Life can be exhausting
Life today has become so fast-paced and overloaded with information from all around us. Right from social media, from news networks that are more than we can handle and process, to responsibilities in your own life, with others, and work. All of these things can make us exhausted, for some numb, and for some of us, we slide into an autopilot mode. Never has there been a more appropriate time to think about ways to reduce stress and create balance in our lives.
People work themselves to death to live up to the “dream” that is, the fancy car, the mansion with a pool, maybe even a golf course! the holidays to go for without thinking about every cent that’s spent, the designer clothes, and shoes, you know, the dream life.
However, the journey to acquiring and achieving these things is nothing short of a marathon that’s been compressed into a sprint. The inevitable result is……… yeah what you just said in your head, stress!
It’s no one’s business but yours
The worst thing about all of this is that no one really cares what you’re doing, i.e. no one pauses in the course of the day just to see what you’ve achieved. No one over-concerns themselves with your business!
Maybe a select few might do that but even they wouldn’t spend their time just thinking about your life Yet we are so obsessed with what people think of us. We work extra hard to prove a point, to show just how good our lives are. If we only knew what a waste of time that is.
Creating a balance
We also try to balance our lives. We try to accommodate everything in our already over-scheduled diaries, to be there for the people we care about, to have time for ourselves, and if you’re a Christian, to have time for God, we try to be super-human yet we were never created to be
Perhaps you have mastered the art of balance and your life isn’t spiralling out of control and that’s great but a majority of us are still struggling to live out well-balanced lives.
We all know the saying, less is more and I believe that to be true. It simply means to add quality to your life instead of quantity. It is to do those things that truly matter and that tell your story a lot better.
8 Ways to reduce stress and create balance
Well, in order to reduce stress and create balance in your life here are a few tips:
1. Recognize your personal symptoms of stress
We all have different ways of exhibiting stress or knowing we’re under stress. The most important thing to know is how to identify those symptoms. For some people, they sleep less, for others they experience headaches. Whatever it is, learn to identify your personal symptoms of stress, that way you will be better placed in dealing with it.
2. Notice the symptoms and admit to yourself you’re stressed
It is liberating to not only identify your symptoms of stress but also to just admit that you are stressed. Just ask yourself this question: How many times have I brushed off a stress symptom that I have identified and treated as normal? If your answer to that is once, then you need to learn how to be honest with yourself and admit you’re stressed. Remember, no one is a super-hero.
3. Talk about the stress that you are feeling
If you are feeling stressed, talk about it with someone close to you. It is said a problem shared is a problem half solved. So go ahead, talk about it with someone and no, you are not magnifying it by talking about it.
4. Accept that the situation is difficult for you
The reason you are stressed in the first place is that what you’re dealing with has become difficult for you. As mentioned earlier just admitting and in this case accepting that things are tough on you, is liberating. Accepting it is not a weakness, rather it’s a sign of maturity. It is recognizing your limitations as a normal human being.
5. Be good to yourself
Perhaps you may be saying to yourself, this whole be kind/good to yourself is overrated. Well, I don’t think so. Being kind to yourself is not excusing irresponsible behaviour but it’s cutting yourself some slack.
It is admitting to yourself that you’re not super-human, you’re only a normal human with strengths and weaknesses and sometimes you fall short.
6. Accept yourself for who you are
Even God Himself agrees that your human nature limits you and He accepts you for you. So who are you not to? Accept yourself, you may not be like Gal Gadot in Wonder woman or Ben Affleck in Batman, you can only be you, and no sooner do you admit that, than do you experience feelings of relief and ease.
I offer these 3 simple tips on how to accept yourself:
- Laugh- Even the wisest man on earth agreed that a happy heart is health to the bones. So go right ahead and laugh, in fact, I dare you to laugh at yourself!
- Lower expectations of yourself – You’re not perfect, you’re only human.
- Admit your mistakes and weaknesses- Just like any other normal human being, you too make mistakes and have weaknesses.
7. Foster your relationship with God
I can’t begin to emphasize the importance of this point. In being a Christian, your relationship with God is your anchor and foundation. If God is not your source of meaning and worth, then you will need to re-evaluate your life, because nothing and no one can give you a sense of meaning, purpose, and worth, except God.
Commit to working on your relationship with God, and just like any other relationship, it requires time and dedication.
8. Ground your identity in God
If you didn’t get the last six points, which are still important, the last two, i.e. point 7 and 8 are exceedingly crucial.
One of the biggest issues in today’s world has to do with identity. Just knowing who you are is a key component to enjoying a happy and satisfied life. Even more, important is knowing who you belong to. Knowing that you belong to God is everything.
God is your maker and because He is, it makes all the sense in the world to ground your identity in Him. If you do not know God, i.e. if you do not have a personal relationship with Him, it’s about time that you do. I invite you to let God into your life and see the slow but sure changes that will happen inside of you.
It is my hope and prayer that these tips will come in handy especially on those crazy days. Above all else, remember you’re only a human being and not a super-hero, so stop trying to do it all and just do the best you can. Enjoy yourself and seek to live a stress-free life.