Live Happier, Less stressful, Live Balanced

Living a life of balance is extremely important for a life with less stress and more happiness. We have a tendency to get caught up in our worries and our routine that we forget to take care of our own self. Here are some simple ideas to “change up” your regular stressed out routine for something that will help you de-stress:

1. Make time for yourself and family, leave your work at the office.
Pull a Doctor Bob Kelso. Each day as soon as he stepped out of the hospital and took his first step onto the parking lot, his face shifted from stressed out disdain for his job to happy and smiling. He was off the clock and ready to relax at home with his wife.

It can be tempting to work on work stuff at home. It is easy to respond to another email or sort through your work stuff for a document. Instead, you will be happier to forget about all your work stuff. Think Bob Kelso, as he says, ” Who has two thumbs and doesn’t give a care…..Bob Kelso.” Dump your work stuff physically and emotionally and forget about it.

Get comfortable at home. Take a bath or a shower, if this helps relax you. Get into PJs or whatever clothes that you are most comfortable in.

2. Spend time cleaning and straightening up. Clutter is stressful. Calm your life by calming our house and canning the clutter. Keeping up with chores, sounds painfully odd, but if you slowly step-by-step clean up after your self and your home, it will be a more calming place to be. After you come in the door, give yourself time to unwind and have dinner, then tackle one chore. Get it out of the way so you can really relax when it’s done.

3. Enjoy one of your hobbies:
A. Have a drink.
B. Read a book.
C. Listen to music.
D. Get outdoors for some light exercise: jog, run, walk, hike, play with the kids or sports.
E. Call a friend
F.Play a game: cards, video games, apps on tablets/phones, crosswords, ect. What ever is stimulating and fun for you.
G. Laugh more. Watch a funny TV show, movie or comedy routine.Laughing 100 times a day is equal to doing a 10 minute rowing exercise!

4. If you don’t feel like cooking, don’t.

5. The old Bob Marley song, “Don’t worry, be happy” comes to mind here. Plan one night a week or every other week to do bills and errands this way you don’t have to worry and stress over finances every night. Relax the rest of the month, you will be happier.

6. Maybe the most important thing to do is to Get a good night’s sleep. Go to bed earlier if you have to. You will want to make your bedroom as comfy as possible. If you need absolute dark to sleep well, invest in blackout shades for the windows. If you need total quiet, put in earplugs before trying to fall asleep. Set the heat or air conditioning to the perfect temp for restful sleep. Study after study continue to show the importance of sleep!

7. My expertise: try a relaxation method.
For some people, yoga is extremely peaceful activity. It combines a lot of other great techniques such as meditation, breathing and light exercise. read this blog to get more ideas for relaxation methods. Today I am going to offer a few:

A. Throw your negative thoughts into the trash (literally)
Write them onto a piece of paper and then throwing it away!

B. Use your imagination to imagine a world that is different, one where you are happier and relaxed.

C. Stop buying possessions, start buying experiences. Spend quality time with those that you love. These earthly possessions do not last anyway!

D. Give/Help People
Volunteer, pay for the person behind you at a store, cook a surprise meal for someone, or give someone a gift outside of Christmas or their birthday. Doing kind acts/helping people, helps you feel better.

E. Train your brain like a monk. Do yoga or some form of mind training. Spend time in meditation. Slow down and learn to relax your body. Meditate on Scriptures!

F. Focus. The age of multitasking is wearing thin on our minds. And science is showing that multitasking does not work as well as we first imagined it would. Did you know that being distracted makes you unhappy? There is a powerful direct connection between focus and happiness. It makes sense though, because to focus is to live in the present moment, which cuts out worry, guilt, and other past regrets or future concerns.

G. Accept life difficulties as a challenge for growth and gain instead of seeing it as an impossible negative situation. This was the focus of my last blog post.

H. Breathing technique: belly breathing.

I. Smile more. Actual practice smiling, real smiles that include your eye socket.

J. Be Thankful for what you have. Be grateful and appreciative to everyone that treats you kindly. Tell people how grateful you are and journal every night about all of your blessings and thank God for them!

References/Resources to check out:

6 Scientific Ways to Live Happier

Ten Simple Things You Can Do to Be Happier, Backed by Science

17 ways to Relax

8 Easy Bodily Actions That Transform Mental Performance

"Worry gives a small thing a big shadow" -Scottish Proverb

When hard times hit, we are trained by this culture to be a victim and to always look out for the dangers and losses. We have two options though. Instead of being worried, when life brings trauma, think of the tough experiences as opportunities for gain. Grab the stress by the horns and take it on as a challenge. Everyday is filled with a number of uncontrollable challenges. We have the opportunity for success and winning.