Sunday, March 1, 2020

Keys to Reduce Stress: Tiny Steps to Serene Living

Stress Reduction Tips and Ideas

A recent study shows three out of four Americans reported feeling stressed in the last month, and an informal survey I've conducted indicates when we feel frazzled, tense, or worried most have trouble concentrating. 

Updated 3/14/22

During tense periods, we may forget there are things we can do to calm down, refresh ourselves, and proceed with a lighter heart.

Can you imagine how great you would feel, with less stress and more time and energy to do what you really want to do? 

If you're ready for that, look at the keys to serene living below. They are designed to provide emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical stress reduction ideas to help you along. 

Some suggest ways to take tiny steps to streamline your to-do list. Others provide ideas and activities that help instill confidence and hope. 

Still others help you get a better handle on how often you allow other people, places, and things to disrupt your peace of mind. 

Rest assured, each self-care tip and lifestyle practice helps make daily living more rewarding and serene.

These tried and true methods have worked for me, as well as the life coaches, personal trainers, mentors, psychologists, and other successful people I admire.

Keys to Reduce Stress: Tiny Steps to Serene Living

Methods to Get Off to a Good Start

Make it a habit to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Once you're awake, carve out time to pray, meditate, journal, exercise, and/or do things that center you and help you feel energized. See additional ideas to nip stress in the bud here
Some people like to prepare for a full day by doing certain prep tasks the night before. For example, they pack lunches, do laundry, sort email, answer text messages, etc.

Others take a few moments at night to mark their planner with a to-do list for the next day. 
At my house, we like to put out our breakfast utensils at night. A little planning goes a long way in preventing a mad dash in the morning.

If you already have an efficient nightly or morning routine, you're ahead of the game. 
Research shows highly successful people know how to manage their time well and have a set pattern they adhere to even when traveling or telecommuting. 

Methods that Help You Stay on Track

Hydrate, shower, and allow time for personal care. Dress in the colors you love. Color energy has the power to bring comfort and joy. For additional tips read Ways to Use Colors to Improve Work-Life Balance.

Eat a nourishing breakfast, and make your bed. 
Before you begin to work, clear clutter from your desktop at the office or home work space. If it makes sense to you, recite the Serenity Prayer to de-clutter your mind. 

Serenity Prayer at Colors 4 Health

Do challenging tasks first, and remember to take a break every 20-30 minutes to move around. 
Get away from electronic devices for down time. Exercise, smile, and breathe deeply. All help alleviate stress.

Once you're back to work, make it a habit to screen calls, avoid email checks, and refrain from doing anything that distracts you.

Stay in the moment by focusing on the process rather than the outcome. 

Creativity and inspiration blossom in the here and now. That's one big reason why it's so important to skip multi-tasking. 

For additional success tips read this.

Observe your self-motivation level. Are you willing to learn from your mistakes as well as victories? 

Procrastination or shaming ourselves or others for not being able to accomplish certain tasks, leads to unhappiness, disappointment, and stress. 

If you tend to get down on yourself, train your mind to recognize and appreciate even the smallest forward motion.

For a pause that is sure to refresh, take a few minutes to step outdoors to walk or jog in nature. 
Green spaces can revitalize your body, mind, and spirit. When we use 15 minutes or more each day to absorb the health promoting energy Mother Nature provides, it's great for total well-being. 
Make it a practice to look inward for self-affirmation and validate yourself. 

It's human nature to enjoy praise from others, but don't rate your worthiness on what judgmental people say about you. This is a sure way to feel not good enough.

Methods that Simplify Daily Living and Help You Go with the Flow

Organize shelves, drawers, closets, files, and living space so you can take an inventory. Donate, sell, or gift things that no longer serve a purpose. 
When you reduce clutter, it helps you see more clearly how many things you have, and pause before shopping for anything new. 

Recycle, reuse, or repair stuff you already have. This is often an economical advantage, is eco-friendly, and saves time and energy you would use, if you had to purchase it new.

Vary undertakings with time out for a cup of tea, or chat with a buddy. 

Learn to say “no” when you need to. Bowing out of activities, conferences, errands, and time with difficult people, enables you to prioritize your time, energy, and resources. 

Letting go of people pleasing allows you to focus on meeting your own needs more effectively. In the long run, setting boundaries avoids building up resentments and stress.

Write about gratitude daily. Studies show the act of physically writing a gratitude list with pen and paper, helps solidify it in your mind. 
Build up a log of things you're thankful for, and refer back to it, when you're feeling low.

Stress Reduction Method, Healthy Lifestyle

 Compose and recite affirmations to change self-critical messages you give yourself about your habits, skills, personality, or physical and mental characteristics to positive life affirming ones. See more about positive energy and affirmations here.                                                    
Stress Reduction and Affirmations

Every tiny step we take to improve our self-care routine adds up. Let's be kind, compassionate, and understanding with ourselves as we adopt healthier ways to grow and change. 

I hope my ideas and support help you take as many tiny steps as you need to create serene living! 💓

Which self-care practices do you use to help you reduce stress?

What new ideas for self-care did you learn about in this post, and how do you think they can help you?

Have you used soothing or refreshing colors, nature, or other methods to calm or comfort you? 

Please share feedback in the comments section below. I appreciate and read every comment and love to hear from you. No links in your comments please, because I won't be able to publish them that way. Thanks for your cooperation.

Social media shares are greatly appreciated, and I thank you in advance. 

Please note: this post is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not offered as medical advice.

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  1. Stress can kill the best of us. Thanks so much for linking up with me at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 10, open March 1 to 26. All entries shared on social media if share buttons installed. I invite you to my Themed Linkup 12 for Crock Pot and Instant Pot Recipes, open February 28 to March 10 if you have any appropriate posts. Won’t you join me at my Short Story Prompt Party for fun and creativity? Open March 2 to 9. Just start typing, see what you come up with! Remember, no story is too short! The prompt is: I woke from a long nap to see…

    1. Thanks Dee for the visit, comment, and hosting #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 10. It's such a fun Blog party. Have to pass on the other one. Don't write short fiction.

  2. Stress is no joke. It affects our lives and our bodies. Knowing how to reduce stress is not only nice but necessary in this day and time. TFS

    1. You are so right Clearissa about stress reduction being nice and necessary. Have a relaxing evening and be well.

  3. Stress can be a killer. Great post about reducing stress, happy march.

    1. You're right about stress. The mind body connection is strong. Unless we find healthy ways to reduce stress, we're in big trouble. Thanks for the visit and happy spring!

  4. Stress can not only make your irritable, it can impact our physical health. Lately, I've been really stressed out and I'm going to read through your suggestions for ideas. thanks

  5. Your writing always give concrete ways to improve our health both emotional and physical. Great post! Stress is a killer.

  6. I have a strong morning routine and I always allow myself time to read each day which relaxes me. I also enjoy sitting outside or walking by the lake when it is warm enough. I recognize that self key is key to enjoying your life.

  7. So many great tips and nuggets of advice here, Nancy, for a less stressful and more serene life. I've shared on SM. #MLSTL

    1. Thanks Candi for your kind words and social shares. I appreciate it and wish you a beautiful day!

  8. Really great information here. Thanks for sharing at My Big Fat Menopausal Life's Share the Wealth party. Have a wonderful week!! And happy Spring!

  9. Thanks Helen. It's my pleasure. I so appreciate you hosting Share the Wealth Party and wish you a beautiful day and spring.