Life is filled with little stressors that can bring us down. These come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from work and school to friends and family, but they can be absolutely anything. Occasionally, the stress comes at us from all angles all at once, and that’s when it starts to get a bit overwhelming.
The trick is not letting life’s little–or often times big–troubles get in the way of leading a happy and productive life.
Thankfully, there are tactics that can help you power through the hard times and actually end up feeling a lot stronger and more confident for next time. In moments of frustration, people will tell you to just brush it off, but of course, that’s easier said than done.
How does one just brush it off? Well, we’re here to show you.
How To Stress Less
1. Let go of the things that are out of your control.
A lot of times our worrying comes from things that are so far out of our control, it’s really not worth spending much time thinking about them. Stressing before a job interview makes perfect sense because you need to practice and prepare, but spending time stressing afterwards is a waste of time. Think positive and know that what will be will be.
2. Figure out how to distract yourself.
Sometimes, worrying is the only option, but sitting in a room doing nothing but obsessing over problems is no way to deal. Distract yourself somehow by doing a craft, taking a drive or anything else besides focusing on the issue.
3. Learn to forgive the ones who deserve it…and the ones who don’t.
People around us can be the main triggers of worrying, filling our heads with questions like: Is tonight going to be awkward? Am I going to run into them? In social circles, there’s almost always dramatics.
The key is not to hold a grudge. People make mistakes, and having to worry about being mad at someone constantly is so not worth it. Instead, flash a smile and move on.
4. Take it as a compliment.
People are going to copy you, insult you and annoy you.
Take all of the above as a compliment. Don’t spend time worrying about why they’re doing these things, and consider it the sincerest form of flattery.
5. Always plan ahead.
Saving anything until the last minute is never a good idea. Whether it’s studying for a test or picking out a gift, having anything on the to-do list for too long is bound to weigh heavily on you. Get the stressful things done in advance or plan an open time-slot for doing so. Procrastination paves the way straight to worrying.
Related: How To Plan Your Day
6. Hit the gym.
There really is some truth to sweating out your troubles. Spend a half hour at the gym and see how much stronger and invincible you feel. After conquering some extra weights or reps, you’ll be ready to conquer whatever else is on your mind. And, if you lift enough weights, you’ll even start to look like a warrior!
7. Don’t bottle it up inside.
Keeping all your worries in your own head is the perfect way to let them build up. Talk to a friend or a professional who will allow you to vent freely, or confront the person who has been bothering you. Sometimes a conversation is all it takes to ease your mind.
8. Consider the potential outcomes.
Sometimes what’s in your head is way worse than the reality. Not getting that job or getting your heart broken can seem like the end of the world, but thinking realistically about the possible outcomes will help them feel more manageable. Basically, the world keeps spinning, and there are many different avenues to explore.
9. Contemplate how someone else would handle the situation.
There are many inspiring people in the world, so considering how they would handle a similar issue can be a big help. Picturing your favorite celebrity powering through an obstacle can be enough inspiration to let you do the same.
10. Feng-shui your life.
It’s easy to be a worrier when your environment is stressful. Set yourself up for a perfect work triangle that gives you space to move throughout your area freely, and be sure to keep it tidy to prevent unwanted stress from the mess.
11. Be patient and give yourself time.
Sometimes we stress ourselves out because we think we should be over something by now or should have already mastered a certain task, but that’s simply not true. Allow yourself to move at a pace that works for you, and don’t compare yourself to others who seem to be progressing faster.
12. Let loose.
Special circumstances call for letting out a big scream or dancing the night away. You have to do whatever it takes for the worry to be the last thing on your mind. Maybe that’s a girl’s or guy’s night out, or maybe it’s a great session at the gym–whatever helps you live worry-free.
13. Look for the core of what’s bothering you.
Getting grumpy or stressed over small things when you’re really just worried about one big thing is a waste of energy. Get to the root of the problem and it will make all the others disappear.
14. Listen to music.
Studies show that listening to music can you provide real relief when dealing with anxiety and depression. So whether it’s on the ride to work or during a bubble bath at home, breathe in the tunes and exhale the anxiety.
15. Reward yourself.
Sometimes what you’re going through is a long-term struggle with many phases. Reward yourself as you make progress and deal with it in a healthy way. It will help you realize that you’re getting closer to the finish line.
Life really is a journey to self-growth, and by incorporating some of these tactics into your daily life, you will be advancing on that journey. Allowing the negatives and the stressors to consume you is no way to live. Getting a good handle on whatever you’re going through and knowing how to deal with it accordingly will lead to a much happier and more productive life, because you’ll be allowing yourself to concentrate on the positives. Never stop striving to do better than you did the day before and to encourage yourself to learn a little bit along the way.
Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks, a blog dedicated to helping others find happiness and success in their careers. She specializes in career advice but is also a health nut and DIY junkie with a passion for living life to the fullest. Follow her for more inspiring tips at @SarahLandrum.
Photo by mariecriedwolf