6 Tips To Reduce Your Stress

By Yaro Starak
39 Comments

Continuing from the article – It’s Time To Reduce Your Stress – I’ve produced a series of practical tips for you to reduce your stress. I intended to include these in the original article about stress but they didn’t fit with the flow and made an already large article even longer. If you haven’t read the previous article I suggest you do that first before reading this article.

If you are feeling at a loss regarding how to reduce the stress in your life, here’s some techniques you can apply today. All of these tips I applied to my life and have had very positive outcomes.

Exercise

TennisThis is probably the single most important change. If you aren’t exercising, and this means something rigorous that makes you breath heavy for a good 20+ minutes per day, then you need to add it to your life immediately. You will know when you have worked hard enough because after you feel absolutely buggered but the adrenaline and lovely endorphins are flowing.

I’m convinced that regular exercise is the key to happiness (along with all that self awareness stuff). It creates a natural high which you don’t pay for in the morning (once you get used to it) by feeling worse like you do from other, not-so-natural highs, such as drugs and alcohol. Exercise helps you sleep better, increases your overall energy, makes you chirpy, you think clearer, can work and play longer, increases your general confidence and best of all – it keeps you living longer with less trips to the doctor (I have never taken any antibiotics in my life!).

If you haven’t adopted a regular exercise pattern then this should be your number one priority. Make sure it’s regular – aim for every second day to start. You will start to enjoy it so much that you will want to do something everyday, in fact you will crave some form of exercise and it just won’t feel right not exercising.

Personally I get quite bored of one physical activity so I try and mix my week up. I do rollerblading, swimming, weight-training, walking, jogging, bike riding, tennis, golf and wait for it…bowling! (bowling really isn’t all the strenuous though). Once you get confident in your physical health you will be more eager to try other sports too.

If you are just beginning start with what you know you can do, perhaps walking at a fast pace to get your heart rate up, then up to some jogging bursts, then maybe try some tennis or whatever takes your fancy.

Music

The best companion for exercise is music. Music soothes the soul as they say, and I’m sure I don’t have to convince you of the powers of music to reduce your stress. For me there are few better moments in life than a speedy skate with the Brisbane river and a marvelous sunset on my right side and some high energy music (I’m a trance fan) playing in my earbuds. This is when I experience the biggest high of my life. It’s better than sex (!) and just a tiny bit better than a two-fisted backhand down the line passing shot to win the point in a long tennis rally. Just.

Self Development – Raising Self Awareness

This won’t work for you unless you are ready and open to it, but I find that studying self development materials, and more importantly understanding, believing and putting the concepts learnt into action, is one of the best ways to reduce your stress. You realize that your worries are pretty trivial and life isn’t that complex.

I’ve managed to almost eliminate stress from my life. My next goal is to work towards a Steve Pavlina style sustained joyful existence.

I have good control over my emotions (not perfect mind you). I have strong self awareness, but I’m still somewhat a slave to certain impulses, basic drives and emotional conditioning. I always feel stronger and more relaxed with the world after working on my self development. Often things tend to drop in importance, I gain a stronger grasp over my emotional state and everything becomes calmer after new insights are gained or concepts reinforced.

In your case you will be somewhere on the levels of consciousness scale, which will determine how you should go about raising your own self awareness and improving your self development. The fact that you are reading this article means you probably are open to self development concepts and have the potential to help yourself. Steve Pavlina’s blog is a great place to start.

Food

Eating well benefits me in two ways – the obvious, it works because it’s healthy for your body, but also I find it healthy for my mind too. Knowing that I am eating well and sticking to certain self-imposed restrictions, means that I feel good mentally and physically about my food intake. This is great because these two areas of my life reinforce each other positively. When I am eating well I mentally pat myself on the back, have more confidence and find it easier to continue to eat well. When I break from this I feel worse mentally way before my body experiences any obvious negative effects from eating badly. I very quickly get back on track because my mind wouldn’t let me stray for too long. I guess you would call this self-discipline, but I call it maintaining peace of mind.

