Sometimes we assume that changes have to be epic, and that we have to overhaul our entire lives in order to reduce our stress. I disagree.
I believe that small changes add up to big changes over time, and that doing less can actually help us accomplish more. Think of stress as weeds in a garden-if you get rid of them as soon as they pop up, they don’t get out of control. Here are some quick ways to reduce stress-try one or two a day and notice how things can change:
1. If you’re at home and you’re working on the computer, take a 5-10 minute break every hour. Dance to one song or play with your dog.
2. If you feel yourself becoming anxious or stressed, get grounded. Pay attention to the feeling of your feet on the floor. Listen to the sound of your breath.
3. Make a list of 5 things you stress about that you can't control. Read the list, close your eyes and imagine putting those things into a red balloon and releasing it. Mentally watch it fly away. Decide you're not going to worry about stuff you can't control.
4. Mindfulness meditation is about nothing more than breathing and being present by clearing all the anxious thoughts. It’s transformational. 7 minutes of meditation a day can do wonders. Here’s a free meditation track to help you if you need it.
5. Make a list of everything you have going for you. Things you’re grateful for, strengths, resources and accomplishments.
6. Stop working and hug your kids.
7. Step outside. Stand and observe and look for something beautiful.
8. Do something ridiculous-think of the funniest thing you’ve ever seen and giggle. It has an amazing way of putting things in perspective.
9. Make a list of all the people who love you no matter what. And then call one of them.
10. Listen to a song you love. Close your eyes and stop thinking. Enjoy the music.