This is about retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be. There are lots of ways to prevent stress, and these are a few that truly help me on a daily basis. When I stray from these practices for too long, I’m reminded of how important they are to my inner peace.
“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek
The first order of business in stress-relief is looking at where your beliefs, words, and actions are coming from. Are they coming from a loving place where you want to be doing what you’re doing, or a fearful place where everything is rushed, loud, and forced? Be purposeful about how you spend your days; the more you can love what you experience, the more those experiences become passionate pursuits instead of stressful obligations.
Find meaning in your daily to-dos by learning to be grateful for and open to the lessons. By doing so, you can turn painful experiences into supportive teachers, mundane moments into meaningful opportunities, and stressful ordeals into worthwhile adventures. It’s not about changing what you’re looking at; it’s about seeing familiar things in new ways.
Here are a few ways to prevent stress and participate more fully in creating a life that makes you feel good.
A Few Practical Ways to Prevent Stress
Tend to your breathing.
Remember, you don’t have to figure everything out. Breathe. It’s all going to be okay. One of the best ways to prevent stress is to keep returning to belly breathing throughout the day. Conscious breathing is a practical and accessible tool for relieving stress when it happens, and fending it off before it happens again.
Life doesn’t need to get stressful before you practice deep breathing. When things are going smoothly and the world is calm, practice long, slow, deep breaths. And when you do feel the stress coming, return to the practice.
You may enjoy one of these:
Take a deep breath and trust that there’s peace dwelling in this very moment, and that it’s possible to tap into it.
Exercise promotes the release of endorphins, and endorphins make you feel good not only physically, but emotionally. When you feel good, you’re better equipped to handle stress in a healthy way. When my commitment to movement wavers, so does my ability to ward off stress. It’s so, so important to me (and so, so many others) to stay active in some way each day.
Instead of suffering through stress on a regular basis, try moving your body in ways that are enjoyable to you (it’s important to the longevity of the practice that you find joy in your movement). Yoga, swimming, stretching, going to your favorite group exercise class, going for a walk, taking your pet for a walk, and taking the flight of stairs instead of the elevator are all legitimate ways to prevent stress.
Keep moving, and it’s easier to keep smiling.
Focus on the positive alternatives.
You’re not responsible for everyone and everything in this world, but you are responsible for being a source of light amid the darker things you witness. Bringing darkness to the darkness (i.e. responding to fear with fear, hate with hate, offense with offense) doesn’t make the world an easier place to live in. Fueling what you don’t want by focusing on the negative aspects of the world will certainly not prevent stress, but amplify it.
Positive words and phrases can make all the difference between seeing a situation as stressful and seeing a situation as a lesson/message/call for love. Use positive words such as “can” and “will” and “trust.” Use questions to help you uncover hope and happiness in any situation. For instance, you can ask yourself, “What is this trying to teach me?” or “What would the highest version of me do?” or “How can I love more?”
Optimistic views amplify happiness, longevity of life, healthy relationships, and the possibility of success.
Try this happy challenge to stop complaining for one day. When we pay attention to how we’re experiencing life in the little moments, we’ll probably find that we’re repeating fearful phrases all day long, without even noticing! Take a conscious look at your speech, habits, and behaviors, and contemplate reaching for a higher thought (even if it’s just slightly higher than the darkened belief you’ve been employing). Frustration, for instance, is a higher thought/feeling than helplessness.
Become a little more self-aware of your reactions and perspective, and reach for the slightly higher, slightly more positive alternatives. They exist. Stress has a harder time existing (and it cannot thrive) in a judgment-free state of intentional self-awareness.
- Which of these practices for preventing stress might you try today?
- What thoughts, affirmations, habits, and tools help prevent stress in your life?
Please share what works for you, any insights, lessons, and stress-busting experiences with me in the comments.
Share this post with someone you care about.
Peace on the outside comes from knowing peace on the inside.