stress relief http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11645/all en-US 11 Simple Ways to Survive a Terrible Workday http://www.wisebread.com/11-cheap-easy-ways-to-survive-a-terrible-workday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-cheap-easy-ways-to-survive-a-terrible-workday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-511748904.jpg" alt="use these cheap ways to manage a bad day at work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ugh. We've all had terrible, no good, very bad days at work. And they are the worst, if only because you can't just go home, crawl into bed, and wait for the whole thing to be over. Nope. When you have a bad day at work, you have to stay there. You have to keep going, keep being productive, keep moving forward. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier?ref=seealso">Your Stressful Job May Be Making You...Healthier</a>)</p> <p>Since you have to stay, you might as well try to improve your day. Here are some easy, frugal ways to make things better.</p> <h2>1. Acknowledge Your Bad Mood</h2> <p>Whether or not your bad mood is justified, the first step toward improving your day is to admit what you are feeling. Name your emotion, so that it feels more manageable. Are you angry? Sad? Frustrated? Stressed? Embarrassed? Once you know what you're feeling, you can tell yourself that, no matter what, you can turn this day around.</p> <h2>2. Figure Out What's Bothering You</h2> <p>Sometimes it's easy to name a feeling. Other times, you may need to ponder it a bit more. When you are having a bad day because a client or your boss is upset, or a coworker won't cooperate, or things aren't coming together the way you need them to, it's easier to fix it if you know why you're upset. This will also help you reflect upon how the whole issue began, and if something could've been done differently.</p> <h2>3. Listen to an Upbeat Song</h2> <p>Most of us have &quot;mood music&quot; for whatever mood we happen to be in at any given time. When you're down, though, don't give into your desire to listen to your sad, depressing, angry music. Instead, choose something that makes you happy and play that.</p> <h2>4. Focus on Someone Else</h2> <p>Sometimes, the best way to get over a bad day is to do something nice for someone else, even if that other person happens to be driving you nuts. It doesn't have to be something big. Pick up a cup of coffee for your coworker when you go by the break room, or deliver those papers you find at the printer when you pick up yours. Even a little selfless act can help you feel better.</p> <h2>5. Choose Gratitude</h2> <p>You may not feel like you have much to be grateful for, but choose what you do have and focus on it for a minute or two. If you have to start with the clothes on your back, do it. Embracing gratitude can help you remember what is good in your life and turn around a bad day.</p> <h2>6. Find a Funny Video</h2> <p>Laughter makes lots of things better. So find a funny video &mdash; YouTube is free and has millions of them &mdash; and watch away. Letting the laughter roll out of you will cause your brain to release endorphins, which can help <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456" target="_blank">lower your stress levels</a>. Of course, do this on your break time or lunch hour. The last thing you need on a bad day is a reprimand.</p> <h2>7. Embrace the Sun</h2> <p>Getting outside also helps your brain <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290997/" target="_blank">release good chemicals</a>, thus improving your mood. In this case, being outdoors causes a rise in levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is known to help us feel better and more positive. Even if you work in cubicle hell, you can take your breaks and lunch outside and reap this benefit.</p> <h2>8. Take a Deep Breath</h2> <p>Sometimes, all it takes to turn around a bad day is to stop, fill your lungs with air, and refocus. Taking time to breathe will help you focus on the present moment, which will aid you in slowing down the rushing outside world so you can see what is going on in your life and better deal with what is being thrown at you there. Plus, it's really good for your body.&nbsp;</p> <h2>9. Don't Just Sit There</h2> <p>If there's an action you need to take, even if you're dreading it, just do it. Put one foot in front of the other until the thing is done. Send that email, schedule the meeting with your boss, or start the report.</p> <p>And if you can't start the thing you're dreading, do something else. Taking concrete steps to get things done and make things better will make you feel more positive and confident, which will improve your mood and, also, the overall situation.</p> <h2>10. Walk It Off</h2> <p>If you can, take a short walk. Even 20 minutes can help you to feel stronger, happier, and more balanced about whatever is going on. You'll get some endorphins, and the mood boost from those can stick with you for up to 12 hours. And if you walk outside, you can combine these benefits with those that come from being outdoors.</p> <h2>11. Write Your Stress Away</h2> <p>Write down what is bothering you and how you feel about it. This can be as simple as a few sentences on the back of a receipt. This helps you release your feelings in a way that won't cause relational friction at work, because you never have to let anyone else see what you wrote. Writing also gives you a way to evaluate possible next steps, so you can make a decision that is most likely to turn your day around.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cheap-easy-ways-to-survive-a-terrible-workday">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-84-frugal-ways-to-eliminate-stress">Flashback Friday: 84 Frugal Ways to Eliminate Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-job">3 Reasons You Are More Than Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-reduce-workplace-stress">10 Frugal Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier">Your Stressful Job May Be… Making You Healthier?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income frugal stress relievers office stress self-care stress stress relief work stress workday zen Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:00:08 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1872418 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Turn Your Stress Into Money http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-turn-your-stress-into-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-turn-your-stress-into-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_73912007_LARGE.jpg" alt="turning stress into money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you prone to stress and anxiety? Do you believe it's holding you back from being successful in your career and making money? It doesn't have to be this way. In fact, when your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-stress-with-these-28-inexpensive-pastimes">stress and anxiety are properly managed</a>, there may be ways to turn them into positive things for you financially &mdash; like extra cash!</p> <p>Let's take a look at these ways you can turn stress into financial freedom.</p> <h2>1. Channel Your Stress Into Hard Work</h2> <p>Employers don't want their employees to be stressed out, but they do want people who care. So if you have a little bit of anxiety about your work, that could be a good thing. If you can find a healthy way to channel that stress into being productive and conscientious, it will pay off in the workplace. The chemical produced by stress can, at certain levels, actually enhance alertness, memory, and attention.</p> <p>Many managers even say that giving workers a small amount of anxiety can help them perform better overall.</p> <p>&quot;Without anxiety, little would be accomplished,&quot; David Barlow, founder of the <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3025488/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/relax-being-anxious-makes-you-a-good-leader">Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders</a> at Boston University, told <em>Fast Company. </em></p> <h2>2. Turn Your Stress Into Excitement</h2> <p>Stress can be debilitating. But excitement can help you reach new heights. There's a fine line between stress and excitement, but researchers say you can often find ways to frame stress in a positive way. In her paper, &quot;Get Excited: Reappraising Pre-Performance Anxiety as Excitement,&quot; Alison Woods Brooks of Harvard Business School <a href="https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/xge-a0035325.pdf">argues that you can perform better</a> in a situation simply by repeatedly telling yourself, &quot;I am excited.&quot; And the more you do it, the more it helps.</p> <p>&quot;Highly skilled individuals may be more likely to say &lsquo;I am excited&rsquo; before they tackle challenging tasks. In this way, emotional self-statements could operate in an upward spiral process in which successful individuals are more likely to express excitement, and saying &lsquo;I am excited&rsquo; then improves subsequent performance,&quot; Brooks writes.</p> <h2>3. Get a Side Hustle or Second Job</h2> <p>For many people, stressful and anxious thoughts come during downtime. It's hard to worry about things when you're busy at work, and the stressful thoughts may only come when your brain has a chance to think. If this sounds like you, maybe a second job will help you stay busy and keep your mind from wandering into Stress Town. And if you're the type of person who gets stressed about never seeming to have enough money, a second job may be what you need. It doesn't have to be another full-time job. Maybe you can take up freelance writing or design, or a craft. Anything to stay busy, keep your mind off your troubles, and make a little extra money in the process.</p> <h2>4. Become a Good Leader</h2> <p>In his book, <a href="http://amzn.to/29I0g4t">My Age of Anxiety</a>, writer Scott Stossel argues that being anxious can be helpful to people in leadership roles. He said anxious people are more likely to be tuned into other people's emotions and social cues.</p> <p>In their book, <a href="http://amzn.to/29Whaep">Wiser</a><em>, </em>researchers Cass Sunstein and Reid Hastie argue that groups can make the best decisions when they are led by an anxious and detail-oriented person. So who knows? Maybe your stress is your ticket to becoming CEO.</p> <h2>5. Save and Invest Like Crazy</h2> <p>If you are prone to anxiety, you worry about the future. That means you're probably good at preparing yourself financially for the days ahead. You may have cash set aside for every conceivable emergency, and are aggressive about saving for retirement because you stress about running out of cash as you age.</p> <p>If this sounds like you, you're probably in great shape financially and may even become quite wealthy as your investments and savings grow over time.</p> <h2>6. Become a Pet Sitter</h2> <p>If you suffer from anxiety or high stress, there's a lot of evidence suggesting that time with a pet can help you. Studies show that pets can provide the kind of unconditional love that would benefit those with mental health conditions, and may even improve social interactions.</p> <p>Pets can often be creatures of routine, demanding to be walked and fed at certain times. Being forced into that kind of routine may also be helpful to those with stress and and anxiety.</p> <p>What's more, if you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">make money by walking pets</a>, you'll be getting some exercise, which is also beneficial when battling stress.</p> <h2>7. Channel It Into Something Creative</h2> <p>Perhaps you've found that your stress goes away when you play the guitar, or paint, or make pottery. Maybe you feel better when you act or dance. You may think of these activities as mere outlets for your stress, but they can be moneymakers. Make some music and join a band. Sell your artwork. Join a theatre company. Take that stress and go make some dough.</p> <h2>8. Blog About Your Stress</h2> <p>About <a href="http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-anxiety-disorder-among-adults.shtml">40 million adults in the United States</a> suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health. That's a huge potential audience of people who may be looking to get advice, or simply connect with those who are going through similar challenges. Finding ways to write about your stress and anxiety may be therapeutic for you, and if the blog takes off, you can earn a little bit of cash in the process.</p> <p><em>What other ways can you channel stress into money? