10 Ways to Live a Less Stressful Life

Stress is a major problem for many people. You might be worried about a hectic, stressful job, a chaotic home life, bills to worry about, or have bad habits such as unhealthy eating, drinking, and smoking that you are trying to break. All of this can lead to a mountain of stress.

Even if you reduce your stress, your life will probably never be stress-free. I don’t think that’s desirable, even if it is possible, because stress is something that challenges us and helps us grow. At a reasonable level. But when stress gets too high, it causes us to be unhappy and unhealthy.

If your life is full of stress, there are some simple things you can do to get your life to a more manageable level.

10 Ways to Live a Less Stressful Life

10 ways to live a less stressful life - monthly planner with a gold pen next to a pink flower bouquet

1. One Thing at a Time

This is the simplest and best way to start reducing your stress, and you can start today. Right now. Focus as much as possible on doing one thing at a time. Clear your desk of distractions. Pick something to work on.

Need to write a report? Do only that. Remove distractions such as phones and email notifications while you’re working on that report. If you’re going to do email, do only that. This takes practice, and you’ll get urges to do other things. Just keep practicing and you’ll get better at it.

2. Simplify Your Schedule

A hectic schedule is a major cause of high stress. Simplify by reducing the number of commitments in your life to just the essential ones.

Learn to say no to the rest and slowly get out of commitments that aren’t beneficial to you. Schedule only a few important things each day and put space between them. Get out of meetings when they aren’t absolutely essential. Leave room for downtime and fun.

3. Get Moving

(Aren’t you glad I didn’t title this section exercise? But seriously, I tend to talk about exercise an awful lot. I can’t help that it’s important.) Do something each day to be active. Walk, hike, play a sport, go for a run, do yoga. It doesn’t have to be grueling to reduce stress. Just move. Have fun doing it.

4. Develop One Healthy Habit this Month

Other than getting active, improving your health overall will help with the stress. But do it one habit at a time.

Eat fruits and veggies for snacks. Floss every day. Quit smoking. Cook something healthy for dinner. Drink water instead of soda.

One habit at a time.

5. Do Something Calming

What do you enjoy that calms you down?

For many people, it can be the “get moving” activity discussed above. But it could also be taking a nap, or a bath, or reading.

Other people are calmed by housework or yardwork. Some people like to meditate or take a nature walk. Find your calming activity and try to do it each day.

6. Simplify Your Finances

Finances can be a drain on your energy and a major stressor. If that’s true with you, figure out ways to simplify things.

Automate savings and bill payments and debt payments. Spend less by going shopping (at malls or online) much less. Find ways to have fun that don’t involve spending money.

7. Have a Blast

Have fun each day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Whatever you choose, be sure to laugh.

8. Get Creative

Throwing yourself into a creative activity is another great way to de-stress and prevent stress.

I like writing, but others like to paint or play music or sketch or make pottery or do interior design or build things.

9. Declutter

I know that could cause more stress for you than to take away. If that is the case, then please disregard this tip. Or try it again. Maybe it will be less stressful. For me, I like to take 20-30 minutes and just go through a room, getting rid of stuff we don’t use or need anymore.

I look around at anything that’s cluttering up a room and get rid of it or find a better place for it. When I’m done, I have a nice, peaceful environment for work, play, and living. Do this a little at a time — it can be one of your “fun activities”.

10. Be Early

Try to leave earlier by getting ready earlier, or by scheduling more space between events. Things always take longer than normal, so schedule some buffer time. (And this is especially true when you have kids.)

Extra time to get ready, to commute, to do errands before you need to be somewhere, to attend a meeting before another scheduled appointment. If you get somewhere early, it’s good to have some reading material.

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