Reduce Life Stressors
- Drop unnecessary responsibilities. Take a step back and look at your weekly schedule. Recognize the categories your responsibilities fall under and how they differ. Let go of everything you wouldn’t categorize as absolutely necessary and give your attention to what must be done. Cutting back will allow you to focus on what must be done, without less important tasks looming over you.
- Know your limits. Once you’ve lightened your schedule, it’s easy to allow other stressors to take their place. When other responsibilities or tasks come up, be mindful of your schedule and what you’re really capable of taking on. If someone asks you to assume a responsibility, rather than accepting it to please someone else, be fair to yourself and know when to say ‘no.’
- Be in charge of your surroundings. You know what kind of environment is best for you, so modify your surroundings for a space that best suits you. If you breathe easier in a well-organized area, clean and de-clutter your place. If you can think more clearly in a quiet space, turn down the music and turn off the TV. Eliminating the small things that add anxiety can have a big impact overall.
- Vocalize your needs. Take the time to communicate with those around you. If you need help or are bothered by something, reach out for assistance or talk out a problem. Without vocalizing your needs, stress will only build until the situation is addressed and a solution is developed.
- Focus on time management. It’s easy to tell yourself a task may take 30 minutes, but if you know it’s taken longer in the past, do yourself a favor—be realistic and plan accordingly. Being stuck in a time crunch is one of the easiest ways to increase stress, but with the right preparation, you can avoid the self-imposed tension and make everyday tasks more enjoyable.
- Assert yourself. Being passive can not only be time consuming, but more than anything it can be extremely taxing. If you’re dealing with a problem, tackle it head on. Most issues come to light eventually, so save yourself the time and worry.
- Take a step back. When an unexpected situation develops, take a step back to evaluate it. Unforeseen circumstances can often cause anxiety, so before you jump to that reaction, try analyzing an issue as an outsider. Seeing the circumstances for what they really are can help prevent stress.
- Manage your expectations. Be realistic when prepping for a situation. Just as they say, “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst,” putting the extra time in considering alternative scenarios will help you avoid disappointment and panic. Having prepared for less expected events, you’ll be able to accept the new situation and respond appropriately.
- Thinking before responding. How you react to a situation can make all the difference in how it develops. Responding without considering your action’s impact can often lead to a greater, more stressful situation. Learn to gather your thoughts, consider the circumstances and then move forward.