Nine Ways to Reduce Stress

It’s important to reduce stress in our lives. We don’t have the health, the strength, or the time for a stressful life. But how do we get there?

Reducing stress in my life

Here are a few things that help me:

Home

Make your home a sanctuary. Don’t allow any negative thing or person to invade your sacred place. More so than anywhere else, your home should be your refuge. Protect it.

Relationships

Friendships, and more often family relationships, can be complicated. Hurt feelings and past conflicts will eat at you. It’s hard to let them go. There’s a whole post on this topic called No More Poison, but the main point is to try and mend what’s broken. If that can’t happen then forgive them and don’t let them control your life. Most importantly, forgive yourself.

Finances

Do what you can to get out of debt. Even just the act of slowly paying off your debt can be a huge relief. The Bible gives perhaps the best advice on this: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another...”

Let go of the past

Those who say they’ve never had regrets are either lying or deluding themselves. The secret is to stop living in the past. If it is something that can still be resolved, do it. If not, then stop beating yourself up over it. Remorse resides in our minds. We have the power to control our thoughts.

Focus on what matters

Your life is like a jewelry box. Though it may be filled with precious stones and pearls, there is lint hiding in its corners. Clean it out.

Shore up your marriage

Anyone can build a house, but a home can only be built with love. Yes, there will be the occasional argument, but try to see the world through your partner’s eyes. Whatever the conflict, get over it fast. Remember why you got married in the first place and hold onto that.

Fill your days

Ann Harper, one of our writers on this site, said in a forum: “When I start to feel down, I try to distract myself. I don’t give myself a lot of time to think. Luckily I’m able to work and I work a lot. I have a granddaughter I care for and an online class I’m taking. I have goals and I am very excited about accomplishing them. I guess my answer would be that I just keep myself too busy to focus on my feelings. It does help.”

More on this topic

She nailed it. Don’t spend too much time ruminating about your cancer. Fill your days with personal goals and serving others.

Breathe

When I’m uptight I find myself taking shallow breaths. I don’t even notice it right away. Deep, slow breaths have a way of relaxing me. This may sound crazy, but it’s like sucking in peace and exhaling stress.

Perfection is overrated

You won’t be able to do all this perfectly. It would be ironic to stress out about trying to live a stress-free life. Even the smoothest road has the occasional speed bump.

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