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Reduce your stress levels

publication date: Jun 12, 2009
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author/source: Rasheed Ogunlaru

Very often we over-complicate our home and working lives. However these ten simple steps will help you reduce your stress.

  1. Know what’s important: keep your eye on your goal not the crowd - otherwise you’ll become overwhelmed and distracted. Start by asking yourself what’s most important to you in life, at work and in your relationships. Knowing this will keep you balanced and will help you keep all aspects of your life in perspective.
  2. Keep it neat and tidy: our environment plays a major part in our sense of control. Keep a clear desk and a tidy home - these things often reflect your state of mind. Start and end the day with a clear slate and a clear space wherever you can - it helps hugely.
  3. Avoid conflict, gossip and arguments: these things take up a huge amount of energy which we store as an inner presssure in our bodies for hours, days even years. Smile, let go and walk on by.
  4. Get out more: over the years I’ve noticed we take shorter breaks, skip lunch and stay couped up for too long. Take regular breaks, book your holidays, put in you time and go for walks. We are part of nature, so take a stroll in the park, by the stream and even a walk round the block. Being in nature is a key part of our nature.
  5. Get support: whether you’re busy running a team and/or raising kids you can’t do it all by yourself. Know when to delegate and when to get help. The life you seek is largely shaped by company you keep. Avoid negative people and make room for the positive ones. Ensure that friends, families and family are on board otherwise reduce the time and energy you spend on them to that which is healthy for all.
  6. Stop projecting, reflecting and protesting: much stress is brought on by us wanting things to be other than how they are. The past is dead, the future unborn. Happiness and progress emerge by accepting yourself, others and circumstances as they are right now.
  7. Less is more: reduce the time you send watching TV, online. This will give you time to be, breathe, be creative and become re-energised. If you write action list keep them to a maximum of three things per day this will force you to do what’s most important. Set shorter times for meetings and emails this helps everybody.
  8. Listen to your body not everybody: if you listen your body will tell you when it’s time to work, rest, eat, sleep. Sometimes stress is telling you to take time out and to get yourself back in balance. The route of the word dis-ease is exactly what happens when we stop listening to ourselves.
  9. Be thankful for what you’ve got: the more you appreciate what you have, the less pressure and stress you’ll feel and the more resourceful you become.
  10. Be present: when pressure and stress does arrive be present and alert. The positive side of such situations is that we often produce our best work, creativity and grow and develop by responding to life's challenges - wisely and calmly - as they arise.

Rasheed Ogunlaru is a life coach, speaker and business coach. He is also author of The Gift of Inner Success.