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-turn-your-stress-into-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-cool-jobs-for-fashion-lovers">18 Cool Jobs for Fashion Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-side-jobs-for-introverts">10 Great Side Jobs for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-a-living-as-an-ebook-writer">Can You Really Make a Living as an Ebook Writer?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-side-benefits-of-your-side-hustle">5 Unexpected Side Benefits of Your Side Hustle</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Extra Income anxiety earnings extra income jobs part-time job side hustle side jobs stress stress relief workplace Wed, 20 Jul 2016 09:00:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 1755547 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 51 Easy Ways to Live a Happier Life http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-easy-ways-to-live-a-happier-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-51-easy-ways-to-live-a-happier-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_car_86320095.jpg" alt="Woman finding easy ways to live a happier life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life is too short to be anything but happy. Sure, we'll all face our own emotional ups and downs, but we should never settle for an extended period of misery if we can help it. Luckily, it doesn't take much to improve one's mood. And since ultimately, happiness is a choice, let's all choose an existence filled with joy, yes?</p> <p>Here are 51 simple ways to start living a happier life.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/happy_woman_smiling_000057527868.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-money-does-buy-happiness?ref=fbf">9 Ways Money Does Buy Happiness</a> &mdash; Contrary to popular belief, you <em>can</em> actually buy happiness. And you don't need to be rich in order to attain that level of happiness. Just be sure to make those happiness purchases smart and responsible, or you'll slip into the dreaded buyer's remorse.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-scientists-say-will-boost-your-happiness-today?ref=fbf">11 Things Scientists Say Will Boost Your Happiness Today</a> &mdash; Who knew taking a nap, or simply going outside could instantly make a person happy? Then again, it is the little things that make the biggest impact. Thank goodness for science, right?</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/chocolate-Dollarphotoclub_63094547.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-that-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness?ref=fbf">7 Foods That Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a> &mdash; It's true! You can eat your way to happiness, apparently. Stick with healthy proteins, brightly colored veggies, and chocolate, and you'll be grinning like a goof in no time.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-happiness-habits-7-ways-to-feel-better-now?ref=fbf">The Happiness Habits: 7 Ways to Feel Better Now</a> &mdash; Sometimes, all you need to be happier is a little movement and organization. Making to-do lists and exercising are excellent ways to reclaim your mood and set yourself up for a brighter future.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/happy_woman_smiling_000016994073.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-today-to-be-happy?ref=fbf">10 Things You Can Do Today to Be Happy</a> &mdash; Don't let those blues drag you down. These are simple ways to turn that frown upside down, and they're also all free!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness?ref=fbf">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a> &mdash; Any exercise can cheer you up, but yoga, dancing, and hiking are just a few that are scientifically proven to do the trick. So get moving!</p> <p><em>What other simple ways can you boost your mood? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-easy-ways-to-live-a-happier-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self">Flashback Friday: 45 Life Lessons You&#039;d Give to Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-70-brilliant-ways-to-beat-the-heat-this-summer">Flashback Friday: 70 Brilliant Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks fbf flashback friday happiness happiness hacks happy happy life how to be happy life hacks science stress relief Fri, 15 Jul 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1752365 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Reasons You Are More Than Your Job http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_time_out_73913133.jpg" alt="Woman learning reasons she is more than her job" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In a society where work means everything, retirement can sometimes lead to depression. Many Americans say they can't wait to retire, but the reality is that among men especially, <a href="http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2014/06/30/the-secret-sadness-of-retired-men">retirement can mean loss</a> &mdash; of identity, values, and more. When a retired person can't attach that identity to something else, he or she needs to find an outlet like gardening, traveling, or the like. Unfortunately, sometimes that feeling doesn't translate.</p> <p>That's why you should make sure that your identity isn't wrapped up in your work, no matter what stage you're at in your career. Don't let it define you, because when it's over, you'll feel lost, and like you don't belong anywhere. You see this played out a lot in sitcoms, when women let the men they're dating determine their identity. It's similar. You want to find your identity and then go after <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-does-taking-a-regular-day-job-mean-giving-up">what you're passionate about professionally</a>, not the other way around. It's hard when you're a fresh college graduate and you aren't sure what your future holds.</p> <p>But there is hope. Here are a few reasons that you should not let your job determine your identity. Just let it be a small part of what fulfills you.</p> <h2>You Have Other Interests</h2> <p>While you should always take pride in your work, you shouldn't let it determine how you feel about your life. The most important parts of your life are the things you love. Whether it be your friends or family or traveling or food, find a passion in something rewarding, but not necessarily financially feasible. You have to find something else that gets you out of bed every morning. And if what you're most passionate about does get you out of bed every morning, make sure you have a balanced life after work.</p> <h2>It Can Always Come to an End</h2> <p>You will never realize that your life is your job until you lose it. When you lose your friends, your after-work activities, and your lunchtime connections, it becomes harder to regain your composure and self-worth. Make time to have hobbies outside of work &mdash; volunteer, play sports, find a church, synagogue, or mosque &mdash; whatever might connect you with others. That way if something does happen, you have a support system to fall back on.</p> <h2>You Have to Put Yourself First</h2> <p>When the company you work for gets mixed up in something or is blamed for something and it hits the press, people think of you. And sometimes if you go to bat for the company, you are entangled in whatever is happening. This has happened to me before, especially when I worked with people who were litigious. Make sure you don't let how people feel about the place you work translate to how they feel about you. Business is just that, and you need to protect yourself, above all else.</p> <p>All of this is hard to stomach because, as Americans, we spend most of our lives thinking about what we want to be when we grow up, what we would rather be doing when we finally do grow up, and how we wish we had done one thing or another after we retire. Live life now, while you still can. Travel, read, and experience new adventures. Don't let your 9-to-5 take over your life, just let it fund your life.</p> <p><em>How do you determine your identity?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier">Your Stressful Job May Be… Making You Healthier?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-reduce-workplace-stress">10 Frugal Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-deal-when-you-work-with-someone-you-hate">8 Ways to Deal When You Work With Someone You Hate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-turn-your-stress-into-money">8 Ways to Turn Your Stress Into Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-work-worth-doing">Find work worth doing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income anxiety career depression job hunting job stress jobs sadness stress stress relief work Mon, 27 Jun 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Jennifer Holder 1738700 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Frugal Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-reduce-workplace-stress <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-frugal-ways-to-reduce-workplace-stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_meditating_work_000078035075.jpg" alt="Woman finding cheap and free ways to reduce workplace stress" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Work stress often seems like a normal part of adulthood. Deadlines, demanding bosses, irritating coworkers, and of course, the dreaded TPS reports can all work together to make your blood pressure spike and your temper rise, even if you love your job.</p> <p>You might think that lowering your stress level at work requires either drastic action, like quitting your job, or an expensive habit, like booking a daily massage. But there are lots of little ways to improve your stress level at work, often without having to spend a dime. And not only will these stress reduction techniques help you to feel calmer and more contented at work, but they will also help improve your productivity.</p> <p>In no time, you'll be back to writing your TPS reports with a whistle on your lips and a song in your heart. (Unfortunately, this might not help your cubicle-mate's stress level.) The next time you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed at the office, try one of these stress reduction techniques.</p> <h2>1. Create an Interruption List</h2> <p>One of the things that makes work feel overwhelming is when you have a sense that you have worked all day without making any progress. This stress-inducing problem comes from the fact that it takes an average of <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/944128/worker-interrupted-cost-task-switching">23 minutes and 15 seconds</a> to get back on task after an interruption. This means you can get to the end of your workday exhausted and with very little to show for it.</p> <p>Though modern technology exacerbates the problem of interruptions, it is relatively simple to turn off the notifications on your email, phone, and instant messaging systems. The more difficult type of interruption to deal with comes from your co-workers who stop by your desk.</p> <p>This is why Stever Robbins, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312662610/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0312662610&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZKCC4F4HRGHBIEIG">The Get-it-Done Guy's 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More</a>, suggests that you institute an interruption list. This is a simple sheet of paper where you jot down the details of the issue your co-worker is bringing to you. You then set aside a half hour to an hour later in the day to deal with the items on your interruption list. Rather than splitting your focus, you give your current project 100% of your attention, and you can later give your co-worker's issue 100%, too. That's a win-win.</p> <h2>2. Sit Up Straight or Strike a Pose</h2> <p>As a lifelong sloucher, I can tell you that hunching over my keyboard and folding my legs into origami on my desk chair feels pretty comfortable. But the way I sit at work can add to my stress.</p> <p>That's because, according to Andy Yap, a post-doctoral associate and lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, &quot;<a href="http://business.time.com/2014/01/22/5-scientifically-proven-ways-to-reduce-stress-at-work/">Your posture influences psychology</a> and that influences behavior.&quot; Sitting in a tight, constricted position makes you feel stressed.</p> <p>This is partially because such positions do not look powerful or confident. Yap's colleague, Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy has found that adopting confident postures &mdash; like Superman's wide-legged, hands-on-hips stance &mdash; has an effect on emotion, behavior, and hormone levels. Cuddy calls these postures &quot;<a href="http://www.people.hbs.edu/acuddy/in%20press,%20carney,%20cuddy,%20&amp;%20yap,%20psych%20science.pdf">power poses</a>,&quot; and they include almost any pose that is space-occupying, open, and expansive.