How often do you feel stressed?

Has stress become a part of your day-to-day life?

If you’re like most people living in the western world, it’s likely you answered yes to both questions.

I believe that ‘stress’ is not actually our natural state – it’s not the way we are ‘supposed’ to feel each day. And so I’ve devoted a lot of time lately to understanding how and why we get stressed, and more importantly what we can do to overcome it.

I can honestly say that I’ve lowered my personal stress levels by 90% over the last few years and life really is a whole different ballgame when you figure this stuff out. Really – there is no need for us to be stressed. We are not designed for stress, stress does not have to be our ‘way of living’ and we certainly don’t have to be ‘stressed’ to achieve things in life.

Now that I’m living a less stressful life, I want to show as many people as I can, how they can live like this too. I can’t think of a better goal than to help as many people as possible to lower their stress levels so they can get on with living the happy, successful and contented life that they deserve.

So I’ve spent the last year or so working on a simple way to show others how to lower their own stress levels. I’ve developed a ‘Less Stress Model’ which is a 5-step process and it will be a part of my online ‘successful living’ course that I’ll be launching next year (I’ll give you more info on the full course over the coming months but it will include lots of tools to help you live life successfully).

I’ll be looking to pre-launch this course exclusively to a number of readers so make sure you’ve signed up to receive my weekly emails here so I can involve you (if you’re receiving this on email – ignore this bit).

The ‘Less Stress Model’ will be an in-depth process that you can use on a day-to-day basis to change the way you view stress and the way you deal with it. It’s been based on numerous disciplines that I’ve studied over the last 10 years such as positive psychology, neuro-linguistic programming and solution-oriented approaches.

In the mean time, (as I’m genuinely excited to be working on this subject matter and can’t wait until next year to write about it) I thought I’d share some quick techniques that you can use now to help you combat stress, because you know what – I don’t want you to be stressed anymore.

I want you to live a stress-free, happy life as soon as possible.

Simple Life Strategy: 7 Ways to Beat Stress

Here are 7 quick strategies to beat stress (and there will be more to come next year with the Less Stress Model). I really do hope these quick techniques help you to start lowering your stress levels:

1. Take control. Instead of feeling helpless when things go wrong, take control of your situation. Open your mind to alternative solutions to the problem. This attitude will empower you instead of feeling like you’re backed into a corner. When things don’t go your way, take action and find another way. Don’t take ‘stress’ lying down – stand up and fight for your right to be happy.

2. Breathe slow. I’ve studied ‘breathing’ in-depth and research has shown that there is a direct correlation between breathing and stress. When we are stressed we tend to naturally breathe from the upper part of our chest and as a result we breathe faster, more shallow breaths. This puts our body in a state of ‘stress’ as our heart has to work faster than is healthy. To counteract this, the best thing you can do is make a conscious effort to slow down your breathing and breathe from the lower part of your abdomen (your diaphragm). This literally slows down your heart rate and relieves the physical symptoms of stress.

3. Get your stress onto paper. Sometimes we can over analyze things, which leads to anxiety. I am a huge fan of the saying ‘analysis is paralysis.’ If you find yourself over-analysing things, a great way around this is get your thoughts out of your head and down onto paper. This simple act takes the stress ‘out’ of your body.

4. Exercise. Physical activity is a proven stress buster. Get out of the house or office and get some fresh air. Exercise has been proven to relieve stress symptoms as it distracts us and ‘interrupts’ our thinking. For example, when we are focused on ‘running’, or ‘boxing’ or whatever it might be, it’s harder to be ‘over-analysing’ in our brains. Plus, think about how ‘fresh’ and ‘invigorated’ you feel after exercise.

5. Count to 10. Before you say something you might regret, calm yourself down by counting to 10. This is a simple way to over-ride any frustration or anger that pops up as a result of a stressful situation. You’ll find that by the time you get to 10, you’ll feel calmer and less likely to snap or do something you regret.

6. Say no. People pleasing is a one way ticket to stress because guess what? You can’t please all the people all the time! You’re fighting a losing battle right there. Learn to say no more often. If you’re worried that people won’t like you as much for saying no – think again. In my experience, people like and respect you more if you are honest with them instead of over-committing yourself and having to cancel things at the last minute.

7. Eat well. Your diet is crucial when it comes to stress levels. Make sure you’re getting enough fresh fruit and vegetables. Cut back on sugars, white carbohydrates (bread, pasta) and stimulants like caffeine (coffee, tea). Not only will this help your brain to function better it will also keep your body in shape, which will increase your confidence and lower those stress levels.

Know someone who’s stressed? Share this article with them.

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