I don’t drink alcohol. I’ve had maybe the equivalent of half a cup of coke in my entire life. I drink only water, juices, milk and soy drinks. I strive for the five vegetables and two fruit servings per day rule. I’m not a vegetarian, I do enjoy meat even though I know it hurts animals – I’m morally against it but I have not decided to change my eating habits as a result.

I have been blessed with a metabolism that can deal with copious amounts of food without gaining weight – I certainly have never needed to diet to lose weight. Overall I believe in a balanced diet and mostly I eat what I like and I know is good for me – fruit, veges, nuts, breads, a little dairy, meat and plenty of water – always drink plenty of water. I have a solid love for chocolate too, but I have trouble eating excessive amounts nowadays because my conscious won’t let me get away with it, as compared to my fun-filled, chocolate overdosed younger days.

There’s enough information out there on eating right and I’m sure you know what parts of your own diet you would like to change. Eating right comes down to discipline. When you change something for the long enough it becomes a habit and you face resistance to change it. The trick is to make all your habits positive.

Sleep

This is probably the single most abused aspect of peoples lives when it comes to creating stress because of our “rushed” lifestyle, which tends to encourage not sleeping. Many decide to sacrifice sleep for the sake of deadlines, work and social outings. Not sleeping for the sake of a work deadline is something you probably already aim to avoid, sometimes unsuccessfully, but the idea that missing sleep because of a great party or a big night out may not seem like such a bad idea to you. You are probably willing to make the sacrifice, potentially wiping out your next day from being excessively tired, in exchange for a fun-filled evening. Everyone else does it and you don’t want to miss out on all the fun.

For me the decision whether or not to sacrifice sleep has always been one of opportunity cost. What do I potentially lose as a result of not sleeping well? Should I stay up to keep working longer or to stay at a party longer knowing that I’ll end up being tired the next day?

Some people operate better on no sleep than others and I’ve generally been the kind of person who always needs at least 8 hours to function properly. I also don’t enjoy that feeling of lack of sleep so 9 times out of 10 choose to get a full night sleep even if that means missing out on some potential fun (the fun factor generally drops for me as I get tired anyway).

In your case you know your body best. The only suggestion I have is that if you currently feel less than 100% take a look at your sleeping patterns and see if you can find a correlation between feeling your best with a good night’s sleep. I’m sure you will find that sleep is as important as food and exercise and deserves just as much attention when it comes to reducing your stress.

Balance

I’m sure you have heard this before – balance is key. The three factors – sleep, food and exercise – need to be in harmony. Build a lifestyle that optimizes those three variables specifically for your body, mind and lifestyle, and you will find that the other aspects of your life tend to work out well too.

Yaro Starak
Starship Exercisor

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39 Comments

  • [...] 6 Tips to Reduce Your Stress by Yaro, they can all be adapted to help if your pregnant or caring for a a newborn [...]

  • I have to admit that your tips are very good and valuable but very hard to follow. I have been working in the blog for three months and my work starts at tghe afternoon. This really sometimes make me very tired to work during the day.

  • charlie

    What a completely unremarkable list of “tips” to reduce stress. I think I have seen the same article– more or less– maybe 10,000 times before. Thanks for the cliched ‘insights’ into how to reduce stress. What a joke. Maybe he should have consumed more alcohal in the past– he might have arrived at a more interesting / thought-provoking conclusion. Me thinks the author has had about as much sex in his life as he has alcohal.

  • Mr. ToadLuva

    Yaro –

    Don’t let that last column stress you out. I bet that poster probably doesn’t sleep that much or eat a very well-balanced diet. I am going to follow your Yaro-Starek-Stress-Pulverizer plan every step of the way to the pinnacle of sexless entrepreneurial sweetness.

    Sure, guys like charlie may have more fun than you or make more money, but who is going to enjoy the early morning sunshine and share your feelings with the friendly staff at the juice bar by your parent’s house? Or have the most blog posts? Or have the banginest 2003 Scion?

  • All I have time to do today is read the headings and your six things are spot on, and a timely reminder for me (I often for get to eat and I haven’t been to the gym in months).

    S.

