Stress continues to spread across the country and does not appear to be slowing down especially in younger adults. The American Psychological Association released a survey showing that millennials (those ranging between ages 22 and 39) rate their level of stress at an average of 5.7 out of 10. With the continuous rise of technology and people always “plugged in” to their phones and social media it is tough not to get caught up in constantly comparing yourself or life to the 1.47 Billion people that login to Facebook daily. Carnegie Mellon performed research that found that internet use in general is closely connected to the increase of loneliness and depression.
We have constant FOMO (fear of missing out) and keeping up with the joneses, and it is driving us up the wall. Instead of fulfilling our own lives it seems we are living to match everyone else’s standards. Yet the reality is many of the same people you are trying to impress are just as stressed out as you.
Whether your stress level is a 2, 6, or 9 there are simple solutions to increase the quality of your life, but they require you to focus on yourself first. The most important person to take care is yourself. It makes serving others at the highest level possible more joyful and fulfilling.
Here are three actions that you can implement into your life today to reduce stress and increase the quality of your own life.
#1 Create Your Environment
When we think of our environment, the first thing that comes to mind are usually the people surrounding us on a daily basis. As there are countless studies that show you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with and this is all very important. But we spend even more time in places like your home or office. When we spend time in these areas our minds tend to wander about all the daily tasks or what’s on our to do lists and we forget how awesome we are. Instead of your mind being flooded with stressors, instead flood your environment at home with all the things you love about yourself.
Self-love is the ability to believe that you have value as a human being. What is it that you love about yourself? People tend to sell themselves short of their value. They tend to only see themselves on the surface level like mom/dad, husband/wife or what profession you are in. Instead dig deep and make your statements powerful! Use words and phrases that fire you up. You are not just a mom, you are Wonderwoman of X Household. You are not just an entrepreneur, you are a kick butt leader of a global impacting company. Do not sell yourself short!
Take your statements and phrases about post them everywhere you go in your house or all around your office. Create a constant reminder of how valuable you are! The first step in becoming more is you must see yourself as more.
#2 Go Inside Yourself First
We have been conditioned to believe that we must always put others before ourselves. But if you are constantly giving and pouring out of your cup into everyone else eventually your cup becomes empty. We forget to refill our own glass, and when your glass runs out is why we are constantly stressed out. As parents you are pouring into your kids, as employees you are pouring into companies and as coaches you are pouring into your groups and teams.
The term selfish is usually viewed in a negative way. Yet there are times when you need to be selfish in your life. We need time to ourselves. We need time to recharge our batteries, and the reality of it is you must do this first thing of every single day or have it scheduled at very specific times. If you wait and try to convince yourself you will do it later, life tends to always come up.
The crazy part is that it does not take long. You can find 10 minute meditations and walk away revitalized. You can sit outside 20 minutes with no distractions and just listen. What tends to happen is those 10 minutes turn to 30/45 minutes. That 20 minutes will turn to an hour because you begin to feel the quality of your life changing. Remember if you do not serve yourself first you are doing a disservice to others whether it be your kids or your company.
#3 Take Care Of Your Body
In a world where we live so fast paced but are physically moving less and less. There has been a constant rise of disease, sickness and illness and have been conditioned to believe that the cure for these are pills and prescriptions. We stress over not having enough energy without the understanding that you can create your energy.
Movement creates energy. Movement increases endorphins. Endorphins reduce stress! The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week and 2 days of strength training. That’s less that 22 minutes per day of moderate exercise and then include 2 days of resistance training at a local gym.
Not only is this going to save you money from constant doctor appointments and prescriptions but you are going to feel better. You are going to find more peace, love, joy and happiness in your life. You can not ask for a better deal!
Remember many times it is the smallest shifts in our lives that create the biggest impacts. These are the tools that you must implement on a daily basis. You can not do these one time and expect life to flip upside down. Just like any other skills the more you practice it the better you become. Then you must make them habits and it can take up to 66 days to make something a habit. Do not let stress control your life. Take control because you deserve it!