</p> <p>Even if you have to &quot;fake&quot; the confidence or serenity, sitting tall with a straight spine, or adopting the man of steel's favorite pose (while imagining your cape billowing in the wind) for as little as two minutes, can improve your confidence and stress level.</p> <h2>3. Make Every Day Thanksgiving With a Gratitude List</h2> <p>It can be very easy to get sucked down into the misery of day-to-day stress, particularly if your workplace has a high-pressure culture or you have been facing unrelenting back-to-back deadlines.</p> <p>An excellent antidote to these kinds of stresses is taking a moment to feel gratitude for the things that are going well in your life. Practicing <a href="http://www.webmd.com/women/features/gratitute-health-boost">gratitude has mental health benefits</a>, because it has &quot;tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress,&quot; according to University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons.</p> <p>An easy and quick way to do this is to write down a list of things you are grateful for, and post it somewhere you can easily see it. Then, when you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, you can look up and remember how supportive your significant other is and how much you love seeing your dog's wagging tail at the end of each day.</p> <p>You can also make gratitude a habit by jotting a new item down each day.</p> <h2>4. Talk to Yourself&hellip; By Name</h2> <p>Talking to yourself does not mean becoming that person at your job who is always mumbling about his red Swingline stapler or the insufficient cake-to-person ratio at the office birthday party. In fact, you already engage in self-talk, where you might say, &quot;I got this!&quot; right before an important presentation, or &quot;I'm an idiot!&quot; after blowing the presentation.</p> <p>According to psychologist Ethan Kross, however, <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201505/the-voice-reason">referring to yourself in the first person</a> (i.e., <em>I</em> or <em>me</em>) is causing you more stress and sapping your confidence. If you instead start using your name and <em>you</em> when you talk to yourself, you create enough psychological distance to enable self-control and minimize rumination, which Kross describes to as &quot;a handmaiden of anxiety and depression after we complete a task.&quot;</p> <p>Kross explains that &quot;when dealing with strong emotions, taking a step back and becoming a detached observer can help. It's very easy for people to advise their friends, yet when it comes to themselves, they have trouble. But people engaging in this process, using their own first name, are distancing themselves from the self, right in the moment.&quot;</p> <p>So next time you are feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and say, &quot;You can do this,&quot; in the same way you'd tell your best friend.</p> <h2>5. Turn on Some Tunes</h2> <p>Researchers are just now starting to understand the seemingly-magical properties of music, which we have long known to be able to soothe the savage beast. According to recent studies, not only does listening to music regulate several cardiac and neurological functions, but it can also produce <a href="http://www.researchgate.net/publication/51500863_From_music-beat_to_heart-beat_A_journey_in_the_complex_interactions_between_music_brain_and_heart">measurable biochemical stress-reducing effects</a>.</p> <p>Having your favorite songs playing in the background while you work can be one of the most effective methods for reducing your stress level on a regular basis.</p> <h2>6. Make Yourself a Nice Cup of Tea</h2> <p>At the risk of sounding like an overbearing mother in a 19th Century British novel, a cup of tea really can cure all that ails you. Not only have studies found that drinking <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17013636">black tea improves your cortisol</a> (stress hormone) levels, and that green tea works as an antidepressant, but the act of making tea for yourself can help you to feel &quot;cared for.&quot; (Think of Sheldon Cooper's insistence on making a hot drink for someone in distress.)</p> <p>In addition, holding onto a warm cup can help you feel &quot;<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2014/oct/28/hot-drinks-science-tasting-notes">warmer</a>&quot; (as in friendlier) toward your coworkers and place of work. Our brains form judgments about others in the same spot where we process warmth of temperature, so just the fact that you are holding a hot beverage can help to make the world look a little warmer to you.</p> <p>If you're all for the break and the warmth, but prefer a cup of joe over tea, remember that the caffeine in coffee can make your heart race, which is hardly helpful if you're already stressed. In addition, tea is also incredibly hydrating. This is important because stress can cause dehydration, since your adrenal glands are pumping out stress hormones &mdash; including a hormone called aldosterone, which helps regulate the body's fluids and electrolytes. If you're stressing at work, the cup of tea can help keep your hydration in check.</p> <h2>7. Declutter Your Desk</h2> <p>Trying to get something done in a cluttered work environment is not just frustrating when you can't find the latest memo from your boss that you <em>know</em> is around here somewhere. Working among clutter can also raise your stress levels, making it harder to focus on your job.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/opinion/sunday/living-with-less-a-lot-less.html?pagewanted=2&amp;_r=0&amp;hp">UCLA study of 32 families</a> from Los Angeles found that stress hormones spiked while the mothers spent time dealing with their belongings. (This effect was true of every single mother, but not necessarily every father studied). The researchers theorize that physical clutter overloads your senses because it is competing for your attention, which means your performance will be decreased, your stress levels will increase, and your ability to think creatively can be impaired. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a>)</p> <p>Clutter isn't the same for everyone, however, so if you're perfectly comfortable with a fine layer of expense reports and Cheeto dust on your desk, don't worry about living up to someone else's expectation of &quot;decluttered.&quot;</p> <p>If you think better with a clear and ordered space, however, then take a few minutes to clear off your desk and set things in order when you're feeling stressed. Not only will you get a small boost for having accomplished a task, but you'll be in a better place to focus and think creatively about your work.</p> <h2>8. Do Some Coloring</h2> <p>It may feel a little juvenile, but breaking out your crayons, colored pencils, or markers to color in a lovely picture has great stress-reducing benefits for even the most mature of adults. Research has shown that coloring offers the artist a sense of well-being and quietness, while also stimulating the parts of the brain associated with motor skills, the senses, and creativity. And since coloring is a focused, creative, and bounded (that is, it doesn't require you to reinvent any wheels) activity, it can be both soothing and calming for a work-stressed individual.</p> <p>Publishers have gotten in on the message that coloring isn't just for kids anymore. You can find <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1941325122/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1941325122&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=S6VMA7H7MEWHBSYW">coloring books for adults</a> filled with images like mandalas and stained glass windows &mdash; and nary a cartoon character to be found.</p> <h2>9. Watch an Adorable Cat Video</h2> <p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4IP_E7efGWE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>You might remember the recent research out of Japan concluding that <a href="http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0046362">viewing images of cute baby animals increases productivity</a>. But productivity is not the only benefit from such an adorable break from work. <em>Aww</em>-ing over kittens and puppies will also help lower your stress levels.</p> <p>According to research by <a href="http://theconversation.com/cat-lovers-rejoice-watching-online-videos-lowers-stress-and-makes-you-happy-43460">Jessica Gall Myrick of Indiana University Media School</a>, negative emotions are lowered and positive emotions are increased after viewing Internet cat videos. This is true even if you are watching cat-on-a-roomba videos because you are procrastinating. According to Myrick, &quot;even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube&hellip; while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterwards.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Take a Brisk Walk</h2> <p>The connection between exercise and stress relief is well studied. Not only does exercise boost your production of endorphins, which are your brain's feel-good hormones, but the physical activity is a way of realigning your focus away from whatever is stressing you, <a href="http://www.wholeliving.com/133849/walking-stress-relief">similar to how meditation works</a>.</p> <p>What's even better is that you can get these benefits from exercise with nothing more than a brisk 10 to 15 minute walk. No Crossfit, three-mile hike, or pickup game of basketball required.</p> <p>If you can recruit a walking buddy to chat with while you exercise, you'll also reap the benefits of socializing along with the endorphins, and you'll also be more likely to start a long-term stress reduction habit.</p> <p><em>What are other cheap or free ways you de-stress at work?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-reduce-workplace-stress">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-job">3 Reasons You Are More Than Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier">Your Stressful Job May Be… Making You Healthier?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-deal-when-you-work-with-someone-you-hate">8 Ways to Deal When You Work With Someone You Hate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cheap-easy-ways-to-survive-a-terrible-workday">11 Simple Ways to Survive a Terrible Workday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-important-reasons-to-always-call-in-sick-when-youre-sick">8 Important Reasons to Always Call In Sick When You&#039;re Sick</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Life Hacks Health and Beauty job stress stress stress reducer stress relief work work pressure Wed, 16 Dec 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1619708 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Cheap Ways to Beat Stress http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-ways-to-beat-stress <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-cheap-ways-to-beat-stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_meditating_000025216479.jpg" alt="Woman using cheap ways to beat stress" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're dealing with work, school, or family drama, stress can drain your energy and kill your motivation. Everyone deals with stressful situations, and we all have our own way of getting through these hard times. Unsurprisingly, some people rely on retail therapy to calm their nerves and relieve stress. But while shopping might provide a temporary emotional high, spending money you don't have can add to your problem. Instead of pulling out your wallet and going on a shopping spree, here are 13 cheap <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-stress-free-ways-to-stay-productive-on-vacation">ways to beat stress</a>.</p> <h2>1. Go for a Walk</h2> <p>Any type of physical activity is a <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469">stress reliever</a>. Exercise might be the last thing on your mind, but moving around releases endorphins that can boost your mood and improve your attitude. If you feel better, it'll be easier to cope with stressful situations.</p> <h2>2. Declutter Your House</h2> <p>Take your mind off the situation with a much-needed chore around the house. Immerse yourself in a project, such as decluttering your closet, a room, or the garage. Our brains can only focus on one thing at a time, and if you're heavily involved in a project, it might be enough to take your mind off a stressful situation.</p> <h2>3. Meditate</h2> <p>Meditation produces a state of deep relaxation, bringing inner peace and calmness. It doesn't take long and you can meditate anywhere &mdash; while sitting in a chair, lying in bed, or taking a walk. Imagine something that brings you peace and focus all your attention on this image. Some research suggests meditation makes us more resilient to stress.