Happy Monday! I’m crazy, you say? That is totally true! Do Monday mornings up your stress level because of work? Or maybe it is Sunday nights knowing you have to get up early the next day? No matter what the situation is that increases your stress level, we want to try to decrease our stress instead. Life is never more fun when we are stressed. Stress is a huge deal as we talked about on Friday. Here are 5 things to help you decrease stress mentally.
Know Jesus: I’m going to be totally honest, I am a Christian and I believe it is the most important part of life. The biggest difference you can make in your life to decrease stress is to come to know Jesus personally because all those things you’re stressed about can be released to Him and He promises to give us His peace when we do so.
Stop Yer Whinin’: When your stress level is up, do you whine and complain about the situation? I know I do! It’s the flat tire, or the tough customer, or maybe you got the wrong food at the restaurant. Does complaining actually help and decrease your stress? Nope! Complaining MIGHT blow off a touch of steam, but ultimately it solves nothing and focuses us back on the negative. It also makes you mad about the situation as you mull it over and get more upset and stressed out over what happened. When that bad situation happens, take a deep breath and…
Focus on the Positive: How is getting a flat tire positive? Getting that flat tire might be keeping you out of that wreck that is about to occur 5 miles up the road that you could have been killed in. It allows you the chance to stop and take a deep breath and make sure your spare tire is still usable. That super annoying client is creating a situation that enables you to learn to adapt better and to become better at communication in the future. Future benefit is the whole point of exercise – correct? We put our bodies through rigorous exercise and unpleasant situations so that we can have a great outcome later on in a fit body. We already have an eye on the outcome in exercise, but we need to apply that same principle to all of life. Think, “What is the positive growth or outcome from this situation?” By focusing on the positive, we decrease our stress because even hard situations become, at worst, a useful situation, and at best maybe even a good situation! Want to dive into this a bit more? Go check out this video by Jocko Willink. When we focus on the positive, it also enables us to…
Be Thankful: Be thankful for my flat tire you say!? Yes! Complaining about the situation certainly does not help, so what is the opposite? Being thankful! Being thankful and focusing on the positive are intimately connected. It is easiest to be thankful when we have first focused on the positive. If you cannot figure out how to focus on the positive then be thankful first. Thank God that you have the chance to go through this situation and learn whatever lessons are at hand. We can also always learn to be more patient and more humble. When we stop and are thankful, it forces us to stop and think. We step back and look at the totality of the situation instead of immediately becoming negative. I guarantee that every time you are truly thankful for a situation, it will help decrease your stress. Simply mouthing a thank you does not cut it – being thankful is a deep mindset that will help decrease your stress.
View the Entirety of Life: What is the likelihood of this specific situation truly affecting the rest of your life? Are there situations that do truly affect your life? Yes! Major relationship troubles, a job loss, a major injury, these situations can truly affect your life hugely. This level of life altering event is VERY rare though. Difficult clients, traffic slowdowns, eating the dinner you didn’t really want, all of these have very little bearing on the overall flow of life. They are frequent, but fortunately not life altering.
Think about the average lifespan of 85 years. What will that dinner, or your grocery trip taking 5 minutes longer because of traffic, matter tomorrow night, much less in 20 years! The reality is you will probably have forgotten the situation 30 minutes from now. If not, will you remember it in 10 years? If you think you will, then the question is why? Is that unreasonable client at work worth remembering in 10 years because they demanded your emails are formatted in a specific way? No! View life in its whole and then appropriately place your situation in that span of time. You will decrease your stress if you do this. Don’t burden your 60 year old self with the situations of now.
Think about these 5 ways to mentally decrease stress, better yet do them! They will help you to let go and be there for your family and yourself.
Make it a tasty day,