People who maintain a low-stress lifestyle typically adhere to these key principles

Living a low-stress lifestyle can seem like a far-off dream for many of us. But what if I told you it’s more about adhering to certain principles than luck?

The difference boils down to habits. People who constantly find themselves in stressful situations often have habits that contribute to their stress, even if they don’t realize it.

On the flip side, those who maintain a low-stress lifestyle have developed key principles that they stick to religiously. They have found effective ways to navigate life’s ups and downs, without letting stress take the driving seat.

Let’s dive into what these key principles are, so you can start incorporating them into your life. Believe me, your mind and body will thank you.

1) Prioritize self-care

When it comes to maintaining a low-stress lifestyle, self-care is paramount.

Individuals who seem to float through life with an enviable level of calm often prioritize self-care above all else. And no, self-care is not just about bubble baths and spa days.

Think about it. It’s all about ensuring that you are physically, mentally, and emotionally in a good place. This could be anything from eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise, to setting boundaries at work and ensuring you have time for hobbies and activities you enjoy.

When you prioritize self-care, you are better equipped to handle life’s stressors. You’re also less likely to let minor hiccups turn into major roadblocks.

So if you want to lead a low-stress lifestyle, start by looking after yourself. It’s not being selfish, it’s essential.

But remember, self-care looks different for everyone. It’s not about following a set formula. It’s about doing what makes you feel good and keeps your stress levels in check.

2) Embrace imperfection

Now, this is a principle that’s close to my heart.

I used to be a perfectionist, always striving to get everything right. It seemed like a good trait to have, but it often left me stressed out and overwhelmed.

Then I came across the concept of embracing imperfection. It was a game-changer for me.

This principle is all about understanding that it’s okay not to be perfect all the time. That it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them. That it’s okay to have flaws and weaknesses.

I started implementing this in my life and the change was astounding. The pressure I had put on myself reduced dramatically, and along with it, so did my stress levels.

So, if you’re constantly stressing over getting everything just right, try giving yourself permission to be imperfect. You’ll be amazed at how liberating it feels and how much your stress levels reduce.

3) Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is not just a trendy buzzword, it’s a principle that’s been revered for centuries in certain cultures and is gaining scientific backing in modern psychology.

It’s about being present in the moment, fully aware of your surroundings and sensations without judgment. Mindfulness can help you see the bigger picture and not get lost in the minor details that often cause unnecessary stress.

One study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that people who practice mindfulness have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine, whether it’s through meditation, yoga, or simply taking a few minutes to focus on your breath, can have a profound impact on reducing stress and promoting a more balanced lifestyle.

4) Set healthy boundaries

One of the key principles for maintaining a low-stress lifestyle is setting healthy boundaries.

This means knowing your limits and being firm in what you can and cannot do, whether it’s at work, in relationships, or with personal commitments.

Healthy boundaries allow you to have control over your time and energy. They prevent you from overextending yourself and getting overwhelmed, which are common sources of stress.

Setting boundaries is not about being selfish or indifferent. It’s about valuing your own wellbeing and understanding that you can’t pour from an empty cup.

By setting clear boundaries, you ensure that your needs are met, and you’re in a better position to manage stress effectively.

5) Cultivate gratitude

There was a time when nothing seemed to go right for me. Life was a constant struggle, every day felt like an uphill climb, and stress was my constant companion. Then I came across the concept of cultivating gratitude.

It’s about appreciating what you have, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. It’s about focusing on the positives rather than dwelling on the negatives.

I started keeping a gratitude journal, jotting down three things I was grateful for each day. Some days it was as simple as a good cup of coffee or a chat with an old friend.

Slowly but surely, my perspective started to shift. My mountain of problems didn’t disappear, but their weight seemed lighter. I felt more positive, happier and significantly less stressed.

Cultivating gratitude won’t erase your problems, but it can help you manage stress better. It reminds us of the good in our lives and helps put our challenges into perspective.

6) Regular physical activity

Physical activity isn’t just great for your body, it’s also a powerful stress reliever.

When you engage in physical activity, your body releases endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural mood lifters. They also serve as natural painkillers, helping to reduce physical aches and pains that can contribute to stress.

Whether it’s a brisk walk around the block, a yoga class, or a full-on gym session, any form of physical activity can help you manage stress more effectively.

So, find an activity you enjoy and make it a regular part of your routine. Not only will it help keep stress at bay, but it’s also a great way to keep fit and healthy.

7) Seek support when needed

Even with the best laid plans and principles, sometimes life can get overwhelming. That’s why it’s crucial to seek support when needed.

No one is an island and we all need help from time to time. Whether it’s talking to a friend about what’s troubling you, seeking advice from a mentor, or getting professional help from a therapist or counselor, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Seeking support isn’t a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. It shows that you are in tune with your emotions and are proactive about maintaining your mental well-being.

Remember, it’s okay not to be okay all the time. And when those times come, don’t shy away from seeking the support you need.

Final thoughts: It’s a journey

The pursuit of a low-stress lifestyle isn’t a one-time event, but a continuous journey.

The principles outlined here are not a magic bullet, but rather tools to help you navigate the complexities of life with less stress.

Interestingly, research shows that those who actively aim to reduce stress in their lives often experience better health, improved relationships, and increased happiness.

Consider the words of Hans Selye, renowned endocrinologist known for his studies on the effects of stress: “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.”

So, as you walk this path towards a low-stress lifestyle, remember that it’s more about how you react to stress than the stress itself.

Take small steps, be patient with yourself, and keep these principles in mind. It may not always be easy, but the rewards will be well worth it.

Picture of Graeme


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