What would you do, if you had no fear?
Feeling anxious? Hesitant to watch the news? Overwhelmed? Lack of enthusiasm? Binge eating? Excessive drinking?
Times are tumultuous, they were for your parents and their parents too, such is the reality of society. Survival goes hand in hand with Loving the Life You Live, and Living the Life You Love (thanks Bob Marley) ...easier said than done at times. Nobody is perfect, cultures around the globe all want the best for their children, to have a warm meal and roof over their heads; everyone in their core, is fearful of something, and this skyrockets the barometer in the emotional strain department. With over five decades on this planet, I have had my fair share of trauma and anxiety; abusive relationships, ill parents, living with pain, just to name a few. I have also raised an incredible son, traveled the globe and owned some amazing businesses. So, what are my secrets to living a stress free life? To having a smile on my face every morning, eager to tackle the day, long before even one cup of coffee? Netflix provides the "new sensation" of Marie Kondo, and asks for you to "choose joy", not choosing, is quite frankly, the crux of stress, and I can offer that to you for far less than hiring a KonMari consultant.
Who knows, de-stressing may just get you excited about organizing that closet of yours, as well.
ONE: Love yourself. YOU are the only person on the planet like you, and that is amazing and special and marvelous all at the same time. Anyone who doesn't support you and love you back, unconditionally, is toxic and needs to go. Yes, you heard me. It may not be fun, but neither is removing a splinter. Toxic relationships are the biggest cause of depression and stress, they are unhealthy in every way. This toxicity can be in the form of a parent, spouse, or sibling, a co-worker or friend; all are equally harmful. Removing these entities from your life will not be easy; as confrontation also causes stress for a limited time period. However, this temporary stress is vital to your health and well being. Removing these toxins may not happen overnight, and that is ok, small steps can lead to the confidence needed for bigger changes. Having been in 3 marriages, with physical and verbal abuse, I know, this is not an easy task, one I clearly did not learn after several trials and errors, but if you are going to be the BEST PERSON you can be, they need to go. Harbor no ill will, no resentment, simply - let go. Anyone who keeps you from speaking from your heart, following your dreams; anyone who belittles you, hurts you, or offers negativity, is not part of the LOVE YOURSELF mantra. Staying in an unhealthy relationship is the worse thing you can do to the people who love you, they can sense your anguish and will therefore be stressed - themselves.
TWO: Have ME time. Get OUT! Do something everyday, where you can be you. Go on a hike, walk around the block, garden, read a book, paint, sketch, fly a kite, go for a bike ride, make cookies, write down your thoughts, wander through the park, take a yoga class, knit; the options are endless and should not include sitting in front of a tv or perusing social media. The world gets so caught up in what we are supposed to be, we forget who we are. What gives you joy?....if you don't know, this is a tell tell sign of unmanaged stress, having a hobby or even 20 minutes of meditation, can re-energize who you are and give you purpose and strength. Difficult now days to unplug - but just as important as brushing your teeth or eating breakfast. Rain, sleet and snow? Wander your local mall, join a meet up group, go snowshoeing. Me time, does not necessarily mean alone time, simply space which lets your thoughts run free in a safe environment.
THREE: One good deed a day. Kindness is free of charge and anyone can participate. Offer a smile, open a door, carry groceries, give a compliment...all are fabulous ways to reduce stress, and scientifically proven to do so! How easy is that? The more you give, the better you will feel about yourself. The more you offer, of yourself, the more confident you will be in who you are, the more confident you are in yourself, the more joyous you will be, the happier you are, the easier it is to attract other like minded souls. Round and round you go.
There are a lot of other ways to reduce stress in your life, but these are my top three.
Personally, I also believe that clutter causes angst. First thing, each and every day, without fail, I make my bed.
The dishes are always clean, clothes are tidy and organized, the house and car rubbish free...
Just a few years ago, I took a 3 bedroom / 2 bath home with all the fixings, down to 8 portable boxes, including clothes, for my global adventure. Extreme de cluttering? Perhaps. But also freeing. They are just things which did not necessarily make me a better person, whereas traveling the globe and meeting incredible people with fabulous stories and cultures, certainly has.
De-stress, organize, get your life back.
Never hesitate to ask for help. A life coach can provide clarity and direction.