What do you think would be the most important thing you could do to live a longer, happier and healthier life? Most people would agree they would try to get rid of the stress. Or work with things they are really passionate about. Easier said than done, right?
Many of us live in a reality where not a day goes by without us feeling stressed out, anxious, tense or nervous about one thing or another. Busy work schedules, hectic personal lives, tons of bills to cover – it’s a vicious cycle we can’t seem to get rid of, no matter how hard we try. And this leads to chronic stress, which is defined as the extended pressure that the body experiences over a long period of time. In reality, chronic stress can trigger serious health problems in the long run if not treated seriously.
Here are five tips you could try for living a longer, stress-free life;
1. Listen to Music
Being a blog about music we obviously must start with encouraging you to listen to more music if you feel you suffer from stress. Research clearly support that listening to relaxing music (and you define what is relaxing to you!), can lower stress hormones and blood pressure. Classical music is used by beauty salons to make their customers feel relaxed during treatments but it is also used by game developers when they create games people tend to play as a way to stress down, like monotone but relaxing games like the typical slot machine. Switch to a game of Fortnite and you will notice the difference.
2. Learn To Say NO
So let’s say you are like most people, driving to your daily job early in the morning, dealing with demanding tasks and bosses, dealing with flat tires on your way to running an errand, urgent deadlines, flights to catch, kids to pick up from school, baking cookies for the upcoming football game for your young son and buying a new tue tue skirt for your ballet-loving daughter – all in the same day. You barely have time to catch a breath, not to mention have a hobby and actually enjoy it. For how long do you think you will be able to keep it up? You need to learn how to say NO, ask for help and delegate chores, and this applies to both professional and personal life. Start by telling your spouse, friend or manager, when you are feeling overwhelmed. Ask for help and if not possible consider changing your job or following a different career path altogether.
3. Give Up Bad Habits
It’s not enough to say no to others, we should also look at our own choices and habits. No exercise, chaotic fast food meals, barely drinking any water but thriving on caffeine and energy drinks, sleeping 3 to 4 hours a night only to end up with a new pile of bills the next day.
If you find habits like these, that tend to make your life more stressful then it’s time to quit them for a healthier lifestyle. Simplify your life by giving up your most damaging habits such as drinking alcohol too often or smoking, eating fatty foods that are bad for you or never exercising.
It will take a lot of effort to give up something you have been used to doing for many years, but it must be done if you truly want to live a longer and happier life. Here are a few tips;
- Take things one step at a time.
- Start by drinking one extra glass of water every day. Then move up to two glasses.
- Skip your daily energizer and painkillers.
- Try to do some stretching early in the morning and some meditation at night.
4. Find Your Passion
If you hate your job and you resent being at the workplace for 8 to 12 hours a day or more, it will eventually eat you up and make you ill. Think about what you would be truly passionate about doing and being remunerated for and go for it. It’s never too late to get a new degree or go to job interviews and learn new skills. Smart technologies are really popular at the moment and many jobs can be done online opening up endless opportunities. You would be surprised to learn just how much things have changed since you last applied for a new job a decade ago.
5. Focus On The “Now”
All self-development and mindfulness books tell you the same thing: if you want to be happy, you must learn how to live in the present and be active in the moment. Do only one thing at a time and eliminate all distractions that could be preventing you from keeping your focus. If you need to do a shopping list, put your phone away and stop scrolling on your Instagram feed. You’ll end up forgetting to write something down and be forced to go back to the store. If you need to finish a task at work, clear your desk and computer from any extra open tabs and reports and only work on your task.
You will need to practice mindfulness in all areas of your life and it won’t be easy.
Keep going and try to find a fun, relaxing or engaging hobby – it will make a huge difference. Paint, do puzzles, play games online, read a new book every week, walk your neighbors dogs. Whatever relaxes you will definitely help you deter the stress from your system, so it’s worth trying. But most importantly, never forget to listen to music!