  • Busy day hey Simon :)

    Charlie – I hope because you have found my advice repeated in so many places that you have started to follow it. I think the universe might be trying to tell you something ;-)

    Mr. Toadlover – Thanks for backing me up and how did you know about that juice bar :-)

  • Music Better than SEX? Yaro…you need a woman!

  • Maybe Jason you need better music!

    Music lasts longer too ;-)

  • Yaro;

    You hit right on the money. I need all of those things right now, very much

    Great article

  • Part of the balance of your life should include fun, and fun should factor in things like Alcohol as well.. Doesn’t have to, but it does give a balance that way. Alcohol has been proven in so many occasions to be good for you in a balance routine. Not only does it help relaxation it also helps blood flow and many other things.

    Exercise is important, but sticking with one Exercise is even more important. If you want to maintain your Exercise routine, you need just that, a routine, one which focuses on a certain Exercises for fitness and another for muscle gain.

  • Wonderful advice. I’m such a work-aholic.

  • Mr. ToadLuva

    I would also maybe add Yaro that one other tip could be to avoid internet pornography. It definitely messes up the Stress-Pulverizer routine because you stay up all night looking at that crap and then you feel like a perverted filthy lecher.

    I feel like if I am pornography free and avoid putting down others and insulting them (like our earlier poster Charlie seems prone to do), then I can embrace the Stress-Pulverizer routine with zeal.

    I also struggle with guilt issues and I sometimes smoke pot. Both ALSO STRESSFUL.

  • Mr. ToadLuva

    You see, to me, it seems like there are two options, one is to be a Charlie and to sit there with a bottle of Two Finger’s Tequila and talk to “women” or call up your “friends.” OR you could just release your stress in appropriate ways with excercise, health, good choices, and a vivacious online community of funtastic friends!

  • charlie

    Yaro– your follow up comments really resonated with me and for the past 24 hours I have fully committed myself to your 6 step program. I am now sleeping better, watching what I eat and I think I have even achieved a better work-life balance. I realize that “the new me” is only a day old but I am already seeing the benefits– my wife even commented this morning that I looked “more relaxed than usual” and “seem[ed] a lot less angry.” I only have you to thank for your keen insights into entrepreneurialism, auto-eroticism and life in general. Beyond providing tried and true advice that will make me an even more successful business person, you might well have saved my marriage. And I only have you to thank, Yaro. Well, you and Mr. Toadluva. Thanks again guys. Also, perhaps I should re-read all of my L. Ron Hubbard books to supplement my training?

  • Mr. ToadLuva

    Charlie –

    I am glad to see that your mood has changed, maybe now you can be friends with Yaro and the gang here. When you change your mind and turn that frown upside down, that can be the best stress reliever of all.

    I smoked 2 and a half joints of marijuana cigarettes at my friend Paco’s house on his porch. We had some popsicles but there was some gross stuff on them from this meat that thawed out all in his freezer when his power was cut. I’m not so stressed though.

    Yaro, what do you think about illicit cigarettes such as these? I mean, to me, smoking such things are fine because they are natural.

  • I’ve been getting a consistent dose of these 6 items listed. They key is to make time for them, and get yourself away from work…or whatever the stress source is.

  • hey Yaro,

    It was really a wonderful post.

    Stress reduction can help us to manage our lives efficiently. We can decrease stress by reviewing life and its potential problems, solutions and resources.

  • CG

    Totally agree, Yaro. I just got to be more disciplined… :)

  • mrToadLuva

    Interesting comment Thai-

    What is your source of stress? And are you a big fan of Thai food? My buddy and I from work eat Thai at least two times a week. Usually Pad Thai, or the #6 combo which has oyster noodles.

  • Ed

    Well done for putting exercise at the top of the list because it’s the engine that drives the other two aspects of life, diet and rest. I too am a firm believer of being fit for life and fit for work. It makes a huge difference to your wellbeing.

    You don’t get anywhere being lazy.

  • In order to reduce stress and improve the overall quality of life physical exercise is quite helpful as you age. It keeps the juices flowing that regulate the body’s physical functions. Meditation is also wonderful and forgotten tool to alleviate the stress that fills our lives. Meditation can release the anxiety and frustrations in daily live and quite the spirit.