</p> <h2>4. Write in a Journal</h2> <p>Getting your thoughts out on paper is another cheap stress buster. Keeping your feelings bottled up inside can heighten your level of tension. But if you get everything off your chest and write it down, you can uncover the root of stressful situations. You can also record potential solutions to your problems. You might feel less stress once you have a plan of attack.</p> <h2>5. Listen to Music and Reminisce</h2> <p>Put on your earphones and listen to music. Preferably&nbsp;music that brings to mind happy memories, or slow classical music, which helps <a href="http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0070156">decrease stress hormones</a>.</p> <h2>6. Sit Outdoors</h2> <p>A change of scenery might do you good. If you're cooped up in the house and feeling stress, going outside and getting some vitamin D and fresh air can improve your mood and anxiety level. Sunlight can <a href="http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/benefits-sunlight">raise serotonin levels</a>, which helps regulate stress, anxiety, and depression.</p> <h2>7. Color or Paint</h2> <p>Exploring your creative side with art is not only fun but also therapeutic. You don't have to be a master artist or own a lot of art supplies to improve your stress level. A coloring book and some crayons are all you need. This activity takes your mind off your problems, plus coloring takes us back to childhood, a time when most of us were generally stress-free.</p> <h2>8. Let it Out</h2> <p>Whether you have to punch a pillow or scream at the top of your lungs, getting out your emotions and frustrations can provide stress relief. Your stress level can worsen if you keep intense feelings inside, but you might feel better or stronger once you vent your frustrations.</p> <h2>9. Take a Hot Bath</h2> <p>A warm, relaxing bath can calm your mind and relax tense muscles. Add some <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=lavender%20essential%20oil&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;sprefix=lavender%2Caps%2C625&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=FE6QYKWJMVD4LTED">lavender oil</a> to your bathwater, light a scented candle, and play relaxing music in the background.</p> <h2>10. Take a Nap</h2> <p>It's hard to cope with stress when you're physically and mentally exhausted. Go to bed early or take a nap, and then deal with a stressful situation when you're in a better frame of mind.</p> <h2>11. Watch a Funny Movie</h2> <p>Find the most hilarious movie on Netflix or Hulu and laugh away your stress. Laughing and smiling is more powerful than you think. Both activities can stimulate the production of feel-good brain hormones. And when you're feeling good, stress won't get the best of you.</p> <h2>12. Spend an Evening Alone</h2> <p>Maybe you're overwhelmed with everything on your plate at work and at home. If you're getting pulled in different directions and you need time to clear your head, send everyone away and spend a day at home by yourself. Use this time to focus on activities you enjoy. Watch movies all day in your bathrobe, exercise, sleep, or just sit in a quiet house with no interruptions.</p> <h2>13. Get a Massage</h2> <p>Even if it's only for 30 or 45 minutes, a massage session eases tension in your muscles and can release dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins &mdash; improving your state of mind and lowering your stress level.</p> <p><em>Do you have other cheap ways to beat stress that you'd like to share? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-ways-to-beat-stress">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-84-frugal-ways-to-eliminate-stress">Flashback Friday: 84 Frugal Ways to Eliminate Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-38-ways-to-get-more-sleep-tonight">Flashback Friday: 38 Ways to Get More Sleep Tonight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier">Your Stressful Job May Be… Making You Healthier?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-anxiety-from-ruining-your-budget">5 Ways to Keep Anxiety From Ruining Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty anxiety cheap relaxation soothing stress relief Tue, 23 Jun 2015 21:00:19 +0000 Mikey Rox 1460790 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Little Stressors You Can Easily Eliminate Today http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stressed-woman-traffic-Dollarphotoclub_53811864.jpg" alt="stressed woman traffic" title="stressed woman traffic" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Stress is how we respond to life's challenges. And since life always throws us curveballs (especially if you're a Baltimore Oriole gunning for a World Series title&hellip; I'll get over the shutout eventually), a completely stress-free life might never happen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress?ref=seealso">20 Free (or Cheap) Ways to Reduce Stress</a>)</p> <p>But while you can't snap your fingers and wish away big stresses, you can eliminate little stressors that impact your everyday life. Expunging minor annoyances that increase blood pressure and anxiety level may not provide complete peace of mind, but it's a good starting point. Here are six to set you on the right path.</p> <h2>1. Toxic Relationships</h2> <p>Whether it's a so-called friend, a co-worker, neighbor, or miserable relative (you know who you are, <em>Aunt Silvie</em>), some people may drain the life out of you and increase your stress level. You may put up with the abuse because of your history, but the last thing you need is a toxic relationship adding stress to your life.</p> <p>It's a common type of relationship. In fact, &quot;84% of women &mdash; and 75% of men &mdash; said they'd <a href="http://www.today.com/id/44205822/ns/today-today_health/t/toxic-friends-people-endure-poisonous-pals/#.VH4pgofPbzI">had a toxic friend</a> at some point,&quot; acccording to a study conducted by Today.com and Self Magazine. You don't have to banish these people from your life, but to enjoy less stress and more happiness, you have to acknowledge a toxic relationship sooner than later and <a href="http://www.webmd.com/women/features/toxic-friends-less-friend-more-foe?page=3">deal with the toxicity</a>, such as &quot;taking some degree of responsibility for the situation&quot; and setting boundaries.</p> <h2>2. Traffic Jams During the Morning Commute</h2> <p>Nobody wants to deal with bumper-to-bumper traffic (especially if you are not a morning person), and research proves that traffic and your commute can be bad for your health. &quot;It is very stressful &mdash; you have little control over it,&quot; says Dr. David Frid of the Cleveland Clinic. &quot;And it is something, like most stressful situations, that can have an impact on your heart. It can increase your heart rate and increase your blood pressure, both which are very bad for your system in the short term as well as the long term.&quot;</p> <p>Researchers believe that honking and the sound of traffic can trigger elevated stress levels. But if you work outside the home and live in a heavily populated area, major slowdowns are inevitable and a bad start to your day. There's nothing you can do about traffic, but you can minimize its effect.</p> <p>&quot;Leave with enough time so that if a traffic jam occurs&hellip; you're not going to be bothered by it,&quot; Frid says. &quot;If you get caught in a traffic jam, it is what it is. Don't get upset about it. Listen to your (audio) book, listen to the radio.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Long Lines</h2> <p>Whether it's at the grocery store or the bank &mdash; you can't escape long lines. And if you're tired, hungry, and stuck standing in a long line after finishing an eight-hour shift, this might be the thing that pushes you over the edge.</p> <p>Unfortunately, as long as there are people, there will be lines. But this doesn't mean you have to waste time standing in them. Take advantage of time-saving tools created to make your life less stressful. Just about every bank and credit union has a mobile app that lets customers deposit checks from a mobile device (this is one of the best technological advances so far this century, in my opinion). And I recently learned that Walmart (and many other grocery stores) now offers a feature that lets customers grocery shop online. Visit the grocery store's website, select items to purchase, choose a pick-up time (or delivery, in some cases), pay online, and pick up your items from the store's designated area. No lines.</p> <h2>4. Too Much News</h2> <p>After work you may turn on the TV to catch up on the latest headlines. But given how most news isn't good news, after a few programs you may notice your anxiety level rising. This feeling isn't all in your head.</p> <p>A national survey of more than 2,500 Americans conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health found that 1 in 4 participants experienced &quot;a great deal of stress in the previous month,&quot; and the biggest contributing factor was reading, watching, or listening to the news. Additionally, a study conducted after the Boston Marathon bombing found that &quot;people who exposed themselves to six or more hours of media daily actually reported more acute stress symptoms than did people who were directly exposed &mdash; meaning they were at the site of the bombings,&quot; says professor Alison Holman of the University of California.</p> <p>We should stay up-to-date on national and world events, sure. But try limiting yourself to only 10 or 20 minutes of news coverage a day.</p> <h2>5. Perfectionism</h2> <p>We can be our own worst enemy and our own stress trigger. Some people have to do everything perfectly, and mistakes are unacceptable. However, nobody is perfect, and if you're reaching for perfection, you're only going to succeed at stressing yourself out (which is why Xanax is my best friend). Do your best, but know your limits (and I'll try to practice what I preach as well).</p> <h2>6. Too Much Technology</h2> <p>Between smartphones, tablets, and unlimited data plans, you can be connected to the outside world 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But there's a <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3042390/">connection between stress and overuse of technology</a>. And if you can't go 30 minutes without checking your email or text messages, you may experience higher stress levels than someone who completely unplugs.</p> <p>Sure, you may need your smartphone or tablet, but it's okay to set boundaries. Maybe shut down all devices two or three hours before bed to allow your mind time to unwind. This means no playing games, texting, reading blogs, and definitely no paying bills online. It'll be hard to break this habit, but people have put more difficult addictions to rest. You got this if you want this.</p> <p><em>What are some other stressors that are commonplace that we can feasibly avoid? Let me know your suggestions and tips in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-you-can-go-easier-on-yourself">12 Ways You Can Go Easier on Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-reduce-workplace-stress">10 Frugal Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more">6 Little Ways to De-Stress (and Enjoy Life More)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-nervous-tics-you-need-to-stop-right-now">6 Nervous Tics You Need to Stop Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Personal Development relax stress stress relief tension Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1270104 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways You Can Go Easier on Yourself http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-you-can-go-easier-on-yourself <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ways-you-can-go-easier-on-yourself" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/relax-businesswoman-480403371-small.jpg" alt="businesswoman relaxing" title="businesswoman relaxing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I am a perfectionist without end, and I want to do my best at everything I do. I hit a point a couple of years ago, though, when perfectionism had worn me out. Holding myself to high standards had paid off, in some ways. People were seeking me out to write for them, I moved up the ladder at my day job, and I was pouring knowledge and companionship into people in meaningful ways. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-fight-burnout?ref=seealso">5 Simple Ways to Fight Burnout</a>)</p> <p>But I was tired. I was so, so tired. And then I started getting sick &mdash; I was sick for almost two months straight. By the end of that, I'd dropped all the balls I'd been juggling. I struggled through feelings of worthlessness and failure, but eventually I was able to rebuild. And one of the keystones of my new foundation was going easier on myself, learning to let off the pressure so I don't drive myself into the ground.