Our lives can be busy, hectic and at times overwhelming. Most of us try to decompress and make our lives stress-free, but oftentimes it seems more like a wish than something we can accomplish. It doesn’t have to be so hard. What I’ve learned is that the smallest changes can add up over time and become part of a zen, calming daily routine.
Here are some tips to bring on the Zen…
1. Don’t overcommit and set limits.
If you find that your life is overfilled, you may need to set some limits. Stop doing some of the least important things, the things that honestly don’t matter that much. Set a limit for how many times you will check inbox, Instagram, or Twitter per day. Say no to anything that will overextend you if you really don’t have the time.
2. Find a way to decompress that works for you.
I like working out to release tensions and curling up with a good book. Get in the car and drive with the tunes turned up high. What works for you? Long walks, a run, yoga, meditation, going down to the water, taking a nice hot bath? Find out and do that.
3. Get out of your own head.
Don’t make mountains out of molehills. This can create a lot of unnecessary stress. When facing what looks like a mountain, ask yourself: Does someone on the planet have it worse than me right now? Will this matter in 5 years? These questions help you zoom out and realize that things may not be that bad and that you can handle them.
4. Slow it down.
Your emotions can work backwards too. If you slow down while walking, moving your body or talking, you can often start to feel less stressed (compared to if you move or talk fast). Slowing down to decrease stress goes for many other things you do in everyday life like eating, working at your desk and having a conversation.
5. Unclutter your space and unclutter your mind.
Give yourself just 5 minutes to declutter your workspace or the room you’re in — or start smaller, with just a drawer at a time. An uncluttered, simplified and ordered space around you brings clarity and order to the mind. So don’t stop there. Declutter, simplify and organize your home and life to live in a more relaxing environment.
6. Use a minimalistic mindset.
Eliminate the distractions. Once you have decluttered your space, take pride in the simple things you surround yourself with. Rid yourself of distractions. This will bring you a sense of peace and makes it easier to focus.
7. Be 10 minutes early.
It’s a small habit but it can transform your commutes from slightly or very stressful periods of time to moments of relaxation and recharging.
8. Ask instead of guessing.
Reading minds is pretty much impossible, but we still often try it and create anxiety, uncertainty and misguided conclusions for ourselves. So ask and communicate instead. It may sometimes be a bit hard at first, but it can save you and the people around you so much trouble in the long run. I can’t stress this one enough!
Disconnect or at least limit your internet activity and time on your smartphone. Instead, give your undivided attention to your family, friends, hobbies, or even to nature.
When stressed or lost in a problem, breathe with your belly for two minutes and just focus on the air going in and out. This will calm your body down and bring your mind back into the present moment again.
By implementing even a few of these tips, you should feel more grounded and less stressed, with your new zen lifestyle just beginning to take shape. Namaste.