    To reduce and keep stress under control, you need a combination of the physical and mental stimuli to blend together. One without the other leads to an out of balance condition.

  • I read the Blog Nice site I found and I bookmarked the site… Plan on coming back later to spend a little time there.

  • Hi, I fully agree with you on the exercise bit. Same thing with the rest. But with the exercise, the rest will just follow…naturally.

  • Great post. It’s a holistic approach. It’s everything you do that has the ultimate effect.

  • [...] Thankfully I know and heed the warning signs and I always prioritize health above everything else. I know about stress and I’ve laid out my favorite tips to reduce stress as well. When you can’t sleep or exercise or eat properly because of other aspects of your life something has to change. In my case, a little Miller time was necessary to help reset the brain for better sleep. [...]

  • I gave up beer. Started excercising. Now I want another beer.

  • Great post about stress relief. I seem to find my self in a hurry all of the time and taking in some of
    small miracles in my life.
    Music is a big stress reliever for me and also exercise which usually do not have time to do.

    Thanks

  • It is welcoming sometimes to call an old friend and schedule lunch, put the blackberry on vibrate, and enjoying one of the finer things in life, pleasurable conversation with another human being. No cell, email, text message or blog! Just sit across the table and look eyeball to eyeball. This does wonders to keep relationships strong and channels of communication open.

    Once a week and you would be amazed at the residual social and financial rewards.

  • Dude! You and I live the same life!! except for the trance part, which I don’t get because I’m not sure what it is. I was thrilled to see your chocolate comment, especially since not many men truly appreciate the stuff. I wrote a whole post on it. Have you tried the 99%? It is beyond, and consuming it in any quantity can be excused for its medicinal qualities. I hereby dub you an honorary woman. Be proud.

  • I’m not sure I like the honorary woman title… :) and about 80% is as high as I go, I prefer a little milk in my chocolate.

  • The title is a compliment. The most evolved men realize that it does not detract from your masculinity; rather, it adds to it. All part of liberating your consciousness to attain new heights (as I said, we live the same life).

  • Good articles! Balance is very important to provide quality of life. Music is a good thing and can give moments of relaxation. Sleep is vital for rest, food is the nutrition and energy and fuel the body needs. Exercise is vital to keep the joints and muscles in condition.

    It is very difficult to play competitively in the 4th quarter if you are not prepares with rest, exercise, food and a relaxed mind. Stress is a tough row to hoe and get through a daily grind. Try suggestions in the article for 21 days and see your quality of life increase and stress decrease.

  • Great article. A good all round lifestyle leads to better health and overall happiness, which leads you to enjoy life and everything it has to offer you.

  • Some great idea’s here which i think we could all do with following. Its amazing how making just a few small changes can have such a big impact. If this list helps just one person then surely it was worth posting, despite the negative comments from some readers.

  • [...] Yaro Starak from Entrepreneur’s journey has a blog on 6 tips to reduce your stress [...]

  • Mr. Toadlover – Thanks for backing me up and how did you know about that juice bar :-)

  • [...] Analyzing Key Metrics in Your Web Site Traffic Reports – Part 1, Part 2. John Webster offered an in-depth two part article introducing you to some of the basics of analyzing your website traffic reports. [...]

  • Exercise is definitely a great way to reduce stress. Whether you are having some writers block, or stressing about a coming exam. A great break for you to take is to go running! Or to do some other type of fitness activity. It will take your mind off of the stress and its really healthy for you. I absolutely agree with you about “craving”’ exercise. I can tell you that as a runner, it is addicting! You just want more and more, and people think you are crazy :P Its really sad how people abuse their body’s. Lack of proper nutrition, sleep, exercise… no wonder we are grumpy and sick!

    -Randy

  • I really agree with these 6 tips, although I think the one I struggle with the most is exercise. Sometimes it’s so hard to be motivated! But the sun is shining to today and I’m going to force myself to go for a walk!

    I’m definitely with you, