Beliefnet
Moving Forward With Valorie Burton

In our stress-filled world, it can be easy to become uptight, irritable and just plain unpleasant. But why live that way when you can relax, enjoy life and accomplish more than those who spend their days in a frenzy? Here are five powerful ways to simply relax:

1. Forget perfection

Do you have a hard time relaxing if your house is a mess or things are out of order? One of the best ways to relax is to learn to let go of perfection. The quest for a perfect job, a perfect mate, a perfect life – is a never ending quest that keeps you from relaxing and enjoying life. So what can you do to tame your perfectionism? Be willing to leave some things undone, recognizing that the world won’t come to an end because there are dishes in the sink or your inbox still has work to be completed. Recognize that it’s often the imperfections of a situation that foster growth, laughter and even lasting memories. As you let go of your need for perfection, you embrace the perfect ways in which life lines up just the way we need it, just when we need it.

2. Don’t fight every battle!

Do you sometimes feel as though you are constantly fighting battles? Whether at work, at home or with the rude ticket agent at the airport, make a decision not to fight every battle. There are points in our lives when it feels like the world is against us. It can be natural to put up your defenses and head into battle. But if you stay in that mode, you will find yourself fighting so many battles that you are worn out and continually frustrated. So how do you know which battles to fight?

Ask yourself one simple question:
WILL THE OUTCOME OF THIS BATTLE MATTER A YEAR FROM NOW?

If the answer is “no,” let the battle work itself out and save yourself the energy and stress.

3. Schedule time to do nothing

When is the last time you had absolutely nothing to do? If you’re like most people, you probably can’t remember! For that reason, I invite you to do something very simple for at least a few minutes a day: NOTHING. One of the best ways to decrease your stress level and enjoy the moments that are filled with the many things on your calendar, is to schedule free time just like any other important activity on your schedule. So … go sit on the sofa and daydream for 15 minutes … or stand in the backyard and breathe in some fresh air! You’ll find that doing nothing, can do you a whole lot of good.

4. Breathe!

Are you stressed lately? One of the best ways to tell if you are, is to notice how you are breathing. A basic skill for managing stress and improving your health is easy: breathing properly. Often, when we are stressed or intensely focused, we forget to take full breaths. Breathe deeply, feeling your stomach expand as you do, and then exhale – expelling as much air as possible before taking another breath. A few of these deep cleansing breaths, and you’ll find yourself relaxing much more easily.

5. Take your sleep seriously

Do you hit the snooze button three times before you drag yourself out of bed? There’s probably no better relaxation than falling into a deep and comfortable sleep. Did you know that good sleep means less stress? Studies show that sleep deprivation (regularly getting less than 7-8 hours of sleep) is a major contributor to stress, so here’s what you can do to enhance your sleep habits:

Make your bedroom a sanctuary … clear your clutter, use quality sheets and eliminate noise
Avoid exercise or heavy meals before going to bed
Allow your body to get used to going to bed and waking up at regular times
Go to sleep deliberately rather than falling asleep accidentally every night while watching television or trying to read a book.

Remember, more sleep … less stress!

 

Until next time,

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus