Stress and overstimulation can leave you feeling frazzled on a daily basis, but it isn’t easy to break the cycle. Life can be stressful, there is not way to avoid it.
However, you can put in the work to mindfully minimize stress by reducing the mental, physical and digital clutter that causes stress and distracts you from living well.
Go On an Information Diet
Feeling emotional highs every time your look at your phone, laptop, tablet, or TV is all too common. And ironically, it turns out that the media that feeds our craving for information is just giving us more of what we have already asked for in terms of our clicks and general online footprint and profile.
To tune out the rage and get to the heart of the matter, try going on an information diet. Instead of reading an online article about someone else’s opinion on a bill, for example, read the bill for yourself to form your own opinion. And block ads using an extension for Chrome, Firefox or Safari so that your visual space is less cluttered so that you can concentrate on the facts.
One of the most stressful things we deal with everyday is a barrage of “urgent” emails. First, change your social media settings so that you only receive a summary of notifications rather than individual emails. Next, instead of spending precious minutes reading and responding to or deleting each email individually, try unsubscribing from unwanted emails using the feature built into Gmail or Outlook.
And for those endless reply-all email chains at work, try muting specific email threads. The emails will be automatically archived for you without ever hitting your inbox unless someone in the thread emails you directly.
Protect Your Financial Security
Money usually scores first place in the race to stress us out the most. To put your mind at ease, try an identity theft protection service to make sure your identity and personal information is protected. With identity theft protection, you reduce your risks of ID theft and may gain some insurance to help you with legal fees and damages in case it does happen.
Surround Yourself with Calm
It’s hard to feel calm inside when your home or office is a hot mess. So try decluttering as a technique for reducing anxiety. Repurpose your used shopping bags by filling them with seldom-used items to donate or recycle. Or corral like-items in matching bins or baskets with labels for a sense of order.
Creating a decluttered environment will help you feel more confident and energized. Plus, it will give you the space and time to light a candle, throw on some music and relax before tackling your next project.
Get all of your thoughts out there before they drive you crazy. Try a bullet journal, a note-taking app on your phone, or a good old-fashioned notebook. This can help you prioritize problems and track day-to-day symptoms of anxiety so you can better control stress triggers. Journaling can also provide an opportunity for positive self-talk to counteract negative thought patterns.
It’s Worth the Extra Effort
No matter which technique you try first, the important thing is to try something. Whether it’s an information diet, streamlined emails, journaling, decluttering, or simple steps to secure your financial life, you’ll soon be on the road to a calmer life.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally?Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
I have accepted that I need time at home to recharge my mental and emotional batteries. That means letting go of the pressure to always be going somewhere, working on something or being with someone.
2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
Lately I’ve appreciated being able to say “no.” Being clear with others about my expectations for my own life helps me keep everything in balance, and I think people appreciate that kind of honesty.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
Turning a run-down, 120+ year old house into a cozy home is so fun and makes me feel powerful. It is (and will be for a while…) a work in progress.
4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
I get really obsessive about details, and learning to let go of those things can be a struggle sometimes.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
Strategic brain. And accept when my husband and I play chess — then it can cause some marital strife!