5 Simple Ways to Feel Less Stressed

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I’m not into all of those hokey “I can make your life better” self-help books. But I’ve just finished Thrive by Arianna Huffington, which falls into Amazon’s “Mind, Body and Spirit” category, and it’s made a huge impact on me. Arianna wants to redefine the way we look at success and balance the dive for money and power with focus on happiness and well-being.

Throughout Thrive Arianna returns to her key message: that constantly feeling stressed isn’t the secret to success, or a badge of honour. And that by taking care of yourself you’re actually able to work in a more considered, smart, productive and fulfilling way. So, with that in mind, here are 5 simple ways we can all de-stress and bring a focus back to our well-being…

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Go tech-free one day a week. This is easier said than done; and I’ve never been able to tear myself away from Twitter and Instagram for an entire day (what if something major happens, like the Olsen twins join Instagram?). However, I’m taking baby steps by attempting to go iPhone-free on either Saturday or Sunday afternoons. Eventually I hope I’ll be able to unplug for a full, 24-hour period.

Make a feel-good playlist. Whenever I’m having a particularly stressful day or just feel a bit down in the dumps I can usually steer myself back into a more positive mindset after half-an-hour of feel-good music. Singing along to Britney Spears hits definitely releases a heap of positive endorphins!

Sleep more. I’ve never been one for late nights, because I’m naturally a morning person and need 7-8 hours of sleep to function properly. But going to bed by 11pm often makes me feel like a total nerd. However, Arianna Huffington would approve, because she’s on a mission to get people to sleep more. So, if you’re constantly sleep deprived read “Sleep Your Way to the Top” in Thrive and Arianna will most-likely convince you to change your habits.

Meditate. In Thrive Arianna Huffington also talks a lot about the power of meditation, and how it’s a valuable business tool (apparently Steve Jobs practised mindfulness meditation daily). I hate sitting still, and quite honestly feel like it’s a waste of time, but I’ve started doing daily 10-minute Calm meditation sessions in an attempt to quieten my mind. I tried using Headspace but the man’s commentary was so annoying I ended up feeling enraged, rather than Zen.

Don’t check your inbox after 7pm. Again, this is a toughie. But it’s much easier to wind down at the end of the day when you’re not glued to your inbox. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule (last week, for instance, I had to be on my email in the evening to solve a problem with my tech support team), but for the most part I’m trying to make 7pm the cut-off point for emails.

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Do you have any simple de-stressing tricks? And are you finding that your idea of success is starting to focus more on well-being than money and power?

FYI: Tying into this mindset, this month Birchbox UK have created a special “Free Your Mind” beauty box. Get the details here.