7 Keys to Building a Stress-Free Lifestyle

Reducing stress can seem like a monumental task.
How do you get on top of tasks that seem to be getting the best of you?

There are so many things to do in this life. There are seemingly a million things pulling at you from a million different directions. Extracurricular activities turn into over commitment and extra pressure that mounds and mounds and manifests in the form of frustration, indigestion, exasperation, and the list goes on and on.

There is a way to manage your life where you can actually experience more peace, joy, productivity, efficiency, and uncommon fulfillment.

One thing that I have learned over the years is that I must never complain about what I permit. You will either be an owner of your destiny or a victim of your circumstances. It is all a choice. It’s your choice and no one else’s.

One well known international author and speaker was complaining about how busy her schedule was. After complaining and blaming others and some extensive soul searching, she suddenly realized that she was responsible for making her schedule so busy. She is the one that agreed to all of the back to back speaking engagements and television interviews. She is the one that did not make room on her calendar for rest, exercise, and relaxation. She could not blame anyone but herself. What did she do? She took responsibility for her own choices (ownership). She took ownership and refused to become a victim of her own poor planning. She got back to doing one thing; one beautiful thing at a time. She began to schedule rest and recreation into her schedule.

She began to see that she was doing some things just to please other people, even though inwardly she knew she could not afford to over commit. She forgot the power of saying “no”. She forgot to say, “No, that does not work for me, but thanks for asking…No, I will not be able to do what you are asking.” “No” can be such a liberating word. People will actually respect you more if you have the strength and courage to say “no” when something does not work for you.

If you do not make the changes that need to be made in your life, no one else can or will make them for you. Actually, life is only as stressful as we make it. Steve Chandler says there is really no such thing as being overwhelmed; we just need to be bolder and get more focused. Take control of your life, career, business, fitness, family, etc. Be courageous. Be proactive. Be decisive. Be free. Be stress-free.

As you continue your daily quest to reduce stress, remember the following keys:

1) Practice mindfulness.

Stress if reduced when you get into what you are doing. Follow your passion instead of a distraction. When you are driving and in route to your destination, notice every little thing along the way. Notice the color of the leaves on the trees. Notice the person that is crossing the street while you are at the light. Take time to look the cashier in the eyes and give a genuine smile, and say, “thank you”. When you are in a conversation with anyone, give them your total and complete focus. If you don’t really have time to talk, don’t just keep filing papers while someone is trying to talk to you, just politely tell them that this is really not the best time for you. Be mindful of everything you do, it will help to keep you stress-free.

2) Do one thing.

This key that I learned from author Steve Chandler www.clubfearless.net has helped me and so many others. You really never have a million things to do at once; you only have the one thing that you are choosing to do in that moment. You can really only do one thing at a time. It doesn’t matter who you are or what activity you are involved in, you can only do one thing at a time. Even when people say they are multi-tasking, they are really only doing one thing at a time. Make a list of the “million” things that you need to get done, pick one and get it done. Put all of your creativity, all of your energy, and all of your focus into doing the one thing that you have chosen to do. Do it with joy, do it with craftsmanship, and do it with excellence. Feel the satisfaction that comes from completion. Enjoy the satisfaction, celebrate your achievement, and then pick another wonderful task from your list of opportunities to complete with joy and mastery. Doing one thing will help you to stay stress-free.

3) Learn the power of one hour.

Your day, your business, your family, your life really takes off when you learn to give every hour a definite, clear, and concise purpose. Give every hour an assignment. Decide what every hour or a series of hours is assigned to produce. Every 24 hours should produce a measurable product or number of products for you. Even if one of the products that is produced for a specific 24 hours is rest and relaxation, give every hour an assignment. Your life moves forward one hour at a time. Don’t just plan the next 10 months or 10 years, the real power comes in planning the next 10 hours! Learn the power of one hour.

4) Anxiety subsides when you learn to just enjoy the ride.

When I was a child and my parents were driving me and my brothers to wherever they were taking us, I would ask incessantly, “Where are we going? Are we there yet?” The answer was always the same, “Just sit back and enjoy the ride.” That was never the answer I was looking for. Even now, as I take the virtual journey towards the destination of my dreams and goals, I ask myself the same questions that I asked my parents. I ask myself, “Where am I going? Am I there yet?” The answer that rises up on the inside of me is still the same, “Just sit back and enjoy the ride.” I notice that when I stop trying to figure everything out and stop trying to force things to happen out of their proper timing, and just enjoy the ride, the anxiety and stress start to subside. Before I know it, I have arrived at my destination with peace and joy. Anxiety subsides when you and I learn to just enjoy the ride.

5) Write it down.

One personal development author said, “The dullest pencil is better than the sharpest mind.” Stop carrying all of your tasks, and ideas, and responsibilities around in your head. That is not what your mind is for. Use your mind for creativity. Use your mind to drum up creative solutions and strategies. Use your planner, PDA, iPhone, or legal pad to right down your tasks and responsibilities. Once you start writing things down you will notice almost immediately how your stress levels start to significantly decline. The dullest pencil (write it down), is better than the sharpest mind (trying to remember things that you can simply write down for future reference). Write it down and you will not experience the fear and anxiety of feeling that you are forgetting “something”. Write it down and you will be more apt to maintain a stress-free lifestyle.

6) Learn the power of saying “no”.

Be courageous enough to say “no” when something does not work for you. Resist the temptation to do things just to “please” people, especially when it is not in your best interests to do what they are asking. There are certain responsibilities that we all know are inescapable. It is a wonderful privilege to be able to serve your family and help your friends. However, never fear setting healthy and appropriate boundaries. “No” is a very effective boundary word that will help you keep your priorities straight, so that you are giving your time to the people and places that you should. Always remember, giving time to yourself is just as important as the time that you give to others. If you don’t take appropriate care of yourself, then there won’t be enough of you to help anyone else because you’ll be all used up! Don’t let this happen, learn the power of saying “no”, and refuse to allow anyone to send you on pointless guilt trips.

7) Don’t condemn yourself, just make the necessary adjustment.

Everyone makes mistakes including me. It’s called being human. The wonderful thing about being a human is we have the power and ability to acknowledge our mistakes, apologize where necessary, and make the needed changes. There is no need to add labels and stories of guilt, shame, condemnation, and blame to what has happened. You cannot unscramble scrambled eggs, either eat them or throw them away. Feeling bad about spilled milk is not going to help anything or anybody, the best thing you can do is clean up the mess, learn the lesson, and move on. Don’t condemn yourself after making a mistake, be humble and honest enough to admit where you missed it and go on. If someone else can’t seem to forgive you or get passed what you’ve done wrong, after you’ve tried to make it right, that is their problem, not yours. Just move on. Depending on what you’ve done, it may take some time to rebuild trust and reputation, but never the less there is no need to carry guilt and shame with you after doing your best to rectify a situation. Pick yourself up and keep on keepin’ on! Don’t condemn yourself, just make the adjustment.

As you continue to build your stress-free lifestyle, apply the above 7 keys and enjoy a greater sense of fulfillment.

Question: Why do you believe many people seem to experience such high stress levels? What ways have you discovered to effectively reduce your own stress?

Turn Your Setbacks into Accelerated Comebacks,

Craig L. Sanders
“The Comeback Specialist”

P.S. To inquire about Craig's book, "Keys to Manifesting Your Destiny", his coaching packages, or to have him speak at your event, please visit his website: http://www.craiglsanders.com/

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