress?

Don’t have a dog in every fight. Ignore the urge to weigh in on every debate or post. Some things are worth fighting for and some things are better walked away from. Most are the later.

Be in the moment. Much of our stress is caused by looking ahead (stressing about not having enough to retire or messing up in the big meeting tomorrow or kids not growing up perfect). Just ask yourself, “What can I do right now?” All we can do is our best in the moment. Create a plan for what’s important to you, then work it, step-by-step. Worrying and stressing don’t change outcomes, action does.



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