Well the kids are off now for two weeks of Easter Holidays. The front door bell will be tested as will my nerves and demands on our time and energy are sure to hit some stress points. During a quick trip into Tesco’s for groceries I become aware of noisy kids everywhere, and as I wait in line at the checkout, beautiful people with skin and teeth to match stare at me from the covers of glossy magazines and they make me feel that I should be more goal oriented in my life. It’s all like a massive stress trap.
I try and practice some Tai Chi because for about an hour each day, I can see all this modern life for what it is. Sure, goals are important, very important, but goals to me are just goals at the end of the day and are not my entire life. A human being is not simply some machine trying to reach a destination. We are bones and muscles and hearts and souls and minds with abundant imaginations. We are all connected to everything as we all vibrate with each other and everything else around us each moment of our lives, every moment, so enjoy it. We have a choice to how we live but people fall into stress traps easily. Here are 9 ways on how best to cope with some everyday stress problems.
1. Be Organised
Clutter blocks energy in many areas of our life and few really understand why it’s so necessary to live a clutter free life. Get rid of any clutter in your house, office, car garage, and even the garden shed, and then start on your PC and next your phone and wardrobe…you get the idea…I set myself a small goal of doing a de-clutter every weekend…because if I don’t, I know disorganization just makes more work and wastes time.
2. Reduce Work Related Stress
Making a “To Do” list is great but make it short and concise. Doing your tax return or calling your buddy for that game after work first thing in the morning is a simple choice, so do the hardest task first. Go for a number of smaller victories and just stay in that vibration of achieving important tasks that tie in to your values.
Try not to become semi addicted. If you have to get through your work but need to be in some way reliant on stimulant foods and drinks is only a hollow victory. Also separate work from home, because you will need to get in regular breaks so re-charge so you can function at your optimum best.
Get enough regular uninterrupted sleep and have your bedroom conducive to sleep. It’s not the amount of hours you put into your work it’s the quality of your work that counts in the end. If you do the work you love and love the work you do, stress dissolves.
3. Avoid Financial Debt
Credit cards were the bane of my life for years. These can cripple you fast. Try and pay these off as quickly as possible. Don’t be sucked into attractive financial offers believe me folks NOTHING is free… Talking about special deals, always ask for hidden costs and what if you change your mind. Have a system where you keep a track each month, go through all income and expenditure. Few folk do these simple things when it comes to managing money and stress over money unnecessarily
4. Be Good at Time Management
Set realistic deadlines and realistic goals. A wealthy man told me a few years ago that “Realistic Goals Suck “and he has achieved a lot in his life. Unrealistic goals worked for him but he is not me. I still advocate simple realistic goals, yes, make them exciting but don’t have them consume your life. Also stop calling them deadlines. Don’t over-plan your diary, have some slots free, don’t stretch your time to the limit. Plan quality time for rest and recuperation, be generous with other people but be ruthless with how you manage your own time.
Delegate some work. Share it out, don’t do everything yourself. Get someone to help in areas where you can still keep some control if you need to. Rank priorities according to your own values and importance and what will give you greater and satisfying reward.
5. Say “No” more often.
This works well if you are stressed and it can boost your self esteem and save you long rambling justifications. Practise saying no to other folks demands and refuse requests if you feel they will only lead you to stress…stand up for your self if you feel your rights or your freedom are in any way threatened. Saying “No” ties nicely in with being more assertive…” Yes I am going to walk in there and explain why I should be hired right now. Positive body language and good eye contact helps.
6. Look for Work You Love
High on any list of stressful life events is having no work. Low self esteem and even depression as family lives are forced to adapt new roles which may strain relationships. Looking for a “job” is like working for yourself, because it is a job unto itself. Plan your time even if you have lots of it still plan it well. Visit places like the library and stay as active as possible. Learn a new skill enrol on a course that you would love to do rather than just like to do. This time offers you a chance for self exploration what subject or work that if money was not an issue would you pursue what would you love to do?? We live in a fast changing world that changes everyday and it’s the most exciting time in the history of how we view work. By staying positive and busy you stand a far greater chance of attracting the work you love to do.
7. Surround Yourself with Supportive, Positive People.
They will be times in your life when you need a few solid friends to call on when the chips are down. A job or a family loss or an illness can be hard to go it alone. Don’t be shy to ask for help it will relieve stress in a big way and give you the energy to fight on.
8. Be a Giver
Modern life will have some element of stress to it, we all experience it everyday. When you find yourself a bit down try and look at others who are less fortunate than you. Giving money, time, energy, a card, or even a flower could be all that is required to make someone happy. What energy you give out will return and it is one of the best ways to rise above the petty challenges we sometimes call stress.
9. Get into a Habit of Regular Exercise.
Exercise lowers blood pressure and reduces stress. A simple 20 minute walk will do.
Regular exercise will release hormones, such as endorphins. These are the body’s natural anti-depressants and make you feel great. My top exercises after Tai Chi are Swimming and Cycling. They do not load or stress the joints and score well in relation to stamina suppleness and strength. I would also recommend Yoga for energy stretching and relaxing.
How Tai Chi Can Help You
When we practise Tai Chi we are relaxed and indeed living in harmony with nature. Well that is the, dare I say it, the Goal of Tai Chi. It’s all about seeking a balance in partnership with others as we go through life. While goals and dreams and aspirations are great to have in many areas of life, enjoying every moment of our lives is equally important.
Frank Murphy, is a Tai Chi instructor based in Cork, who offers Tai Chi classes where the emphasis is on health and well-being. He will be holding a Summer time half day Tai Chi Introductory course which is ideal for people thinking of taking up Tai Chi as a regular activity. The first one will be held on the 14th Jine 2014 in Fermoy. If you are interested and would like to book your place contact Frank on 0872704478 and to receive a discounted early bird price, register here.