12 Tips For A Less Stressful Life

Posted on: July 13, 2011


1. Eat Dessert First!

So many of us are so focused on losing weight and watching what we eat, that we deprive ourselves of food we like. The first thing to go is dessert. Oh sure, we try that fat free and sugar free options, but they do not satisfy our sweet tooth like we want. By doing so, we end up eating more of the stuff you don’t like then just a little of what you really wanted. Here is my tip: eat the dessert first.
Go ahead! I won’t kill you to do this every once and while, but make it an experience. Enjoy it. Don’t eat that slice of cheesecake while watching TV or reading a book, concentrate on the taste, smell, and feel of it on your tongue. Savor each bite. If you’re still a little freaked out about this notion, just eat half of the dessert or share with a friend. Then when you eat your main meal, you are more likely to eat less of it because your taste has been satisfied and you are not as hungry.



2. Take one exercise day a week and do something you love. AKA Swimming, play soccer or learn the moves to your favorite music videos

I dub this your exercise day off. You need to relax and enjoy yourself. We can get so regimented in our routines that we can end up dreading our next workout session. This dread can lead to procrastination, then to giving up exercise all together. In the end, you gain back the few pounds that you did lose and are at square one. Choose a physical activity that you love to do. If you love to swim, this is the perfect weather for it and you won’t sweat! Like to take up a dance class, do it! If you can’t afford a dance class, check out your favorite music video with chorography, study the moves, and practice the whole video for about 30 minutes. Trust me, this works just as well. When I was in high school, I did this all the time. I learned the whole dance from Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody” music video. I had a ball, and had new moves showoff to my friends.


3. Take some time out for yourself and enjoy your favorite show or movie with no interrupts. Treat it like a theatre. Pop some popcorn and enjoy a glass of wine or soda.

I do this about once a week. This really comes in handy after a long day or week. My favorite show is True Blood on HBO. I love it! I let all my friends and family know that when that show is on, don’t care if I am watching the DVD or on television, do not talk to me or disturb me in anyway. I pop some popcorn and pour myself a nice glass or Verde champagne with a cherry in the bottom, or make myself a skinny girl margarita and enjoy my hour. Sometimes my boyfriend joins me and he is just as into it as I am.


4. Eat one meal without any distracts. Sit at the table (no TV, no book, and no computer)

Pick a meal, any meal, and plan to eat it without any distractions. Don’t eat while watching TV, playing a video game, reading, or at your desk at work. If you can, eat at an outside café. That’s a great lunch break. Set the table at home for one. Have a center piece of a vase full of flowers or candle light and enjoy. Eat with a friend or partner without distractions. If you do this, you will slow down your eating and give your mind enough time to register when you are satisfied. When you eat while doing something, it’s kind of mindless and you end up consuming more than you needed to because you simply weren’t paying attention.


5. Listen to music you like while you work to make the day go by smooth

I do this every day. Don’t play your music so loud that your co-workers can hear it, and don’t use headphones or ear buds because you might get in trouble. Just set it as a like background noise. It will really help you be more productive. Happy worker performs better, and who isn’t happy listening to their favorite song? My personal favs to listen to at work; Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Kanye West, Lloyd, Usher, and Beyonce. Also, music will help keep you calm under stressful situations.


6. Wake up to music using a clock radio or clock with CD player

Have you noticed when you are jarred awake by your buzzing alarm clock in the morning, your heart is racing, and you are automatically on edge for the next hour or so? Then you are hardwired for stress for the rest of the day. To wake up relaxed, try waking up to calming sounds or your favorite song. These will gradually enter your consciousness and you will wake up peacefully.


7. Try to take time out for minimum of two minutes of silence

This might seem like a hard one to do, but try it. You can do this anywhere at any time. There is so much noise out there that you can’t even hear your own thoughts. Go to the ladies room, or your bedroom, or where ever, close your eyes, and just engulf yourself in silence. Listen to the sound of your breath, the hum of the air condition, feel your chest feel up with air then decompress. Become one with yourself. This is your time. Don’t forget how special life can be with its simplicity. Goldie Hawn suggests this in her writings on becoming a happier person.


8. Go for a walk. The fresh air will revitalize you.

Flesh air and sunlight does a body good. We need fresh air to improve lung function and flush out any impurities, and we need vitamin d in our system to be healthy. Too many people are vitamin d deficient. But besides the health benefits, going for a walk outside can help clear your mind, awaken the senses, and give you a natural energy boost. Take your Mp3 player or nothing at all, and go for a 10 minute walk the next time you are feeling overwhelmed. Also, physical activity improves brain function, so it you were working on a project and got stuck on a problem, I bet after your walk, the answer just comes to you.


9. If you hear your favorite song, don’t hold it in, sing out loud!

This one can be hard to do for some people because we are all so self conscious and scared of what other people think. One of the happiest people I know does this, and not only does she sing out loud, but dances down the street! She doesn’t care what people think, just rides the feeling. She inspired me to do this. So far, I just sing in my house and outside when I think no one is around, but I am building up my courage. I will say this; singing full heartily without any regrets or fears is a great feeling.


10. Take a long shower or bath to wash the hustle and bustle of the day off of you and relax.

I love to take a nice long hot shower after a workout or a long day at the office. I feel as if the weight of the world washes right off me. We are so prone to be in a rush that we forget to take time to slow down and pamper ourselves. This is far from the spa, but the steam will open your pores, so a great atmosphere for exfoliating and deep conditioning. Just make sure no one has to use the
bathroom when you do this or the stress relieving purposes are gone.


11. Smile whenever possible.

Ever hear that it takes more muscles to frown then it does to smile? Sure you have. But it is harder to smile when you don’t feel it. Try it anyway. If you smile long enough, pretty soon, your brain will get the message, “Hey, maybe if I’m smiling so much, I must be happy.” Your mood will improve. Smiles are contagious so spread yours around.


12. Last but not least, act like a kid again.

Do you remember how it felt when you were little? I’m talking ages five to ten, before the opposite sex and puberty came into play? How freeing it was to have no responsibilities and just do what you wanted, even if that meant you might get in trouble? Too
many of us forget that feeling. We get so wrapped up in our own drama; we forget how to have fun. Try something to night. Go in your bedroom, take off your shoes, and jump up and down on your bed. Even if you feel a little silly, do it anyway. Be careful not to break anything. Run around your house with no purpose at all, just cause. It’s a great feeling to dump all that crap out of your head
and just feel the endorphins and spin, jump, and run around.


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