11 September 2019

Lawrence Jones walking in Balearics: How to remove stress from your lifeThere is no need to recover from stress if you work out how to avoid it in the first place.

Think about that for a moment. How incredible would your life be if you invested the energy that you put into recovering from stress into avoiding it altogether?

I have spent years trying to perfect this formula, and continue to do so to this day. Now I have it down to just two key components. They’re incredibly simple but I cannot even begin to adequately describe the impact these two things have had on mine and my family’s lives.

The first of those is gratitude.

Gratitude

It is impossible to feel two emotions at the same time. However, when you’re unhappy or stressed, it is impossible to conjure up happiness in an instant. Yet, there is one way to feel better: gratitude. When you stop to think about how lucky you are to be alive, to be breathing, you realise that the negativity is a moment in time that will inevitably pass.

This is something that I taught myself having been caught in an avalanche accident almost 20 years ago. Being given a new lease of life taught me that every single moment of every single day is a gift; the air we breathe, the light we see and the most basic elements of everyday life.

When you stop to look at how far you’ve come, how fortunate you are to be who you are and where you are, it is hard to feel stressed. There are different ways to do this, you could dedicate a few moments of the day to gratitude, or you could write down three things that you are grateful for at the start of the end of each day. There are even gratitude journals that you can buy to help you build the habit.

Routine

The second way that I have found to eliminate stress is to take care of the foundations. When you schedule the most important parts of your life, you remove the stress of forgetting to do them. I speak from experience!

We all live such complicated lives. Look at what you NEED to do in one month to achieve or move closer to achieving your goal. Then plot it out into your schedule. Break it down into what you need to do every day. Then add in the things that you would like to do and the things that you enjoy doing. Map out your life!

When you do this, you find your formula. It is like a cake recipe. You add in little bits now and then, make subtle changes, but the core ingredients always remain the same, to ensure that you get the result you want. Your schedule becomes your recipe for an incredible, stress-free life.

It is worth noting that I have heard it said that routine kills creativity. However, I have found the opposite to be true. When you schedule in the routine tasks, you free up your brain to be creative. You give yourself quality time to be creative by removing the stress triggers.

So if you do one thing today, take the time to write your cake recipe, to create your schedule, your recipe for an incredible life.

Share how you avoid and tackle stress in the comments below.

I talk more about this topic in this week’s Mind Your Own Business podcast. Subscribe and listen on your podcast platform.

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