</p> <p>If you're a perfectionist and you don't want to burn out yourself, here are some ideas.</p> <h2>1. Breathe First</h2> <p>Before you do anything that is important to you, take a few seconds to breathe. Even just a few seconds helps me approach my task with calm and focus, rather than with anxiety. I remember why I'm doing it, and that helps me do it with my mind at ease, rather than all stressed out.</p> <h2>2. Single Task</h2> <p>Since it seems that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/multitasking-sucks-even-more-than-you-thought">multitasking is a myth</a> anyway (we are actually switching our attention from task to task quickly, rather than doing everything at once), it makes more sense to intentionally focus on one thing at a time. It also helps our brains recharge because we're going easier on them, even when the tasks themselves are stressful and we are pushing to be our best.</p> <h2>3. Take a Tech Break</h2> <p>It feels good to be connected. It makes us feel important, like we're part of things. However, consuming, sorting, absorbing, filtering, and labeling all that information is exhausting. There's just too much. While many of us must interact technologically for work, we don't have to do it all the time. Intentionally set aside some time to ease these expectations and let yourself focus on something else. Who knows, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/07/us-sleep-technology-idUSTRE7260RH20110307">you may even sleep better</a>!</p> <h2>4. Today, Nothing Is Urgent</h2> <p>Give yourself an easy day, where nothing short of a true emergency is urgent. Email doesn't have to be checked. Deadlines don't have to be pursued. Meetings don't have to take place. Giving yourself this space reminds you that you are in control of your life, inspires you to choose what is and is not important, and offers you a chance to rest.</p> <h2>5. Drop the Shoulds</h2> <p>&quot;Should&quot; is a word that drives us to perfection, but <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-word-you-need-to-get-rid-of-for-a-better-life">it will drive us and drive us</a> to delirium, because nothing is ever enough. Take should out of your vocabulary. Replace it with &quot;could&quot; or &quot;get to,&quot; and you will find yourself resting easier, even about the stressful things. You will be able to choose when to push yourself and how to be healthy about it, without compulsively running from here to there.</p> <h2>6. Treat Yourself the Way You Would Treat Others</h2> <p>If you find yourself pushing all the time, stop and ask if that is how you would treat your mother, your favorite sibling, or your best friend. If the answer is no, figure out how you would treat them and proceed to treat yourself that way, too. Let go when you would let them rest, and your life will become much easier.</p> <h2>7. Stop Every 90 Minutes</h2> <p>Even when you're working hard, you're in the zone, the work is important, and you need to get it done, stop working every 90 minutes. Take a short break; take a walk, go outside, stretch a little. This coincides with <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/opinion/sunday/relax-youll-be-more-productive.html">your body's natural rhythm</a>, and even hard work seems easier when you're not working against yourself.</p> <h2>8. Practice Self-Compassion</h2> <p>While we may strive for perfection, the truth is that we are not perfect and we live in an imperfect world. Instead of beating ourselves up over that, we can begin to accept it as fact and give ourselves compassion when we make mistakes or don't meet our own standards. If you find that you are berating yourself, take a deep breath and consciously offer yourself compassion instead. Something as simple as &quot;I am human. I am not going to be perfect and that's okay,&quot; can change your life if you say it enough.</p> <h2>9. Hire a Housekeeper</h2> <p>Most people who have high standards include their home in that, and then beat themselves up when other projects make it hard to clean. Hire some help, <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2010/02/19/how-i-made-my-peace-with-hiring-a-housekeeper/">even if you feel weak or lazy doing it</a>, and realize that some things don't have to be your job.</p> <h2>10. Take Yourself Out</h2> <p>Give yourself some alone time away from work and home and anyplace else that makes you feel guilty or where you feel like you need to do MORE! and BETTER! all the time. Taking yourself out of the physical space removes many of the triggers of your perfectionism and makes it more likely that you will truly relax and recharge.</p> <h2>11. Decide What Is Important to You</h2> <p>We all have tasks that, for whatever reason, are ours. Work is an obvious one, especially if your job is important to your financial survival. The relationships in our lives &mdash; significant others, parents, children, friends, etc. &mdash; are also important and are clearly ours to work on and in.</p> <p>Many of us, though, take on things that are not ours. Take some time to look at where you spend your time and energy, and determine which of those are things that <em>you</em> really need to be doing. You'll probably find that some are important, some are unimportant, and others are important but really fall more into someone else's realm.</p> <h2>12. Let It Go</h2> <p>When you find yourself stressing over trying to do well with a job that isn't yours, let it go. I found it helpful to actually clench my hands and then unclench them (sometimes under a table or behind my back so no one could see!). Releasing these tasks will help you release the need to do them so well, and you will automatically begin going easier on yourself.</p> <p><em>Have you burnt out or flamed out from pushing too hard? How do you go easier on yourself?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-you-can-go-easier-on-yourself">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today">6 Little Stressors You Can Easily Eliminate Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-happiness-habits-7-ways-to-feel-better-now">The Happiness Habits: 7 Ways to Feel Better Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cheap-easy-ways-to-survive-a-terrible-workday">11 Simple Ways to Survive a Terrible Workday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development perfectionism productivity stress stress relief Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:00:06 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1240622 at http://www.wisebread.com 26 Quick Ways to Have Fun (No Matter Where You Are) http://www.wisebread.com/26-quick-ways-to-have-fun-no-matter-where-you-are <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/26-quick-ways-to-have-fun-no-matter-where-you-are" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/candy-4033433-small.jpg" alt="woman eating candy" title="woman eating candy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you are stressed or tired, bored, or blah, or just looking to make your life better than it already is, having fun makes you happy. However, sometimes you have to be intentional about cultivating fun in your life. While there are millions of ways to have fun, it can be hard to think of these things when you're not at your best. Here is a short list to get you started! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">Free Outdoor Fun</a>)</p> <h2>1. Tell a Cheesy Joke</h2> <p>Even if only to yourself. Better yet, get a small group of friends or coworkers together, have each <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/1sey09/what_is_a_cheesy_joke_that_actually_makes_you/">person learn a different joke</a>, and then share them with each other.</p> <h2>2. Plan a Vacation</h2> <p>You don't have to actually <em>go</em> for this to add to the fun factor of your day.</p> <h2>3. Enjoy a Funny GIF or Two</h2> <p><a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/gifs-that-will-make-you-laugh-every-time">GIFs are great pick-me-ups</a> because they are short but silly.</p> <h2>4. Take a Silly Selfie</h2> <p>If you like the way it comes out, share it with your friends on Instagram or Facebook.</p> <h2>5. Play Pretend With Your Kid</h2> <p>Spend five minutes playing pretend with a child. Take on whatever role they ask you to, even if it means acting like a dinosaur or a bird. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-free-ways-to-entertain-kids-for-an-afternoon?ref=seealso">Free Ways to Entertain Kids</a>)</p> <h2>6. Point and Giggle</h2> <p>Laugh at the funny, awkward things <a href="http://literallyunbelievable.org/">other people post on Facebook</a>.</p> <h2>7. Turn a Cartwheel</h2> <p>If you don't know how, do a somersault instead.</p> <h2>8. Pick a Flower</h2> <p>If you can, pick a small bouquet and put them where you will be able to see them all day.</p> <h2>9. Sing Your Favorite Song</h2> <p>And do it as loud as you can. If you don't have the privacy to do this, close your eyes for a minute or two and pretend that you are singing.</p> <h2>10. Send a Postcard to a Stranger</h2> <p>Join <a href="http://www.postcrossing.com/">Postcrossing</a> to send and receive a random postcard from somewhere in the world. Sometimes, you can even cultivate a pen pal relationship with the person on the other end.</p> <h2>11. Take a Quiz</h2> <p>Determine whether you'd <a href="http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-walking-dead/how-long-would-you-survive">survive a zombie apocalypse</a>. Compare your results with those of your friends, and come up with a long-term survival plan.</p> <h2>12. Learn a New Trick</h2> <p>It's always fun to understand how magic tricks work. So <a href="http://www.goodtricks.net/">learn a trick</a> and perform it for someone. Children are especially enthusiastic about these sorts of things.</p> <h2>13. Get Your Awkward On</h2> <p>Pose (and take) an <a href="http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/">awkward family photo</a>.</p> <h2>14. Learn About the Rest of the World</h2> <p>Play <a href="http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20131206-how-well-do-you-know-the-world-play-geoguessr-to-find-out">Geoguessr</a> and find out how well you know the world. Challenge a friend to a contest.</p> <h2>15. Enjoy a Hobby</h2> <p>Spend five minutes on your favorite hobby. It's not very long, but if you spend five minutes a day, over time you will see progress on a project that you love. See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies?ref=seealso">Awesome Money-Making Hobbies</a>)</p> <h2>16. Turn Up the Music and Have a Dance Party</h2> <p>If other people are around, challenge them to a dance off.</p> <h2>17. Pick a Meme, Any Meme</h2> <p>Find your favorite <a href="http://knowyourmeme.com/">Internet meme</a> and come up with as many captions as you can in five minutes. Get your friends to vote on which is the funniest.</p> <h2>18. Get Pranky</h2> <p>Play a prank on someone. Choose someone who will find it funny. Bonus fun if you start a prank war.</p> <h2>19. Skip to My Lou</h2> <p>Add in a skip every 10 steps. Raise your eyebrows at anyone who gives you a funny look.</p> <h2>20. Go All Out</h2> <p>Exercise intensely for as long as you can. This gets those endorphins flowing, which can help you feel like you're having fun all day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-make-exercise-more-fun?ref=seealso">Easy Ways to Make Exercise More Fun</a>)</p> <h2>21. Celebrate the Little Things</h2> <p>Give high-fives, send cards, or invite someone over for dinner to make the most of a small victory.</p> <h2>22. Play a Game From Childhood</h2> <p>Try Red Rover, Ring Around the Rosey, or Duck, Duck, Goose. If you're alone, try spinning in circles until you fall down.</p> <h2>23. Party Hardy</h2> <p>Throw an impromptu party, even if it's only for five minutes in your cubicle. You can even have a simple theme and ask people to bring candy, make masks, or whatever.</p> <h2>24. Get Your Hands Dirty</h2> <p>Try fingerpainting. Or Play-Doh. Or modeling clay. Spend a few minutes doing something that is both creative and hands-on.</p> <h2>25. Make Water Balloons</h2> <p>Toss them at a friend, see how long you can throw one until it breaks, or have an all-out water balloon war.</p> <h2>26. Go on an Adventure</h2> <p>This can be as simple as trying out a different grocery store, or as complicated as planning a vacation for your family.</p> <p><em>How do you add fun into your day? What do you do when you need a pick-me-up?