Stress takes a toll on your physical and emotional health, in addition to your overall well-being. In today’s fast-paced world, anxiety tends to creep up without us even noticing. It could be brought on by a work email or a to-do list that seems impossibly long. You could be provoked by a family member during the holidays or a screaming baby who won’t take a bottle. No matter what you’re stressed about, noticing it is the first step to removing it from your life.
Avoiding situations that might trigger anxiety will help you remain calm and better able to tackle whatever comes your way. However, living a stress-free life is much easier said than done. Many people struggle to find effective ways to decompress. And more often than not, we don’t take the time to prioritize our health and happiness. Here are four ways you may not have considered to get rid of stress.
1. Automate as Much as Possible
Automating different aspects of your day-to-day life can be helpful to avoid stress. Instead of putting your brainpower toward mundane, routine chores and responsibilities, you can concentrate on more important tasks. For example, having a debit card with a round-up saving feature is a stress-free way to build your savings. It helps improve your financial situation without you even thinking about it!
Automation can also increase your productivity and leave you feeling like you’ve accomplished more, both at work and at home. Depending on your job, you may be able to use certain digital tools to help with scheduling, organizing, and taking care of payroll. At home, consider setting up a recurring grocery delivery with items you use weekly. This will save you time and prevent you from overspending on impulse purchases at the grocery store.
2. Schedule Multiple Appointments at Once
From haircuts and yearly physicals to dental cleanings and oil changes, life is filled with necessary appointments. If you find yourself stressing over scheduling for these commitments, this tip is for you.
Look ahead on your calendar to find which to-do items require appointments. Maybe your child is due for a checkup, or perhaps your car inspection is expiring next month. Take an hour to book all of your upcoming appointments at once.
Booking ahead allows you to secure the time that works best for your schedule. In addition, you’ll be able to better budget for any accompanying costs. Of course, sometimes things pop up and you might have to book a last-minute appointment. However, by planning ahead, you can retain some control and avoid adding more stress.
Also read: What To Do When You Miss Someone
3. Turn Off Push Notifications
The average U.S. smartphone receives 46 push notifications daily. That is 46 instances of distraction and unneeded stress entering your life every day.
If you have a mobile device, tablet, smartwatch, or computer, you’re probably familiar with these frequent alerts. Apps, brands, and companies send notifications to remind or entice you to open their app or revisit a website. Ranging from weather alerts and text messages to sports updates and shopping reminders, these persistent alerts can significantly increase stress.
Turning off these notifications will help remove stress from your life instantly. Next time you’re in the zone at work, you won’t have multiple interruptions causing needless distractions.
To turn off push notifications, go to “Settings” on your mobile device and scroll down to each app. Then check off the “Notifications” flag to ensure they are turned off. Alternatively, you can use the “Do Not Disturb” mode or the new “Focus mode” on your Apple or Android device.
4. Limit Your News Consumption
Today’s news is an unending, cyclical cause of stress and anxiety. Keeping up with current events in your local community and the world is important and often necessary. However, limiting your consumption can help to reduce stress.
The 24-hour news industry is built to entice you with alarming reports that spike cortisol levels and increase anxiety. During the pandemic, 68% of survey respondents said they felt anxious due to the news, while 65% reported feeling overwhelmed. Scale back on your consumption by deciding how, when, and why you choose to take in this information. Setting time limits or designating a specific part of your day for the news can be a great start.
Avoid checking the news right after you wake up or right before you go to bed. Aim for a time when you’re wide awake and can fully process the information you’re receiving. It’s also helpful to stick to just a few news sources, instead of checking multiple outlets each day. Having a central source will help you limit what you are reading and for how long.
Stress is an inevitable part of life. However, identifying your triggers and taking steps to avoid them will help you regain control and reduce your day-to-day anxiety. No matter what you do to cut out stress, give yourself some grace when you do encounter a difficult situation. It’s important to remind yourself that you are doing the absolute best you can at the moment. Take a deep breath and go conquer whatever lies ahead.