5 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress



Let’s face it, today’s modern world does not reduce stress, it has larger demands on all of us that ever before, and that all lead to unprecedented stress levels! All this technology we have is supposed to make our lives simpler but it’s had a reverse effect and made us a slave to our own lives.

We are never “away” from our work. People text and email at all times and they expect an answer back immediately. Haven’t you had people get mad because you didn’t respond to their text within a few minutes? Now people even feel bad when they turn their phones off while in a movie theater in case someone tries to get hold of them…ok some people don’t give a shit about others and continue their worldly interaction to the annoyance of everyone else in the theatre.

What is the first thing people do when the aircraft wheels hit the runway?? That’s right, they plug right back into that stress ball of technology to see what they missed, who wants what from them, who is mad at them…and so the stress grows.

To handle the pressures and stresses of the world, and to prevent burnout, we do need some strategies to deal with the situation…

While this is certainly not all inclusive list, here are some ideas that can lead to a less stressful life:


1. Don’t Confuse Activity for Accomplishment

So many people spend hours and hours at work and toil away at their jobs getting extremely stressed. But…they don’t accomplish anything!!! Just because you are busy does not mean that you are making progress. Make sure you focus on the most important things that need to be accomplished every day. The only thing that counts is results, so what are your 6 highest priorities today? Write them down and order them from highest to lowest priority, then start on the highest, get it done, and work down the list.


2. Ask For Help

Part of confusing activity with accomplishment is toiling away trying to figure something out that you don’t know much about. However there is someone who knows exactly what you need to do, in what order to do it, and what pitfalls to avoid. Identify work colleges who know more about what you are working on than you do, and go pick their brains. Their knowledge and access to resources can give you a shortcut to accomplishment, and reduce all that stress of re-inventing the wheel. In your personal life get some help at home. What is your time worth to you? So why not hire someone to clean the house once a week, or do the lawn…that will free you up to follow some of the other suggestions in this article.


3. Sharpen Your Axe

Now that you are spending less hours at work because you are focusing on accomplishment and not activity, and you have people doing the chores you used to spend hours doing; now you can focus on sharpening your axe. You have heard this story before but it’s worth repeating “A woodchopper goes to work at 6am every day, he chops wood all day without a break until 6pm. A second wood chopper starts chopping wood at 8am, takes an hour and a half lunch break, and goes home at 5pm. This second wood chopper chops twice as much wood as the first. Frustrated that he works so much harder but accomplishes less the first woodchopper confronts him and asks how he can chop so much more wood when he works so much less. The answer…the second woodchopper takes a long lunch where he eats, rests, and sharpens his axe. Because the has fueled and rested his body he is much stronger and can work harder, and because he has a sharper axe so he is much more efficient

How can you sharpen your axe every day?


4. Focus On Your Short Term Goals

When you set very big long term goals and focus on those it becomes very stressful because you never feel like you are making any progress toward you goal. We need some payoff for our efforts to prevent us getting stressed. That’s why you set a long term goal, but then focus on very short term accomplishments such as daily goals. That way you are having mini wins all the time that you can celebrate. This way you feel like you are making progress and don’t end up being a big stress ball.


5. Meditate

Imagine this…Picture a very stormy ocean, I’m talking 100+ foot waves crashing around in an angry violent rage. Think the Perfect Storm on steroids. Now imagine this storm is your mind and you have a very large intention as big as the Empire State Building. Now drop your intention into the stormy ocean and what happens? There is a splash as it hits the water but within seconds everything is engulfed by the raging waves and you can’t even tell you just dropped the Empire State Building into the ocean. Now picture a still pond with a mirror like, shiny, calm surface that reflects the beauty around it. Now imagine this pond is your mind and you have an intention the size of a pebble. Now drop your intention into the middle of the pond and what happens? The ripples from the pebble radiate outwards in tiny waves that grown larger, the waves reach the shore and bounce off the banks of the pond moving back to the center, meeting up with the other waves and making them even larger. So when you have a calm mind, a small intention can make a large impact. How do you get a still mind? Try meditation…it makes a huge difference


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