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/26-quick-ways-to-have-fun-no-matter-where-you-are">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-slow-down-and-actually-appreciate-the-holidays">25 Ways to Slow Down and Actually Appreciate the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cheap-easy-ways-to-survive-a-terrible-workday">11 Simple Ways to Survive a Terrible Workday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies">10 Awesome Money-Making Hobbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-fun-frugal-things-to-do-tonight-besides-watch-tv">25 Fun, Frugal Things to Do Tonight Besides Watch TV</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment General Tips fun stress stress relief Mon, 21 Apr 2014 09:24:19 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1136129 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Ways to Slow Down and Actually Appreciate the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-slow-down-and-actually-appreciate-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-slow-down-and-actually-appreciate-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holapprec-dv1845030.jpg" alt="decorating tree" title="decorating tree" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Christmas is coming. The goose is getting fat. Your hair is turning gray, you can&#39;t sleep, and your ulcers are constantly flaring up. If this sound like your typical holiday pre-show, it&#39;s time to start doing things differently. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-stress-free-holiday-gift-giving">Stress-Free Holiday Giving</a>)</p> <p>Here are 25 ways to slow down and actually appreciate the holiday season with your family and friends.</p> <h2>1. Categorize Your Priorities</h2> <p>Deep down you know what you love most about the holidays and what you despise. On a sheet of paper, make two columns. List what you love on one side and what you hate on the other. Fold the sheet in half with the &#39;love&#39; side showing and focus on those things only.</p> <h2>2. Sketch Out Your Perfect Celebration</h2> <p>Even if you are not a writer, take pen to paper and just freestyle your vision of the perfect holiday season. Jot down things and ideas that you&#39;d like to see happen. By putting your thoughts into words it can be easier for you to turn your ideas into reality.</p> <h2>3. Budget Your Holiday Funds</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holapprec-186582943-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Money is often a huge source of holiday stress, especially when there doesn&#39;t seem to be enough to go around. Figure out just how much you can afford to spend throughout the holiday season (don&#39;t even look at those credit cards!). When the funds run out, understand that is all you have to offer. Keep the budgeted number in your wallet so you can continually be reminded to watch you spending. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-holiday-debt-starting-now">How to Avoid Holiday Debt</a>)</p> <h2>4. Shrink Your Gift List</h2> <p>Free up some money by shrinking your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">gift list</a>. You&#39;ll have the extra perk of not having to shop till you drop to cover everyone on the list. Exchange names with adult family members and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-christmas-gift-ideas-for-kids">spend more on the kids</a>. Tell co-workers and friends you&#39;d rather opt out of gift-giving this year, so you can focus more on your family. Many in your circle will likely be relieved they too can cut back on spending.</p> <h2>5. Gather After the Fact</h2> <p>Buck tradition and hold the annual Christmas dinner with all your friends and family one or two days after the fact when nothing else is going on, and everything is already marked for clearance. Keep the actual day a quiet one with just family but really celebrate with everyone when you can get food, decorations, and gifts at a considerable discount.</p> <h2>6. Opt Out of the Madness</h2> <p>Most people are fully aware of the madness that goes on during the holiday season such as Black Friday shopping extravaganzas. For one year, commit to opting out of the intentional craziness if it is not something you actually enjoy. There is no shame in not getting every single &#39;bargain&#39; being advertised.</p> <h2>7. Cybershop</h2> <p>Use the power of the Internet to find what you need. Save on gas and time by skipping the mall shopping altogether and having the goods come right to your house.</p> <h2>8. Buy Local</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holapprec-144880839-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Stay close to home when doing the shopping. Change your way of thinking by seeking out gift ideas that are readily available from local businesses rather than hunting down items you think you need. Shopping local is a two-fold blessing. You can skip the endless traveling and keep money in your own community by keeping local businesses thriving.</p> <h2>9. Focus on the Kids</h2> <p>It can be hard to believe that the traditional favorite holiday of kids worldwide is the same holiday where grown adults literally throat punch each other for the last toy on the shelf. Work at getting into the mindset of your own children or the kids in your family. Make the holiday effort about making the kids happy and creating lasting memories for them.</p> <h2>10. Select a Central Location</h2> <p>For large families especially, it can be stressful to have to spend the entire holiday season in the car traveling to visit extended family and friends. Opt to go to just one or two places and make plans to meet as many people as possible in one central location. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-flying-during-the-holidays">Ultimate Guide to Holiday Flying</a>)</p> <h2>11. Freeze Your Menu</h2> <p>If you are hosting the family dinner, start preparing the meal early. Make what you can in advance and freeze it. Don&#39;t spend the entire day cooking and cleaning when you should be sitting down and laughing with your family.</p> <h2>12. Adopt Old School Traditions</h2> <p>Take some time to consider your own childhood during the holidays. It likely wasn&#39;t filled with the hustle and bustle and materialism that has become the focus these days. Look through your childhood photo albums and make a point of reviving some old school holiday traditions with your family.</p> <h2>13. Unplug Your Brain</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holapprec-57567999-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>When you are done with work for the holidays, unplug your devices and commit to spending time with actual people. Don&#39;t update your Facebook. Don&#39;t answer work emails. Don&#39;t get lost in the digital world like you do the other 364 days of the year.</p> <h2>14. Reset Your Expectations</h2> <p>There is so much influence about the holidays on TV, in magazines, and at your neighbor&#39;s house, it is just too easy to lose your way. Forget what everyone else is doing for the holidays and consider what you and your family want to do. There is no law that everyone has to celebrate a Martha Stewart Christmas. Keep your expectations in check and make the best of what you have within your family.</p> <h2>15. Stand Firm on &#39;No&#39;</h2> <p>Over-committing yourself during the holidays can make it the most unpleasant time of the year. Don&#39;t be afraid to say &#39;no&#39; to the things you don&#39;t have time to do or just don&#39;t want to do. Understand that not everyone else is going to be Zen this time of year and learn to be okay with enjoying some down time even if other people may feel let down.</p> <h2>16. Reach Out By Phone</h2> <p>When was the last time you had an honest-to-goodness phone chat with close friends or long distance relatives? Take some time to sit with a cup of hot chocolate and reach out to those you love by phone rather than email or text. Relive some of your favorite holiday memories with them to truly get into the holiday spirit.</p> <h2>17. Decorate for You</h2> <p>Deep down we may be a tad bit envious of the head of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-8-money-tips-i-learned-from-clark-griswold-and-christmas-vacation">Griswold household</a>, but when it comes to decorating for the holidays, don&#39;t make it a competition. Do what you can afford to do where lights and trees are concerned. Going overboard for the sake of beating out your neighbors is pointless in the grand scheme of things. Unless a holiday decorating competition is your reason for the season, keep it simple. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/last-minute-stress-free-holiday-decorating">Stress-Free, Last-Minute Holiday Decorating</a>)</p> <h2>18. Tune In for Holiday Specials</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holapprec-100922124-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Print out the television schedule for the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-classic-christmas-videos-online">holiday movies</a> you love most. Make a point to sit down with the whole family, bowls of popcorn, and low lights to enjoy the best Christmas movies ever made. It&#39;s a great way to stay connected to the family and relive a bit of Christmas past.</p> <h2>19. Write Daily Thank You Notes</h2> <p>When the day gets hectic, sit down at the kitchen table and write a thank you note. This is a good way to remember what actually matters. Whether you share the notes with your family or keep them private, it&#39;s a good way to stay in touch with what really matters in your life.</p> <h2>20. Create a Legacy</h2> <p>Go into the holiday with the intent of making it a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/creating-a-memorable-christmas">holiday to remember</a>. Make a point to take pictures and keep a journal with things that happened to make the holiday special. Create a scrapbook for yourself or as a gift for next year.</p> <h2>21. Host Story Time</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holapprec-187401366-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Take time out to sit with the family and reminisce about Christmas past. Tell stories from your own childhood to recapture the Christmas spirit while slowing down to enjoy time spent with your loved ones.</p> <h2>22. Get Away from it All</h2> <p>For a true break, plan a holiday getaway with your family and forego the chaotic traditions of the holidays. Plan early so that all your family members or friends can join you and use gift funds for travel money rather than exchange presents.</p> <h2>23. Count Your Blessings</h2> <p>Take the time, especially during the holidays, to count your blessings and remember what you are grateful for every day of the year. This can help you gain some new perspective on what the holiday season should really be about.</p> <h2>24. Make Good Use of Time Off</h2> <p>Rather than sit back and wonder where your time off went, plan in advance how to use the extra few days off from work for the good of your family. Feeling accomplished after the holiday madness can do a lot of good going into a new year.</p> <h2>25. Get Some Sleep</h2> <p>With the holiday parties and midnight shopping, we often put sleep on the backburner. But a lack of sleep can catch up to you so make sure you get eight hours and take day or two to actually sleep in and veg out to recharge your batteries for a new year to come.</p> <p><em>How do you slow down and appreciate the season?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-slow-down-and-actually-appreciate-the-holidays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/26-quick-ways-to-have-fun-no-matter-where-you-are">26 Quick Ways to Have Fun (No Matter Where You Are)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cheap-easy-ways-to-survive-a-terrible-workday">11 Simple Ways to Survive a Terrible Workday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-turn-your-stress-into-money">8 Ways to Turn Your Stress Into Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free">24 Helpful Travel Hacks to Make Flying Stress-Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Holidays stress stress relief Mon, 25 Nov 2013 10:30:12 +0000 Tisha Tolar 1098678 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/relax-4847933-small.jpg" alt="man stretching arms" title="man stretching arms" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="163" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've had a hard day; things have happened at every turn that made you think &quot;I'm going back to bed to restart the day. Maybe I won't emerge 'til tomorrow.&quot; Of course, you soldier on. But, stressed to the edge of sanity, your patience wears thin. You continue your day with that weight upon your shoulders, chugging expensive coffees and praying for the day to be over already. