In yesterday's post, I talked about instigators of stress and briefly how they get into people's lives and can cause harm. Today I'm going to mention 10 quick and relatively easy ways to help relieve stress. Actually, some might take a bit of introspection, but if you can figure out what's causing the stress you can figure out how to get out of it.

1. Take the initiative

Doux Deux
Serena via Compfight

This is the easiest to figure out, the hardest to do. A few decades ago I had an issue with my supervisor. Driving home each night I had a mini-seizure, and I'd be riding home with my dad. I realized I had to confront the issue so I wrote down some points, printed 3 copies of it, and the next day I asked the supervisor to talk with me in the conference room. Once there I laid out my issue, said a few other things, and from that point on we had a great working relationship.

2. Find things you enjoy

Even the person most apt to bring themselves and everyone else down has something that they like. Sometimes it's music; sometimes it's videos of puppies and babies (this one works for me). It might even be a walk at the park or lake. Whatever it is, when stressed try to do that thing, and lots of it.

3. Learn more about things that scare you

This one I know well but it's the one I'm the worst at. There are some things that scare me where, once I read about them I'm good. When it comes to phobias... nope, that's not happening. This one might depend on how deep the fear is, what type it is, and whether or not it's critical enough for you to have to deal with.

4. Think through the stressors and find things worse

Are things always brighter on the other side? Not necessarily. Yet sometimes it takes a person finding perspective on what's stressing them by figuring out how things could be worse, or thinking of people who are going through worse things than them, to get them out of that mental space that's stressing them out.

5. Laughter

When I want to feel better it's babies and puppies. When I'm really stressed, I need something stronger. Watching funny movies or going to YouTube and looking up my favorite comedians helps me get my mind into a better place. I'd name someone to look up but everyone doesn't like the same people so I'll keep my favorites to myself for now. 🙂

6. Confront your money issues

This is one thing you can't just "think" away; you have to take action. The first thing you need to do is figure out your budget; how much money you make, what your expenses are, etc. You might not have real money problems once you put a budget together. If you do, there are a lot of ways to address the issue. This one never gets better until you do something about it.

7. Exercise

We all hate this one don't we? Trust me, I understand because I've always hated going to the gym. Yet I know that some kind of exercise is important to not only get and stay healthy but to help fight stress and depression. I'm a walker averaging around 7 to 8 miles a day most of the time, and for me it's not the pace of the walking but the process of walking that helps me. Whatever you can find that's at a level of physicality you can handle for at least 30 minutes a day should work.

8. Time management

This one can be crucial but it's the easiest to fix. There are all sorts of things to help us manage our time but I'm going to mention two things that can help relieve some stress.

The first is... take off your watch. I haven't worn a watch in almost 4 years. It was so liberating that, unless I can afford to buy a gold Rolex with a black face and diamonds without worrying whether I can afford it or not (right now it goes for around $12K), I can't see myself wearing one every again.

The second works if you have a smartphone or cell phone. Those things all have alarms on them that you can set to go off at specific times, or at least every 15 minutes or so. They probably also have calendars. Set those alarms, type in what they're about, set a reminder time so it goes off before the event occurs and get it off your mind. That keeps you from constantly looking at the time or worrying about forgetting things.

9. Read a book

Many people who know me might have thought I'd say "get on social media" at this point but that's the furthest thing from my mind. There's too many things on social media that helps cause us stress, and a lot of it doesn't involve us personally.

Reading is a different animal. No matter the subject, reading books takes our minds into different realms, whether we want to learn something or just be entertained. Books, or e-readers, are great because we can take them with us no matter where we have to go or want to go. When you finish a book... there's always another.

10. Sit and contemplate things

People never take enough time to just sit and think quietly; I certainly don't. However, every night before I try to go to sleep I make myself take at least 15 minutes to think of the day or forget the day and think about the next day. When I was a director I had a period every day where I sat at my desk with a notepad in front of me and just thought about things. Without time to think, you can't figure things out, whether it's in your life or work.

As I said, not a comprehensive list but it should get you thinking.

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