There is nothing worse than the feeling of stress. The way it tightly grips your chest, makes you tired and cranky and feels like you are on a treadmill you just cannot stop. Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck!
"No more stress!" you say to yourself - something has got to change! But does it?
With life moving at such a fast pace today, it is normal to experience a certain amount of pressure.
However, once this pressure flips over into stress you are no longer on to a good thing. Pressure keeps you on task and productive. Stress on the other hand is toxic and an indication that you are completely off track from what you are truly wanting.
Negative relationships, poor finances and over-commitment are some of the top causes of stress.
I could spend an entire article on each of these causes but for the purposes of this article I want to focus on being over-committed.
Today we have so many opportunities and it is wonderful. However, to ensure you live a happy and mentally healthy life you need to work out what you want and choose those activities that support your goals. Anything irrelevant and time-consuming, delegate or dump it.
The key is to keep it simple. This doesn't mean boring. It means only doing the things that bring you the greatest joy. Less is more. When you give your all to a few key tasks you will experience greater success and create more of what you want than when you try to do a million things at once.
When we do too much we can't give 100 per cent to everything. For those that try to, the result is stress and overwhelm. This creates burnout and can lead to depression.
So how can we all handle stress in a simple and positive way?
When I feel stressed I know I have deviated from three key activities that keep me sane.
First, power walking.
A one-hour power walk outside in the fresh air, add in a little sunshine and a sea view and wow I'm feeling good! Exercise truly is the number one cure for stress. It clears your head, puts things into perspective, releases the body of all the tension and allows you to come home more level headed and productive than when you left.
Another way to relieve stress is laughter. Laugh at yourself, laugh at the TV, laugh at the cat, laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh. After a few minutes of forced laughter, you start laughing for real (at how ridiculous you are). That's when it works its magic. If you do it around a friend or co-worker, after initially calling you a nut job, they will eventually be taken over by your contagious laughter and start laughing too.
Next minute, you are laughing like crazy people, feeling good and the stress is gone from your thoughts. Done.
Meditation. Can you believe I actually completed a 10-day silent Vipassana Meditation retreat? My friends can't, but I did. It was awesome.
The purpose of meditation is to clear your mind of all thought (because man we think a lot of things during the course of the day and they all affect our emotions and therefore our mood) and focus on your breathing.
It relaxes you, improves mental clarity and gives you control over your life. Twenty minutes a day in a quiet spot and you will be hooked. It is fabulous. Try it!
1.Simplify your life - look at everything you are doing and work out what you really love. Then look at what can be delegated, and what can be dumped.
2.Use common sense - if you cannot take on anything else learn to say 'no'!
3.Work out what is really important to you - know your goals and only take on things that will help you get closer to them. This includes all areas of your life - family, health, wealth and career.
One of my favourite quotes is "Release the body and the mind will follow" and it is so true, especially in the context of living a stress-free life.
Exercise every day. Laugh at your self. Take time out for meditation. We all have 24 hours in a day. Make time for yourself.
A healthy, happy version of you is far more valuable to the world than a stressed-out version.
Choose carefully what you allow into your day and your life. Keep it real and keep it simple. Focus on what you want and feel joy. Focus on what you don't want and you will feel negative emotion.
We are the creators of our own lives, so purposefully create the type of life you want. Go to it!
Be real. Be true. Be you!
# Kim Davey is an international speaker, author and entrepreneur who lives between Hawke's Bay and LA and runs www.nzdancenetwork.co.nz and www.kimdaveylive.com