Five Ways to Reduce your Stress during Times of Change and Challenge

We all have stress and our lives are always changing, but sometimes we have a major change in our life and it brings major stress.

Here are five little things you can do to reduce your stress and make the change not feel so overwhelming.

Take Time for Yourself

When most of us are feeling overwhelmed and stressed about something, it can be hard to let just sit.  We want to focus on the issue at hand until we’ve fixed it or made it work.

Here’s an idea.   Stop fixating on the issue at hand.  Take a deep breath and focus on what you, personally, need at that moment.  Do you need food, sleep or maybe some exercise or a massage? Getting lost in a good book or maybe just quiet time?  Whatever it is, go do it.  The distance and time from the issue may very well give you the answer you’re looking for.

My two things are meditation and golf.  I’m sure many of you are thinking meditation make sense, but golf.  Yes, golf – it does several things for me. It gets me outside.  I can walk and work out some of the pent-up energy.  Golf required a level of focus that keeps me from thinking about practically anything else.

Now, Golf may not be your thing.  Maybe it’s hiking, cycling, running, swimming or whatever – just go do something that let your mind relax and release.

Minimize the Distractions

I’ve learned that I can get distracted easily, especially if there is something I have to get done.  Over time I’ve learned to minimize these distractions with daily habits/ rituals to keep me focused and moving in the right direction.

My mornings are the most structured part of my day and to be honest I’m still adding more structure to my mornings and the rest of my day.

I start work late morning.  So unlike more people, I don’t have to rush to get out the door.  The problem was I would end up getting distracted and end up rushing to get ready and leave for work.  In the end finding, I wasted about 10 hours of time with worthless, time-sucking activities that got me know closer to my goals.

Now that I have a more structured morning, I’m finding I leave for work much more prepared for the day both physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Adding structure doesn’t have to look or feel highly scheduled – I don’t have a wake-up time.  Some days it’s, 5:00 am and others it’s 8:30 am.  The difference is the amount of time I have to do things.  Maybe instead of 45 minutes of meditation, it’s only 15.  or the dog walk is 2 miles instead of 4 miles.   The beauty is you get everything in, just in different quantities for that day or moment.

Learn to Let Go

Letting go can be a very hard thing to do.  If you’re used to being in charge or control, it can be especially difficult.  

Stepping back, allowing things to happen and take care of themselves.  Allows you to stop worrying about the “how” or outcome.  You can take your energy and direct it to more important things.  Take action on things you do control,  like your thoughts and how you take care of yourself.

Now, this approach may not work for everything, but it will work for most.  You can only do what you can do, and stressing about things you have no control over is a waste of energy and time.

I always like to look at things from a time perspective.  Will the outcome of this event affect me in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years 10 years?  If something is not really going to affect my life in six months, how important is it?  Now if something is going to have an effect on my life over the next 10 years, that’s something I’m much more focused on.

Small Steps

Taking small steps in the right direction will always win over running around in circles.  Now, the question is which way is the right direction?  This is why small steps are good, because after a small step if it doesn’t feel right, you don’t have to make a major course correction.

Focus on one thing, get it done and move on.  While multitasking a project may sound like a great approach.  You constantly have to go over your work to ensure it’s right.  When was the last time you tried to do two things really well at the same time and you got the results you want for both first try?  Never?  Save yourself the time. energy and frustration and do one thing at a time.

Big goals are accomplished much faster when you take the time to do the little things well.

Gratitude

Giving thanks is an important part of the positive flow of change.  We must learn to be grateful for everything from the air we breathe to the big deal we just closing.  Each and every event in our life has something to be grateful for.

I have a simple gratitude practice that I write in a journal every night, right before bed.

“I’m happy, thankful and grateful for all of the many blessings in my life”

I then go on and write one of thing that made me happy, thankful and grateful that day.  I’ve never had a day where I couldn’t come of with those three things.  Typically, I have had several and write them all down.  I close my daily writing with three things I want in my life the next day “Peace, Love, and Abundance.”  Then, I go directly to bed with those positive thoughts.  If for some reason I don’t have my journal to write, I will speak those three things and put them out to the Universe and flow then with my Thoughts of Peace, Love, and Abundance.

I hope you found these suggestions helpful and will try one or two for yourself.  May I suggest you not wait until you are experiencing a major change to try them.  Practice now will make your experience better when the actual time comes.

I would love to hear what are some of the things that help you through stressful situations?