There is a great saying from Aristotle: „Good habits formed at youth make all the difference“, and although this is what we should nurture in children, for us, adults, habits can be hard to break, especially the bad ones.
However, changing bad habits is not impossible, because “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit“, as Aristotle said, once again. Although these quotes and sayings can motivate as greatly, when it comes to stress, we need to make more effort to change our daily habits in order to live less stressful lives.
Changing bad habits may seem hard, on the other hand, once you know what changes you need to make, forming positive habits will eventually become a natural part of daily routines. To fight everyday stress, you should consider the activities listed below.
Wake up early in the morning.
There are many benefits for those who wake up early, whether those related to physical or mental health. Being prepared for the rest of the day is one of the ways you can take control of your daily obligations, thus, be prepared to avoid stressful situations. If you wannabe a “morning person”, please check my article here.
Prepare for the day the night before.
Do all necessary preparations related to your tasks, job or other appointments in the evening.
Write To Do list.
These lists are very helpful to get throughout the day without stress. Once you know what you need to do, and what tasks you should complete, you can avoid stress. It is good if you can write to do list in the evening.
Visualize the day ahead.
Take a few minutes in the morning to visualize your day ahead. Think of the things you either need or wish to do that day, and try to stay focused on achieving your goals.
Exercising is another great way to be prepared for stressful situations. Physical activity is seen as a stress release mechanism. It would be good if we can exercise every day, however, exercising even 3-4 times a week is an asset, as long as you stick to your workout schedule. Exercising early in the morning is a good start of the day.
Review or rewrite your goals.
Writing down your goals, and reviewing them every morning is a great way to have better awareness about what you wish to achieve. Take some time in the morning to reread all of the goals you have set to yourself to see how far or close you are from achieving them. By reviewing your goals, you will get rid of the unnecessary stress during the day. If you are aware of your goals, you can make better choices and achieve better results, thus avoid stress and anxiety related to unachieved goals.
Read or listen to motivational material.
If you have a favorite song, or favorite book quotes, or poems, read them in the morning and motivate yourself for the rest of the day. Motivational material is a great way to prepare yourself for the unwanted stressful situation as well.
Take time to look good.
We know we are judged by our appearance; it is a reality in many societies. However, an initiative to look good should not be because you are expected to; when we look good, we feel good as well. Take a few minutes to make sure you are at your best.
Check the news.
Read news headlines in the morning to get an idea of what is happening in your country or the world. This way you can easily enjoy conversations, and you can also be prepared for bad news, if any.
Use time wisely.
Even if you rely on to do lists and working schedule, you may lose track of time. If you are good at time management, you shouldn’t have any problems. If not, think carefully about your priorities and about time.
Put first things first.
Prioritizing is very important if you want to avoid stress. Some things may be urgent, but not necessarily important. Develop a habit of putting first thing first; in turn, you will organize your daily activities much better.
You may think that being proactive is not a habit; however, to be active and proactive means you are showing initiative and taking responsibility to make things happen. Once you know what you want and wish for, whether for yourself, your friends or community, being proactive can be seen as a habit. Proactivity is also a good way to fight stress. Ask yourself: “What can I do to make this happen?”, and just do it.
Under-promise and over-deliver.
Every time you can finish your work earlier or make it better, do it. This great habit will teach you to pay attention on details, and due to that, avoid stress.
To fight stress, you need necessary nutrients from the food. Try substituting fast food and unhealthy snacks with fruits and vegetables.
Stay connected to nature.
Every chance you have, spend time outdoors in nature. Try to organize more activities in nature and spend more time with your friends. Nature is an important part of our lives, developing a strong connection to it is a great benefit for general well being.
Enjoy smiling, and try to focus your thoughts on positive things. Smiling should not be underestimated; smiling will make you happier and you will be able to make other people happy as well. Smile is a great tool against stress and nervousness.
Take time for yourself.
Spend a little time to reconnect with yourself. Choose a part of the day and dedicate it entirely to yourself. In this Me-Time you can choose to write, read, meditate, play music, or do yoga. Do as you please, and reflect on yourself.
Say I love you more often.
Do not assume that your close friends and family know you love them. Saying I Love You, at least once a day, will make you and your close ones happier.
Review the day.
Dedicate time to reflect on all things you did during the day. Ask yourself important questions: Did I get closer to achieving my goals? Did my day go as planned? What did I do wrong? Asking yourself these questions will prepare you for the next day, and will help you stay calm and avoid stress in the future.
Go to bed at a reasonable time.
If you want to develop a habit of waking up earlier, you should also go to bed at a reasonable time. Getting a good night’s sleep, will rejuvenate both your body and mind, and prepare you for new adventures and achievements the next day. Sleeping calmly and peacefully is important to avoid stress.
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