Stress.  It wreaks havoc on your physical health, not to mention your emotional health and well-being. What gets you stressed out?  Some familiar triggers are: balancing work and life, finances, your job, your family, a conflict, boundary issues, or traffic/commute.

What are some great ways to lessen the stress in your life?  Here are some suggestions:

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others or to some idealized image.
  2. Stop the “shoulds.”
  3. Do something that is nurturing for your body, mind, or soul.  Make a list of self-care activities so you can have it whenever you’re feeling stressed.
  4. Breathe.  Sit back, relax your shoulders.  Breathe in 3 deep, soulful breaths.  Focus on your breathing (and your posture), not your thoughts.
  5. Take a walk in nature.  Focus on the environment around you–not on your thoughts.  Work on being present.
  6. Listen to music that soothes you.
  7. Go have fun.  Do something that will bring you to the present moment.
  8. Write down your worries, then after you’re done, tell yourself to let it go.
  9. Find a mantra and repeat it.  (Here are some examples: 52 Stress-Reduction Mantras at Mark and Angel Hack Life).
  10. Create an inspiration board/journal.  Gather things that inspire you:  quotes, pictures, people, etc. Look at it when you need a shift in your focus.
  11. Exercise.  Run, swim, bike, do yoga, walk with a friend.  Move your body and release the stress.
  12. Change your thoughts and attitude about whatever is stressing you out.  If you can’t change the situation, in order to gain peace, change the way you think about it.
  13. Get a massage.
  14. Use affirmations.  Allow them to replace your stressful thoughts.  Here’s one from Louise Hay:  I create a stress-free world for myself. 
  15. Say no.  Say no to people, jobs, or situations that drain your energy.  Which ones enhance your life; which ones detract from it?

How do you cut down on stress?  What stresses you out?