5 Tips for Creating a Life with More Joy and Less Stress
It is no secret that American’s live busy, stressed-out lives. The fact of the matter is that our lives will not get less busy but there are ways we can help manage and dare I say, eliminate stress. Stress management is a learned lifestyle that is not easily approached. However, it is attainable. Here are five guidelines for a life with less stress and more joy:
1. Clarify Top Priorities
Take the time to plan and prioritize. The most common source of stress is the perception that you’ve got too much work to do. Looking at that to do list and shrinking away in fear is not the way to live a happy life. Right out your to-do list, pick one thing that has to be done today and do it. Remember, sometimes things happen that are beyond our control. Do not let life’s curve balls throw you off balance. While you cannot always control what happens, you can control how you react to the situation.
2. Laugh Often
This is a no brainer. Laughing is a natural stress reliever and naturally increases our endorphins. Make laughter a priority in your life by spending time with the ones who make you laugh or your favorite show or game that makes you relax and have a good time.
3. Be Active
Being active is also a natural stress reliever. The more you work out the more endorphins increase in your body, which help relieve pain and stress. Being active is not only good for the body but also the mind. If you are a runner, there is no better therapy than a long run outside. If you enjoy group work outs, then join a hot yoga or Pilates class and socialize while staying fit.
4. Get Plenty of Rest and Sleep
Of course this is the lowest on the priority list for many people. With busy schedules and stressed out lives, who has time to rest anymore?
According to a recent study, the University of Pittsburgh Sleep Medicine Institute found that learning some simple rules to sleeping can improve the quality of sleep:
Spend less time in bed. Don’t spend leisure time in bed, in the morning or in the evening. If you want to cozy up with a good book, go for the couch rather than your bed.
Get up at the same time every day. Your sleep will improve if you can muster the self-discipline to get up at the same time each day, even on weekends or when you haven’t slept well.
Don’t go to bed until you feel sleepy. Even if it is past your normal bedtime, it is better to stay up and be active than to lie awake in bed.
Get out of bed if you’re not sleeping. If you’re having trouble sleeping, get up and read or do something active that will keep you from laying in bed awake.
5. Enjoy the Present
Life is too short to always be living for the future or dwelling on the past. Count the blessings that life has given you now and stay active in the present. The here and now is all we really have, and if we discard that then we are not living for much more. In the words of Henry James, “Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.”