Here are some quick and easy ways to relieve stress.
1. One of the most important things you can do is to stop and remind yourself that life is not a fire drill, this is not an emergency, you are not trapped behind enemy lines. You will live through this day and life will go on, no matter what you do or don’t do today.
Much of the stress we suffer from is self-imposed. We have this idea of the perfect way that something “should” be done. Cut yourself some slack and keep in mind that it is okay to be human and there is nothing wrong with imperfection. Your third grade English teacher is not here wagging her finger at you. It is fine to be idealistic, but balance that with being realistic too.
2. Give yourself more time. A great deal of stress comes from deadlines and ticking clocks. That is why they add a deadline in thriller movies. If the hero doesn’t get to the tower in ten minutes the world could end. It is the same way in sports. The clock ticks and the drama level rises. In your own life you can lower your stress by giving yourself more time.
One way is to get up a little earlier in the morning. Leave the house earlier when you go someplace. Ask for more time than you need when you promise to get something done. Always add some buffer time into your schedule. That buffer is your stress relief zone.
3. Prioritize, but not in the way you might think. Prioritize by asking yourself what matters in the long run. If you are in the supermarket line and the person in front of you is holding you up when you are already late… just ask yourself, “Does this really matter, in the long run?” Probably not. So take a deep breath and while you wait you can laugh at those fake headlines on the gossip mags.
4. Look for the lesson that you can learn from every problem. When something or someone starts getting on my nerves I try to remember to stop and ask myself “What can I learn from this?” That way no time is wasted time. Stressful situations can be great teachers of important lessons. Once in a while when life slaps me in the face I just shake my head and say “Well I’m a bit wiser now, and I won’t ever make that mistake again.”
5. If this was your last day to live, would you be letting that trivial problem cause you any stress at all? Heck no you would not waste even one moment of your last day alive by worrying about some nonsense that does not really matter. The sobering truth is, you actually could die today. So could I. There is no guarantee in life.
The Wisdom of Bruce Lee
When I was a teenager I studied Jeet Kune Do with Steve Golden, he is one of the very few people personally trained by the legendary Bruce Lee. He was a big fan of Bruce Lee, of course, and I soon became one too. I read a book of the wisdom of Bruce Lee and I once visited his grave in Seattle to pay my respects.