Reduce Stress by Simplifying Your Life
Stress can wreak havoc on both your mental and physical health. Today, many people are dealing with a significant – and unnecessary – stressor in that they simply have too much “stuff.” Recent studies confirm that individuals who excessively value things over experiences are more prone to developing high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, back pain, chronic fatigue, and a host of other health-related issues. In recognition of this, some people are pursuing “voluntary simplicity” as a way to lead a more meaningful, balanced, and healthy life.
While simplicity can mean different things to different people, it doesn’t necessarily require a frugal existence without material possessions. Here are a few easy ways to reduce your stress level by simplifying your life:
- Declutter the spaces around you – Clean out your home, desk, car, briefcase, backpack, and handbag. Be ruthless. Having neat and tidy surroundings can make your life infinitely easier. When everything is in its place, you won’t have to waste valuable time searching for lost items, or sorting through items you don’t need to get to the ones you do.
- Stop buying things – Purchase and keep only what you absolutely need. Fewer purchases will lead to less clutter, more money in your bank account, and a well-deserved sense of accomplishment, all of which can lower your stress level.
- Reduce your dependency on gadgets – Of course, it’s undeniable that electronic devices can make your life easier in some ways, but it’s still best to get into a habit of powering them down regularly. This will allow you to devote your undivided attention to more important aspects of your life, such as your relationships with others.
- Be grateful – No matter where you are or what you’re doing, it’s always possible to find something to be thankful for. Be sure to pause briefly several times a day to fully appreciate simple things such as a child’s laughter, a warm breeze, or the savory aroma of a home-cooked meal.
- Realize what you have – Stop looking over your shoulder and comparing yourself to others. No matter how good your life is, you’ll always be able to find someone who is seemingly happier or more successful (the operative word being “seemingly”).
- Learn to say “no” – If your life is stressful, you can’t blame your family, job, or other responsibilities. Re-evaluate your priorities and goals and then shift your focus onto the things that matter most. This will involve saying “no” to family members, friends, peers, and bosses, as well as to enticing opportunities and, most importantly, yourself.
- Delegate tasks – Recognize the many trustworthy and capable people around you, and rely on them to help you get things done. Let go of your quest for perfection and stop worrying that things won’t be done “the right way” if you don’t do them yourself.
No matter how you choose to simplify your life, remember: the key is deciding for yourself how much is enough, and then eliminating the rest.
If you’d like some additional health and lifestyle tips from the medical professionals at South Tampa Immediate Care, check out our online series of health articles. Or, feel free to visit our walk-in clinic, which is conveniently located on South Howard Avenue in Tampa, FL.