Personal Development

7 Ways to Stay Calm In A Culture Of Stress

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"There is more to life than increasing its speed." – Mahatma Gandhi

Overwhelming, isn't it?

The pace of modern life.

You're drowning in commitments, responsibilities and expectations.

Sometimes you can't even draw breath before another wave of demands engulfs you. You're suffocating and clutching at the hope that you'll hang on and cope.

Dominant-character-traitThat's not sailing through life, that's clinging to the wreckage.

No amount of speeding up or increasing productivity is going to resolve that. The stress has already impacted on your home and work as well as your happiness and enthusiasm for life.

Stressing through every day in overdrive may seem unavoidable, yet it's patently unsustainable.

You may not be able to escape this culture of stress completely, but you can rediscover your inner calm. It's still there, just masked by the white noise of life's craziness.

Quiet the world before your health and happiness become another victim of this culture of strain and strife. Empower yourself with these seven simple de-stressing techniques

1. De-stress your morning world.

Plan ahead: research shows making too many decisions, even small ones, leads to decision-fatigue. It's cumulative. And when you're mentally tired, you get stressed easier. If you greet the outside world already frazzled, you've lost the battle before it's begun.

Fortify yourself against the day's demands by consciously designing your own stress-free morning routine.

Shop for easy packed lunches and set up breakfast and lunch the day before.

Be a closet nerd – hang complete outfits together to eliminate morning dressing stressing and choose an outfit the night before.

Go for an easy care hairstyle to make your morning routine easy peasy.

Empty your everyday bag every night. Put back only the essentials so you can find those keys instantly.

And get a good night's sleep –   the more tired you are, the easier you become anxious and stressed.

"Sleep is The Best Meditation""“ Dalai Lama


2. De-stress your physical world.

Cluttered environments breed chaotic, disordered thoughts. Worry and uncertainty flourish right alongside them. Forever cleaning, maintaining and replacing possessions wastes precious time and energy. Being surrounded by clutter undermines your calm and confidence.

Halve your clutter without fear of loss by getting rid of duplicate items. Keep the best one and donate or ditch any extra versions.

For each new item you buy, apply the "˜one in, one out' rule "“ make space for your purchase by eliminating one thing you no longer use.

Have a place for everything "“ or get rid of it.

Better manage your living space to better manage stress levels.

3. De-stress your digital world

Being connected is both great and necessary. It's hard-wired into how you live. But being over-connected is a major ingredient of stress.

Restrict yourself to receiving   and keeping only the essentials.

Most digital photos are simply an unwanted waste product of digital cameras. Save only those really important memories and delete the rest.

Simplify your contacts – if you haven't heard from them in 3 months, unless they bring you joy, delete them.

Get off Facebook and other social media if all you do is compare yourself negatively to others or check up on your ex.

Unsubscribe from anything you've not opened in the last month.

And unplug at source – turn off your Internet, not your computer, an hour before you go to sleep.

Use your time online to decrease your stress levels, not increase them.

4. De-stress your soul.

Wishing the pressure away won't produce a result but physically getting away from the madness can restore your serenity.

Choose an area of your home as your personal tranquility space. Create an atmosphere that feels welcoming, calm and grounded as a counter to the ever changing, frantic craziness beyond your door.

By creating your own tranquility retreat you can practice proven de-stressing rituals.

Slow your breathe


Center yourself

Just be

In an ever changing world, create a sense of permanence and calm in your own home.

5. De-stress your finances

Stop stressing out your credit card and yourself. Stress feeds on the worry debt brings. Just because there is a culture of overspending, it doesn't mean you have to follow suit. Stand firm against unnecessary expenditure for the sake of your inner calm.

Instigate a shopping ban   by only buying essentials for a month. Then extend it for another.

Unsign from Amazon one-click and any similar online shopping platforms.

Unsubscribe from any 'daily deals' so you aren't tempted.

Avoid contactless payments "“ it makes it seem that small amounts don't matter. They do, they very quickly add up to those large amounts.

Leave your credit card at home and use cash. Take out a certain amount at the beginning of the day or week.

Before buying anything, ask yourself will it bring your more joy than getting out of debt?

Change your route if you go past the shopping mall or store on the way to or from work.

If all else fails, cut up your card and remove your stored credit card details online wherever you can. And remember, there are hundreds of things individuals and families can do for free, you don't always have to pay out.

6. De-stress your social and work world.

Forever saying "˜yes' will result in your peace of mind walking the plank. Trying to do and be everything to everyone is heading your inner calm for a merciless maelstrom.

Taking on more commitments when you are already struggling to stay afloat with your present over-committed schedule will shipwreck your attempts at staying calm.

Don't be pressured to commit on the spot. Consider every request carefully.

Remember doing too much merely ends up as doing a poor job of many things.

Find a polite way to refuse you are comfortable with.

Always include a reason for saying "˜no' to soften the blow.

Saying no more often is a habit that will allow your inner calm to blissfully blossom.

7. De-stress your personal world.

Relationships can be a breeding ground for stress. Petty disputes and misunderstandings suck your mental energy. Friction at home or work can play on your nerves and leave you frazzled.

Does it really matter who is wrong and right? Your health and sanity is more important. Resolve disputes for your sake, not theirs.

Learn to see your loved ones and co-workers' irritating habits as quirky characteristics that define who they are.

Decide you don't have to have your family or anyone else's approval. You can still love them without.

Decide not everyone has to like you. Except you.

Re-claim your sense of calm.
Your forever frantically chasing your tail, juggling a thousand tasks in life's crazy circus.

Be honest. You're so overwound, there's every chance you will actually snap.

And then what?

Take heart. You can step away from the constant stress. You can regain your peace of mind, your sense of control.

Start your own counter-culture of calm.   Defend your peace of mind. Live happy.

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About the author

Mark and Laura

Mark & Laura are on a mission to help you stay calm, de-stress and grow your happiness by simplifying your life. Download their free cheat sheet: 5 Ways To Say No Without Offending Anyone (Even If You Hate Conflict)