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-solid-yoga-tricks-to-help-you-relax">Yoga Tricks to Help You Relax</a>)</p> <p>Stress like this needs to be avoided. Not only is it a rotten way to live, it's also detrimental to your health. It can lead to <a href="http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/effects-of-stress-on-your-body">headaches, depression, and more</a>. Thankfully, there are so many affordable, or even free, solutions out there to help you ease the tension.</p> <h2>1. Take Your Pooch for a Walk</h2> <p>Walking is a great way to relieve stress. And if you own a dog, it's a good excuse to get your mutt out of the house to keep you company. If your dog is on the &quot;chubby&quot; side, you'll be doing your best friend a favor, too. And they'll thank you for it. It's far better than the alternative &mdash; sitting on the sofa loading up on ice-cream while your dog does circles on the linoleum. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-pulling-dogs-walk-easy-with-the-easy-walk-harness">Review of the Easy Walk Harness for Dogs</a>)</p> <h2>2. Use YouTube to Learn a New Skill</h2> <p>Self improvement makes us feel good. It's also one of the easiest ways to improve self-esteem. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/">YouTube</a> has hundreds of how-to videos on almost every skill or hobby you can imagine (and even some you can't). From learning a musical instrument to crocheting, photography, model-making, or even pottery, you'll find simple, free instructions online. Other sources include <a href="http://www.instructables.com/">Instructables.com</a>, WikiHow, HowCast, and <a href="http://www.videojug.com/">VideoJug</a>.</p> <h2>3. Declutter Your Home</h2> <p>This is a twofer. Not only is decluttering a good way to take your mind off other things, the end result also leaves you feeling less stressed. Most people hate mess, even if they can live with it. So, grab yourself two plastic shopping bags each day, one labeled Trash and the other Donate. Walk around your home and fill them up. The clearer your surfaces, the clearer your mind. Which brings us to number four&hellip; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life">How a Deep Declutter Can Improve Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>4. Meditate</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/meditate-4847021-small.jpg" /></p> <p>It's not new-age silliness or a passing fad. It's not religious. It's all about self; a spiritual thing that comes from within. We've all heard of meditation and know it's supposed to relieve stress by reconnecting with the present moment and our inner being. If you're unclear about that, you'll know soon. And you'll find plenty of free instruction videos online, including mantras, plus background music if you need a more calming environment.</p> <p>Remember, this takes practice. It's actually quite hard to sit, clear your thoughts, and return to center. But, it gets easier with time. And by clearing your thoughts, and focusing on your body, you're giving yourself some of the best free medicine there is.</p> <h2>5. Get Everything Down on Paper</h2> <p>Or a white board. Or a tablet. Just choose an outlet for your thoughts and exorcise them. Maybe you are feeling a higher sense of stress than your situation should allow. Quite often, you can become overwhelmed by things that, in retrospect, aren't that stressful after all. It can help to sort your thoughts instead of going over and over them in your head again. Get them out, get them on paper, and get on with your day.</p> <h2>6. Talk to Someone</h2> <p>Whether it's a friend, or a doctor or therapist, don't be afraid to seek help. If you're not sure why you're stressed, visiting a doctor could be an especially good move &mdash; your stress may be related to a physical condition, or another kind of imbalance.</p> <h2>7. Take Photos</h2> <p>If you have a Facebook account of your own, or if you visit Instagram or Tumblr, you'll realize that pictures are a wonderful focus on the good things about people's lives. After all, how many people post pictures of themselves looking sad and lonely?</p> <p>So, adopt this &quot;positive photos&quot; way of life. Soon, you will look at your Facebook or Instagram feed and think, &quot;hey, I'm doing great!&quot; What's more, if you make a conscious effort to take photos, you'll start focusing on great things to photograph. You'll look for the good in everyday life, and find those needles in the haystack. Even when it all looks gloomy, there's a beautiful image to capture.</p> <h2>8. Pet Your Pet</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/pet-4961984-small.jpg" /></p> <p>There is <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-22265109">scientific evidence</a> that human beings feel less stressed when they are petting a dog, cat, or other animal. Dogs are used to help rehabilitate wounded soldiers, relieve stress in students, and even make dangerous prisoners feel more at ease. If you own a pet, give your companion a little extra love and they'll return it in spades. If you don't, pay a visit to an animal rescue center. You can visit with dogs, cats and other animals, walk them, pet them, and give them some much needed care. It's a win-win situation. You may even find a new friend to bring home.</p> <h2>9. Clean Your Bathroom</h2> <p>Really? Well, it's not pleasant. If it's anything like the bathrooms in my house, where two kids destroy anything they touch, it's more like cleaning up a war zone. BUT, there are a few benefits to this. First, it's a tough job. You're scrubbing, wiping, getting up and down, sometimes on your hands and knees. You don't have much time to think. Put some tunes on and crank them up. When you're done, you'll feel better about the clean bathroom, and you'll feel like you accomplished something.</p> <h2>10. Listen to Music From Memory Lane</h2> <p>We all have music that transports us back to a time or place when things were so much easier (or at least, they seemed easier). For some of us, it's high school. For others, our days being single and carefree, clubbing it and being completely irresponsible. Well, music can actually make you feel those emotions again. Put on some of those classic tunes from times when stress was not in the picture. You'll even start smelling things from times gone by.</p> <h2>11. Rearrange the Furniture</h2> <p>They say a change is as good as a rest. It's also a great way to take your mind off things, and look at the world through new eyes. Or in this case, from a new bedroom or living room.</p> <p>Rearranging the furniture is exercise, helping you exert energy. It's also really cathartic, giving you a new environment without spending anything more than a little of your time and effort. A rearranged room can make things feel fresh, and with some <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2013/06/experts-guide-to-feng-shui/">Feng Shui</a> added in, who knows? You could even improve your finances or your love life.</p> <h2>12. Soak Up Some Rays</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/beach-vacation-1704211-small.jpg" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/health-benefits-sunbathing-outweigh-skin-1874870">A study by Dermatologist Dr. Richard Weller</a> says that the benefits of sunbathing might outweigh the risks involved. The biggest one &mdash; low blood pressure. Yes, when the skin is exposed to sunlight it releases a compound called Nitric Oxide into the blood vessels. This helps lower blood pressure, which can assist in relieving stress. And let's not forget that Vitamin D is another benefit of sunbathing, which assists bone growth and boosts the immune system. No matter what, just getting outside is a great way to de-stress. (See also: 5<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">0+ Free Ways to Have Fun Outdoors</a>)</p> <h2>13. Concentrate on Your Breathing</h2> <p>It's another form of meditation, but one that doesn't require the same kind of commitment. Whether you're stuck in your cubicle at work, stressing out from another project, or you're at home with the kids who won't stop screaming, you can breathe. In, out; in out.</p> <h2>14. Make Faces in the Mirror</h2> <p>In other words, laugh. Make the time to stop taking life so seriously, even if it's just for a few minutes. Use props. Get some invisible tape out and turn your face into something from an episode of Face Off. It may seem silly (because it is), but even this small departure from reality can make a big difference to your day.</p> <h2>15. Play Like a Kid</h2> <p>How many kids do you know who are stressed out and feeling like life is all too much? Not many, right? Granted, they don't have the pressures and responsibilities of an adult, but they do have something we don't; playtime. From Lego and PlayDoh to jigsaw puzzles and Etch-A-Sketch, there are toys &quot;meant for kids&quot; that are just as fun for big kids to play with. Try it. I keep Lego and other mind-freeing toys in my office. Why should kids have all the fun?</p> <h2>16. Paint. Sketch. Sculpt. Free Your Mind</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/painting-4730493-small.jpg" /></p> <p>You don't have to be &quot;good&quot; at art. Just create. You may be surprised at just how much fun you have. When you're done, you could have some timeless memories for your walls.</p> <h2>17. Break Something</h2> <p>We all have some nasty old crockery in the basement or attic. Or some old ornaments that even Goodwill would be skeptical about accepting. Well, instead of throwing them in the trash, get one final use out of them. Find a place you're not going to do any damage, and throw those things down. Break 'em. Smash 'em. Annihilate 'em. If you've got an old baseball bat (and safety glasses and gloves), and something that needs to be &quot;disassembled,&quot; get to work. It's amazing how much stress you can relieve.</p> <h2>18. Scream</h2> <p>Let it all out. You can drive to a secluded spot. You can bury your face in a pillow (or three if you scream like a banshee). <a href="http://worldpulse.com/node/28602">The benefits of screaming are documented</a>, and yet it's a raw, human response to stress that we have taught ourselves to bury inside. Why? There's no harm in it. You aren't screaming at anyone else. You're just releasing some of the pressure, much like a pressure cooker. And when you're done, and your jaw is tired, and your throat is sore, your head will feel light as a feather.</p> <h2>19. Reduce Sugar and Caffeine Consumption</h2> <p>These stimulants are good at keeping us awake, alert, and energized, but they also fuel our stresses. Did you know that <a href="http://www.tasteforlife.com/nutrition-plus/conditions-treatments/free-yourself-caffeine-nicotine-and-sugar-addictions">just 15 oz. of coffee</a> (that's a Grande from Starbucks) is enough to raise your epinephrine levels by over 200%? Epinephrine is also known as adrenaline &mdash; and that can really pump up your stress levels. Sugar, too, is not your friend. Our bodies often crave sugar when we're stressed, due to a hormone called cortisol. But each too much sugar, you'll crash, gain weight, and have even more to stress about. Dump the coffee and sugary treats.</p> <h2>20. Concentrate on the Good Things</h2> <p>Stress can make us focus on the bad things in life, with blinders on. We don't look at everything that's right in our lives, we just obsess over the bad stuff. One way to get out of this depressing rut is to keep a gratitude journal. A simple <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GP16R0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000GP16R0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20" target="_blank">$2 composition book</a> is all you need. And every day, you should take the time to write at least one thing you are grateful for in your life. Read it at the end of every week. You'll be amazed at how much you have.</p> <p>Remember &mdash; there are many different ways this has been written, but in short: &quot;Other people do not cause us stress. They merely cause or contribute to a situation, and it's our reaction to that situation that causes stress.&quot; Basically&hellip;we all have the power to rid our lives of stress.</p> <p><em>How do you eliminate stress?