Rabu, 27 Oktober 2010

Stress Management - Simple Living For Stressful Times

By Ilenya Marrin

If you have not felt stressed by the current economic downturn, take a bow and teach the rest of us how you have maintained your peace.

Seven Tips for Simple Living NowIf you do feel stressed by national and world events that impact your livelihood, retirement, home and day to day quality of life, here are seven tips for Simple Living to help get you through these tough times.

1. Evaluate what is most important in your life -- your loving, laughing and caring with family and friends, your learning and flexibility, your spiritual foundation, or your dollars and material possessions? What are your core values? Focus on those things that bring you lasting joy. The stress of striving to hang onto the material level might just vanish, leaving you feeling lighter and freer.

2. Let go to become free. If income is limited right now, decide what you can do without in order to keep basic needs for shelter, food, clothing, heat and transportation handled. Instead of focusing on your sacrifices, make this into a game of freeing yourself from your old patterns of greed and wanting instant gratification. Your positive attitude will keep stress at bay.

3. Get creative about how to fill your time with fun, productive activities. What can you make from what you already have? What can you give to assist others -- your time? your expertise? unneeded belongings? Have you been meaning to reorganize the garage or basement? Now is your chance. Getting involved with others or with physical activity will help to reduce stress and keep your energy moving forward in a positive way.

4. Look for little ways to simplify your lifestyle. For some of you, this will mean taking time to cook from scratch more often, or mending furniture and repairing appliances and cars instead of buying new. For others it will mean trading services and goods with neighbors and friends. You don't have to solve every problem with a credit card. You'll feel good about yourself and lower stress at the same time.

5. Back to Basics -- There's an old Yankee saying, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." Are there some small ways you can put this truism to work in your life? Even "silly" little things like using up the last sliver of soap are satisfying within this framework. When you know you are making the best possible use of what you have, you can relax and savor your personal peace.

6. Change your attitude. If you've been filled with doom and gloom, look around and discover how the economic crisis is making people behave more kindly toward one another. Find at least three good things per day that are taking place because of the shift in values forced by the economy. Reframing your outlook to include the positive will automatically help reduce your stress levels.

7. Set a few personal goals related to how you want to thrive, not merely survive, with a simpler lifestyle. Do you want to save a nest egg? Have you always wanted to plant a vegetable garden? Do you long to go back to school? Create a plan and take small steps to achieve your goals. With your simpler lifestyle (not rushing to keep up with the Joneses) you'll have time for reflection, planning and reaching your objectives. As you move step by step toward your goal, the satisfaction of a job well-done should easily outweigh old stress patterns in your life.

Put these seven tips to work in your life and you'll be overcoming stress with positive focus and positive action, and enjoying a simpler and more fulfilling lifestyle to boot.

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