Some things, you can never plan for. No matter how thorough you are you can’t predict the future and sometimes, shit just happens. There are some things, however, you can control. There are things you can do in your everyday life that will improve your quality of life.
I’m definitely not going to claim that I do everything on this list all in one day but over the course of the week I aim to do everything at least once. The main aim of this list is to reduce your stress and help you cope with stressful situations should they arise.
No matter how good you dress, no matter how good you look, no matter how much you earn in a year. It doesn’t mean anything if you are a bad person and don’t help others. This can be as easy as holding the door open for someone, carrying a bag for someone who needs a hand or going out to volunteer somewhere in your free time. You have a great life and definitely always aim to give something back.
There is a high chance that you’re breathing wrong. Crazy right? Did you know when you breathe your shoulders shouldn’t move? To really aid your breathing, you should be breathing into your stomach. Your stomach comes forward and pushes out when you breathe in and when you breathe out you should push your stomach back towards your spine. This will feel very strange at first and you may even go lightheaded the first few minutes as you are changing the concentrations of Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen in your body, so, do this when you are in a safe environment and if you have any breathing problems consult your doctor first. I will write a more in-depth article about this soon!
If there is one thing I try to do more regularly, it would be this. 10 minutes a day at the end of the day or even at the beginning. It’s a great ability to be able to empty your mind and focus on one single thing. I follow the “Headspace” app guided meditations and 10 minutes of focusing on my breathing, the sounds and smells around me, really help calm me down and help me focus on work when I need to or even go to sleep at the end of a day.
Exercise is a two-fold reason (for me anyway). Firstly, it increases endorphins, so your mood improves and it helps your mind. Second, I found it to be the best thing for my confidence and I’ve seen major improvements on how I feel about myself because of it. It’s also A great stress reliever if you’re particularly stressed. Early in the morning works for me in the gym as I find it gives me energy during the day.
Another good outcome out of this is injury prevention, it’s never fun getting injured and, as you get older, they become more likely. But being more resilient in everyday life when you take a trip or a fall? Definitely, a reason to do exercise.
For me, personally, I find stretching is a great help to improve how I feel. The simple act of actively trying to relax while stretching helps relax me. Who doesn’t love a good stretch? I also get tension headaches because my neck, shoulders and facial muscles get really tight, so stretching not only helps me relax but can get rid of my headaches too! Exercising a lot can too, create tight muscles to doing mobility/stretching helps my recovery too.
This. There really shouldn’t be much to say about this one, but overall, your stress levels should try to be kept to a minimum. You may say you work best under pressure/stressed. But would you want to live your entire life like that? All of the tips already provided in this article will help reduce your stress, but I also have another article written here that will give you some further guidance. Reducing your cortisol levels will help in every aspect, better sleep, better workouts, better recovery, better moods.
Education is important. Even if you’re an expert in your field, is there something more you can learn? Your brain will thank you and keep you occupied! Read more books, listen to podcasts, read blogs online. Educate yourself! It’s easy to get into the habit of going to work and doing the same thing, then going home and watching TV and doing nothing else. A good question that I’ve picked up from my listens to Tim Ferris’s podcasts are “if you were to do a Ted Talk on something, what would it be?” This shouldn’t be something you are known for. Educate yourself on something other than your job, give yourself some variety.
Less is more
This is something I’ve been struggling with. Materialism can be addictive as you are searching for the dopamine rush that you get from buying something new, but that means you are constantly looking for something else! Being happy with what you have an appreciating the things you have can have profound effects on how you feel.
Speaking of appreciating what you have. Spend time with your friends, spend time with your family. Make the most of the connections you have with people, human beings are social creatures and we do well in social situations (to an extent). Some don’t feel comfortable in big noisy situations and that’s fine! Spend time with the ones you live in a situation that makes you comfortable. Stress levels go down, endorphin levels rise. It’s a win-win.
Set yourself a challenge. Start small, get bigger. My current goal is competing in December and doing my university work. Paige and I also have another holiday upcoming in December. These are things we can look forward to which is important. Set yourself goals and challenges to keep you entertained and motivated but also to look forward to a reward at the end of it!
Have a healthy week,