One of the biggest contributors to mental illness and addiction is an overwhelming amount of stress. Whether a person is overwhelmed because they don't have their basic needs met (homeless, low or no income, etc) or if a person is bombarded by the demands at work, stress plays a major role in the level of health a person has mentally, emotionally, and physically. If you want to improve your overall well being, work on reducing the stress in your life.
One way to reduce stress is to prevent it before it happens! Here are 25 ways to do that:
1. Keep a duplicate of your car key in your wallet and keep another duplicate in your garden.
2. Practice preventative maintenance on your car, appliances, and any other piece of machinery you rely on every day.
3. Spend time in the evenings preparing for the next day.
4. Get up 15 minutes early so that your mornings aren't rushed and you have plenty of time to get everything done before leaving for the day.
5. Look for ways to stop being hurried throughout your day. Just because society moves at 60 miles per hour doesn't mean you have to. Take your time and find ways to slow down.
6. Write things down so that you don't have to stress about remembering things. And you'll also avoid the stress of forgetting things by being able to refer back to your notebook.
7. When asking for directions, repeat them back after you've heard them to be sure you got them and to avoid the stress that comes with being lost.
8. Eat healthy so that you can maintain clarity of mind and peace knowing that you're taking good care of your body. This also helps to avoid the stress of being sick and having to frequently visit the doctor.
9. Make sure to exercise. Physical activity is a great way to keep stress levels low.
10. Say "No" to projects, invitations, or requests you don't have time for.
11. Always carry reading material with you so that when you're standing in lines or waiting for appointments, you can relax and be productive with your time. (Versus thinking about the stress you might be under.)
12. Remember to count your blessings. Being grateful for what you have can also greatly reduce stress.
13. Plan ahead. If you're going on a trip or simply buying groceries there are many ways in which you can plan and prepare for future needs. For instance, if you're going on a road trip, fill your tank up with gas the night before you leave. Or if you're going grocery shopping, buy stamps and bottles of water, even if you don't have a need for them yet.
14. Avoid procrastination. When you procrastinate, especially if you leave a big project for the last minute, there is plenty of stress that comes with getting it all done in time. To avoid this, plan accordingly.
15. Spend time with others who don't have a lot of stress in their lives.
16. At least once per day, do one an activity of self-care. This might be taking a hot bath, going for a walk, reading your favorite book, or sipping your favorite tea.
17. Cut your to-do list in half and split it across two weekends instead of getting it all done in one.
18. Look for ways to simplify your life.
19. Do one thing at a time.
20. Get good at creating a plan B. For instance, if you're a parent, you might need to let your kids know, "If I'm delayed in picking you up from school, stay indoors until I call you." Communicating with others clearly can help prevent stress.
21. Forget about trying to fit in with trends. Buy clothes, for example, that are comfortable, easy to maintain, and inexpensive.
22. Do at least one thing you enjoy every day.
23. Unplug your phone, computer, and Ipad while you're taking a shower and eating a meal. Don't let the outside world invade your privacy.
24. Remember to laugh on a regular basis. Watch comedies or look for jokes online and share them with your family and friends.
25. Make sure to get enough sleep at night. A good sleep schedule can make all the difference in your mood.
Stress is the source of many of the worlds' illnesses. If you can stay away from stress by creating a lifestyle that prevents it even before it begins, you're more likely to maintain your emotional, psychological, and physical health