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banish-stress-easy-ways-to-get-calm-now-and-forever">Banish Stress: Easy Ways to Get Calm Now and Forever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-you-can-go-easier-on-yourself">12 Ways You Can Go Easier on Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today">6 Little Stressors You Can Easily Eliminate Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cheap-easy-ways-to-survive-a-terrible-workday">11 Simple Ways to Survive a Terrible Workday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-pieces-of-emotional-baggage-and-how-to-ditch-them">8 Common Pieces of Emotional Baggage (and How to Ditch Them)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development relaxation stress stress relief Mon, 16 Sep 2013 10:36:04 +0000 Paul Michael 983768 at http://www.wisebread.com Be at Peace in Less Than 5 Minutes http://www.wisebread.com/be-at-peace-in-less-than-5-minutes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/be-at-peace-in-less-than-5-minutes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/be_at_peace.jpg" alt="Peaceful woman" title="Peaceful woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="135" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever caught yourself hurrying when you don't even know where you're going? Do you ever find yourself stressed out when there's no reason to be?</p> <p>We live in a hectic society. Our minds have been conditioned to be stressed all the time. We are told to relax, but there's a problem: We don't know how. You probably don't have time to learn yoga or <a href="http://www.wakeupcloud.com/how-to-meditate-a-guide-for-beginners/">meditation</a>. You probably don't even have time to take a few weeks off, and if you do, all you can do is think about work. It's a vicious cycle that never seems to end. Even though I've never worked a real job in my life, I've found myself stressed and burned out several times.</p> <p>There's a simple, universal secret to being at peace and eliminating stress, fear, and anxiety. It's so simple that you've probably heard about it thousands of times, but dismissed it.</p> <h3>You Are Naturally at Peace</h3> <p>There's nothing you have to do to be at peace. At our core we are joyful. Look at children. When they are born, they're happy, but once they start learning how we &quot;should&quot; behave, they pick up habits and become increasingly unhappy.</p> <p>There's nothing you have to strive for. When you peel away the layers you've accumulated through the years, you'll notice yourself smiling more and enjoying the little things. Sure, your ego will object and say, &quot;Hey, there are lots of things I have to strive for. I need this, that and the other thing.&quot; But when you really look at it, you see that happiness and peace is not external, it's internal.</p> <p>Marketers and advertisers know how to push your buttons. They constantly have you feeling like you haven't got enough, that you aren't enough. It's a science, and they've figured it out. Realize that you do not have to listen to everything your mind says. You are not your thoughts. You are the observer.</p> <h3>Getting Caught in the Drama</h3> <p>Imagine waking up with a smile on your face and not a worry in the world. Sure, you may have things you have to do, but you no longer obsessively think about them. If you make what I am about to tell you a habit, this is not only possible, but probable. You have to <a href="http://www.wakeupcloud.com/the-power-of-consistency/">be consistent</a>, because if you are, you will see results, just like I have.</p> <p>What I'm talking about is gratitude. Being grateful for what you have not only melts away fear, it also alters the way your brain functions. It's easy to get caught up in the daily drama of life, but when you think about it, you have a lot to be grateful for.</p> <p>I know you may have your problems. We all do. It doesn't matter how successful you are, you will always have problems in your life, so why not be happy right now?</p> <h3>How to Be at Peace</h3> <p>We're used to focusing on the negative, and that has to end if you want to be at peace. I'm not telling you to ignore your problems. I'm saying that dwelling on them gets you nowhere. <em>So how exactly can you be at peace in less than five minutes?</em></p> <h3>Focus on What You're Grateful For</h3> <p>Contrary to what you may believe, you can be grateful for pretty much anything. You can even be grateful for the negative things in your life, because the mere act of saying thank you will fill your heart with positivity.</p> <p>Sit down in a quiet place, close your eyes, and take 10 slow, deep breaths. Feel yourself becoming increasingly relaxed and begin thinking about what brings you joy. It may be your health, your family, your friends, or just thinking about the fact that you have a roof over your head and food on your table. We take the simplest things for granted. This is an exercise where you remind yourself that things aren't as bad as they seem.</p> <h3>Consistency is Key</h3> <p>In order to stay consistent with this, you will have to establish some kind of routine. You could keep a special gratitude journal by your bed. Begin by writing down one thing you're grateful for tonight. Tomorrow you can write down two things, and keep going.</p> <p>In the beginning, this may be hard, but if you keep doing it, you will be overwhelmed by the amount of things you can be grateful for. Now it's up to you to take the ball and run with it. This really works. It has been scientifically proven. You have the control to be happier.</p> <p>It may not be easy in the beginning, but look at your options. Do you really want to be stressed out for the rest of your life, or do you want to be at peace?</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Henri Junttila. Read more by Henri at his blog, <a href="http://www.wakeupcloud.com/">The Wake Up Cloud</a>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wakeupcloud.com/discover-your-passion/">How to Find Your Life's Passion</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wakeupcloud.com/most-empowering-post/">The Most Empowering Post You Will Ever Read</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wakeupcloud.com/outgrowing-your-friends/">Outgrowing Your Friends</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/henri-junttila">Henri Junttila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/be-at-peace-in-less-than-5-minutes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-you-can-go-easier-on-yourself">12 Ways You Can Go Easier on Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today">6 Little Stressors You Can Easily Eliminate Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cheap-easy-ways-to-survive-a-terrible-workday">11 Simple Ways to Survive a Terrible Workday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development peace stress relief Thu, 20 May 2010 12:00:03 +0000 Henri Junttila 78471 at http://www.wisebread.com Time to Get Down With Your Inner Zen http://www.wisebread.com/time-to-get-down-with-your-inner-zen <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/time-to-get-down-with-your-inner-zen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/yoga-peace.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="236" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The world is awash in a sea of chaos, a sea that can carry you far off your path if you let it. But you don&rsquo;t have to. You have more control over yourself and your life than you may think. Certainly outside circumstances can be harsh and scary sometimes, economic and personal challenges can pop up all around you, and you can lose a small measure of our confidence as it seems life is swirling out of your control. That&rsquo;s where the pursuit of peace comes in. Inner peace, the kind that comes from inside and shines out of you no matter what&rsquo;s happening. And there are some really great, easy and not-too-expensive ways to relax and rejuvenate without breaking your wallet. <br /> <strong><br /> Tune into the Yoga Scene</strong></p> <p>Adopting a regular yoga practice can calm your monkey mind and cultivate a great sense of peace in you. It can also lower your blood pressure and increase your flexibility. A bonus point is that yoga comes in dozens of flavors, so you can pick the one that suits you best. If you&rsquo;re looking for a gentler and quieter form, check out Hatha yoga, which fosters a deep sense of relaxation and release. Or you can check out Raja yoga, which takes you deeper into self-realization and opens up channels to your inner spirit. For the more active among you, Kundalini yoga is your ticket. With deep and fast movements, this one will rev you up and send you off in the right direction. Then there&rsquo;s Hot Yoga at temperatures above 100&deg; Fahrenheit to warm you up and limber you out. </p> <p>While some traditional yoga classes can get pretty pricey, DVDs can offer the same great workout without the cost. Gather a group of friends together for a once-a-week yoga session. You can support each other and reduce your stress at the same time. Or check out your local YMCA. Memberships are inexpensive and usually include free access to yoga classes. </p> <p><strong>Boost Your Body with Qigong</strong></p> <p>Raise your energy with some daily qigong. This ancient Chinese practice works on increasing the amount of chi, or energy, in your system and directing it toward what you want. Most of the practice focuses on healing the body, but the energy boost you get from qigong pops up everywhere. You find yourself happier for no real reason, relaxed in the midst of a chaotic environment, even Zen-like in the face of a confrontation. That&rsquo;s if you do it regularly and consistently.</p> <p>Slow, smooth movements dominate the practice, so this is only for the most patient among us. The Eight Piece of Brocade is among the simplest series of movements to learn and do, while something like the Hand of the 18 Luo Han can require more practice to master. No matter which one you choose, though, doing them every day will boost your health. Your blood pressure will go down, your circulation will increase and your immune system will improve. Perfect for cold-ridden winter months. </p> <p>As with yoga, a lot of gyms offer qigong classes or you can check out DVDs. A quick call to a local qigong school or a glance through their website can tell you more about the different kinds of qigong. Taking an introductory course to get your started and then doing the practice on your own also works well. </p> <p><strong>Master the Art of Meditation</strong></p> <p>When your mind is racing with a cacophony of houghts and your life is swirling with responsibilities and obligations, it can seem like a luxury to take a few minutes to &hellip; do nothing. Think nothing. To just be. But getting a quiet moment or two in a day can mean all the difference between living on the edge and biting off a loved one&rsquo;s head or responding calmly to things that come up. Because something always comes up. </p> <p>To get started, you can merely sit quietly in a place where you won&rsquo;t be disturbed and watch what your mind does. You can also try one of the many kinds of meditation out there. For instance, insight meditation engages the mind by giving it a specific thought to chew on while you sit. Others, such as Siddha yoga, involve chanting from spiritual texts. The Guru Gita is a famous Hindi manuscript that followers have used for hundreds of years and there are dozens of great places across the U.S. where you can find a meditation group to chant with. One of my favorites is the <a href="http://www.symcseattle.org/">Siddha Yoga Meditation Center of Seattle</a>. Aim for 30 minutes of meditation a day for the best benefits, but start with 10 if your mind operates in overdrive most of the time. Plus, there&rsquo;s no right or wrong way to meditate. The biggest challenge is to find a time and a spot to sit in silence and let your thoughts wash over you.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re looking for group support or a good meditation instructor, check out the local Buddhist temples. You can also search for meditation groups on the Internet. Or check out your local Unitarian Universalist Church, which often hosts a free weekly meditation group. Be creative and try out several until you find one that works for you. </p> <p>Let&rsquo;s get started. There&rsquo;s no time like the present.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sasha-a-rae">Sasha A. Rae</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/time-to-get-down-with-your-inner-zen">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-free-or-cheap-yoga-classes">Where to Find Free or Cheap Yoga Classes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-exercise-mats">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/half-moon-full-wallet-free-online-yoga-videos">Half Moon, Full Wallet: Free Online Yoga Videos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hot-yoga-towels">The 5 Best Hot Yoga Towels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-yoga-blocks">The 5 Best Yoga Blocks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Art and Leisure meditation qigong stress relief yoga Fri, 01 Jan 2010 18:00:13 +0000 Sasha A. Rae 4290 at http://www.wisebread.com