Stress puts our health at risk, damaging our body’s systems and contributing to irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia and other diseases and ailments. But there are ways we can disarm the harmful effects of stress naturally and holistically. Here are 10 ways to live with less stress and more peace in your life:
- Control what is around you. Stay away from chronically toxic people and situations. Stay off of negative social media. Make only the commitments you know you can keep without stressing yourself out. Learn how to say no when you’re uncomfortable. Respect your time, energy and resources.
- Eliminate clutter – physical and spiritual. Clean lines and open spaces in your living area can provide calmness and serenity. Purge yourself of emotional clutter like trapped emotions.
- Literally “ground” yourself. This concept is also known as “earthing.” You know that great feeling you have after a day at the beach? That is about more than a day of relaxation. Standing or walking in bare feet in grass, sand or even on a concrete surface that is immediately above the soil can rid your body of ever-so-damaging negative energy.
- Embrace joy. As they say, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Share random hugs and smiles. Think about all you have to be grateful for and share that gratitude. Keep negative energy at bay with positive thoughts and acts.
- Slow down and love the little things. Humans have adopted the rat race as a way of life, and it need not be that way. There is nothing and no one more important than YOU. Make sure you have sufficient alone time and use it to enjoy what makes you content. A walk in the woods, smelling fresh-cut grass, watching children play, a day of reading… The possibilities are endless.
- Be aware of what your body needs. This includes healthy food, plenty of water, rest and exercise. Eat healthy, live whole foods. The shorter the time from tree to tasting, from ground to gourmet, the more positive energy you will receive. Challenge yourself to do some sort of physical exercise every day, no matter what it is or for how long you do it. Stick with it.
- Strive for a state of acceptance and understanding of others, despite their negative behavior or difficult nature. If there is someone who has hurt or wronged you in some way, and you haven’t forgiven them, your stress level will inevitably be greater than it should. The higher path of the spirit is to be at peace with the universe and with all our fellow beings. None of us are perfect and we all have reasons for acting the way we do. Learn to let things go and be generous and kind.
- Don’t forget to go easy on yourself, too! How many times have you chastised yourself for making a poor decision, lashing out at others, being clumsy or running late for a meeting? Most mistakes we make won’t affect us in the long run. In fact, by recognizing the value in our own folly, we can learn some of life’s most valuable lessons!
- Choose positive emotions. You are the pilot of your own course in life, and you can choose to make intelligent and balanced decisions. When you find yourself automatically being guided toward the emotion of anger, for example, wait a few seconds and ask yourself if it would better serve you to change course. The ability to choose more positive emotions is something all of us have, but it’s like a muscle that needs regular exercise in order to serve us best. When you focus on flexing this muscle, you will learn to become more patient and your emotions will enhance your life instead of controlling it. This can also help you maintain healthy boundaries, with yourself and others.
- Identify and release trapped emotions: Emotional baggage from past negative and traumatic events can cause us to make wrong assumptions and react emotionally; it also contributes to anxiety, depression and most forms of illness. Using techniques such as The Emotion Code can help restore peace to your subconscious and correct physical imbalances, too. This can lower your stress level by quickly getting clear to the underlying causes of negative emotional choices and nagging, negative thoughts.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself emotionally. You may need specific things such as the emotional support of a spouse, a lunch date with a friend or even just some time alone. Decide how busy you want to be – or not be! Say “no” to trying to do too much if it interferes with your health, cuts into family time or feels like it’ll cause too much stress for you.
By Dr. Bradley Nelson