Stress is something most of us deal with very often in today’s day and age and unfortunately, this tends to affect longevity. So how do we decrease it if not completely eliminate this damaging feeling?
Research shows that stress is directly linked to a less rewarding and healthy life and increased risk of early mortality.
But what can we really do about it? After all, when you’re stressed all the time, learning about the way it can lead to death is not comforting in the slightest!
- Try to let go of as much as you can.
Anxiety is a huge issue for many and more often than not, it just comes from a sense of uncertainty and situations out of our control.
That being said, Elissa Epel says that an “important strategy is letting go. Being able to step back and just say, ‘OK, this one’s out of my control. I can put the baggage down or drop the rope.”
Naturally, that’s much easier said than done.
However, according to Epel, distancing yourself from the situation and sorting things into ones you can control and ones you cannot, can help a lot with eliminating anxiety.
“Know where to place your energy, and know where to lean back and focus on acceptance.”
For things beyond your control, make sure you focus on letting go and you won’t feel as overwhelmed anymore.
What’s left are the situations you can actually tackle, making the process much more straightforward.
- Try practicing gratitude.
Studies show that practicing gratitude can decrease one’s heart rate, lead to a calmer state and decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression.
“Gratitude is an antidote for stress. Just ask yourself: What are 3 things that I’m grateful for today in my life? They can be small things, big things, relationships, people… Gratitude can actually increase your positive mood immediately,” Epel notes.
- Try to prioritize your time.
Taking a step back and planning your time right is really important.
Try to think whether or not you can switch some plans around in a way that can better serve you.
“Life is much shorter than it feels like, and there is this preciousness to every day. There is so much wisdom in that for thinking about stress because stress is daily—we can either live in it every single day and bathe in a chronic stress lifestyle, or we can wake up and do things to reset our course, to focus on joy, to have moments of ease, to stop the daily rush so that doesn’t become our whole lives,” Epel says.