Whether you’re generally happy with the way your life is going, or you feel like your metaphorical house is on fire, there are plenty of things that you can do to make your life feel a bit easier. With some time, effort, or money, you’ll make every day go by a little smoother.
This is particularly important to do in a time when stress is becoming increasingly prevalent, with more people suffering from it than ever before. Money and work are two of the main causes of this stress, as well as the economy. It’s important to do what you can to reduce the stress in your life in any way you can, for the sake of your happiness and your health.
To get you started, here are some great examples of how to reduce your stress levels.
- Get Insurance
You may already have some form of insurance. Be it work, car, health, or dental, the list is endless. If you don’t have any, you should look at what you would benefit from the most. Life insurance and health insurance are some of the most popular options, as they cover the most important areas of life. However, there are also the insurance policies to protect your possessions, such as a house or car insurance.
If you are uncertain which would be best, use online tools to find the right fit for your budget. There’s plenty available that will provide you with free no-obligation quotes so you can compare and evaluate them.
The main advantage of getting insurance is the feeling of security. You know that in case something happens, you are covered and protected from the worst of it. This can massively help to reduce the stress you are feeling.
With a little luck, you will never need to actually use the insurance, but simply not having to worry about eventualities will ease your life considerably. It’ll allow you to focus on the immediate importance of other issues. You might even be able to start thinking about that trip you’ve been wanting to take or that car you’ve wanted to buy, without any lingering worries.
- Write a will
If you don’t already have one, you should write a will. It doesn’t matter if you still have much of your life ahead of you, or you think you don’t have very many assets – you should do it anyway. Hopefully, it won’t be needed very soon at all. However, by making a will, you’ll have the security and satisfaction of knowing that if something happens to you, everything is arranged – and you can maybe even provide for others.
You may also find, as you go through the process, that you have more than you think – money, possessions, family members. It will also make you think about the future. Granted, it isn’t the most uplifting of topics – however, arranging your will early means that you can be assured that everything is taken care of.
If you do have a will, you may want to look at updating it. Revising it every few years is a good idea – circumstances change and so does your life. A will you made five years ago may hardly apply at all now. Consult a notary or review it yourself – it is important that it is up to date.
- Back to basics
If you’re like most people, you prioritize certain things over others, meaning that some aspects of your life get neglected. Think about what this is for you – cleaning your house, booking an appointment, or making time for family.
It may be one or several things that you are neglecting, but it is important to think about how you can fix it. The idea is to find things nagging at the back of your mind and to get them done. By clearing up your mind, you will feel less stressed and as if a weight has been lifted.
Visits to the doctor are a particularly good example here. Who doesn’t push up the next dentist visit or the next vaccination appointment just a little? Instead, just get it done. You’ll feel relieved and better able to focus on new tasks, while also being reassured that that aspect of your life is satisfied.
A clean bill of health, a steam-cleaned sofa, or dusting the tops of your cabinets – even deleting some old photos you no longer want to keep – will give you that little sense of achievement and help bring some positivity into your mind.
This does not mean to move house, but to be a little more active. It doesn’t have to be training for a marathon, but being more physically active has been proven to reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
Exercise releases endorphins, which are feel-good neurotransmitters that help to relieve stress. Many forms of exercise can help you feel better, from running, to tennis, to yoga.
This is especially important for those in sedentary jobs. Taking time to be active, and maybe even getting some fresh air, is essential for improving health and the feeling of overall well-being.
If you suffer from anxiety or stress, regular exercise can help you deal with those issues. It is no miracle cure, but it does provide a healthy outlet for excess energy. If you do not have the time or ability to make big changes, even once per week can make a huge difference to your health and the way you see life.
- Help Someone
Altruism is a necessity for some, and a chore for others – but it most certainly does make us feel better about ourselves. This does not mean to co-sign a loan for a stranger; it can be as simple as picking something up for someone who dropped something. After you have done this a few times, you’ll find it easier and become more aware of your surroundings. It’s also a great way to socialize with strangers, alleviate anxiety, and improve interpersonal skills.
Kindness doesn’t only improve your own day, but also somebody else’s. Helping others and engaging in charitable giving has a profound rippling effect. To encourage this ripple effect, you could help groups of people rather than just individuals. For example, you could create a fundraiser to help your community or start your own non-profit organization.
Barring that, there is always something simple such as carrying something for someone who can’t or holding a door open. These small acts will still make a difference to someone’s day. Charitable acts don’t always have to make the newspaper headlines!
- Have patience
The road to achievement is a long one, and those without patience and who want to see results immediately may not be willing to walk it. Think of the recent critiques of millennials for being unwilling to “pay their dues” in an entry-level job and jumping from position to position rather than growing and learning.
Those with interpersonal patience generally make more progress toward their goals and are more satisfied when they achieved them – particularly if those goals are difficult.
Research has found that people who exhibit impatience and irritability tend to have more health complaints and worse sleep. If patience can reduce your daily stress, it’s reasonable to assume that it could also protect us from the damaging health effects of stress in general.
Feeling impatient is not just an automatic emotional response; it involves conscious thoughts and beliefs, too. If a colleague is late to a meeting, you can either fume about their lack of respect, or see those extra 15 minutes as an opportunity to get some reading done. In other words, use the time you would otherwise stress in to do something productive and positive for yourself.
- Sort, label, order
Bringing order to your life is one of the most common life improvement techniques recommended. That’s because it works. Most people feel naturally happier in a clean, orderly environment than in a messy one.
Start with smaller things, such as a desk or a drawer, and scale up from there. Cleaning and de-cluttering are very popular ways to put your mind at ease. Not only do many find the actual activity relaxing and freeing, the visible success and improvements will lead you to feel more comfortable and happy in your space afterward.
If you struggle with organizing and clearing out your surroundings, start even smaller – organize your thoughts. Keep a notebook and write down things to do, or ideas you have, and check it regularly. You’ll find that your productiveness and overall happiness will steadily improve over time – even if you never get around to tidying that sock drawer.
Stress can lead to a profound uneasiness that hampers in many areas of life. However, there are measures to take to alleviate the negative feelings – and maybe even turn them into something positive. Whether you choose to tidy, exercise, or organize your insurance and wills, reducing stress will help you lead a happier and healthier life.