Most of us live in a society where things always seem to be go, go, go! More, bigger, better, and faster are words many of us have adopted in regards to work, and lifestyle. While many of us have more things and a better life-styles than that of our parents, or those of a generation ago, why is it that more people feel unfulfilled and stressed and what is the solution?
Many people have demanding jobs and are required to juggle multiple things throughout a day. Many people also skip breakfast and are on the run from the time they wake, to the time they get home. Others skip lunch and may run from one meeting to another. We also live in a society where we are being constantly bombarded with information, from e-mails, to texts, to social media, and often feel like we just can’t keep up. It is no wonder many people wake up tired, instead of refreshed.
While we all have stress in our lives, from work, children, family, household chores, etc., there are ways to control it and make it less frequent.
I recently came across the article, “Secrets to a Stress-Free Life,” that shared the story of Kathleen Hall, a famed stress expert that I found interesting. She developed a “powerful but surprisingly simple mantra—SELF, an acronym for serenity, exercise, love, and food and started teaching it to others to great effect. These ‘four roots of happiness’ may seem almost too easy, but she insists they have a centering effect in even the worst of circumstances.”¹ Taking and making time for serenity helps us meditate and be one with ourselves and nature. It helps us to be in the moment and helps reduce stresses in our lives. Exercise helps the mind, as well as the body. Exercise helps to release endorphin’s in the brain, which in turn help us to feel good and have a better outlook. Love and friendships help to nurture our soul. They promote well being by giving us a connection to others. Nourishing food helps sustains us. Keep in mind that food is fuel. We all need to choose foods that give us energy and provide nutrients for the body, such as fruits and vegetables and foods that are of the earth. Food preparation can also be a means to share and gather with friends and family.
While we will never be able to get rid of stress entirely from our lives, we can certainly try to change the ways we react to it and find more ways to rest, relax and rejuvenate our lives.
Following are a few tips I wanted to share from the article:
Secrets To A Stress-Free Life:
by: Kathleen Hall
- Start Small—Relax into your day. Start with a small change such as a new morning habit, trying a new food for the day, etc.
- Connect—Put love and friendship first in your life. Try and make it a habit to schedule time with others. Often times, feeling connected helps prevent health problems down the road.
- Focus on now—Try to focus on one task at a time and be mindful of what you are doing. Being in the present moment helps us to avoid stressful situations.
- Write it out—To help release negative thoughts, grab a pen and paper to write them down. Taking this action step will often help to release the negativity.
- Practice gratitude—Take at least 5 minutes each day to give thanks for all of the gifts in your life.
- Walk Softly—Often times when we are stressed, we walk with firmer steps. Try walking softly, or slower to help calm the mind.
- Take stock—Make a list of things that bring joy to your life and then make another list of things that drain you and your energy. Compare the two lists and contemplate how you can add in things to increase joy.
- Love your commute—Use your travel time to work on your patience skills. Use deep calming breaths to help yourself relax and enjoy your time for thoughts.
- Try a mini-meditation—Memorize a three to five word phrase, or mantra that you repeat when you are feeling stressed, or keep a peaceful image, or photo near by to reflect upon.
- Own the news—Tune into the news only when you want to get more information about a certain topic. Don’t dwell on the negativity in the news, but instead try to send positive thoughts and prayers to those in need. Help out in situations where you can make a difference, otherwise let information go.
Thanks for reading!
¹”Secrets To A Stress Free Life. http://www.marthastewart.com/266809/secrets-to-stress-free-life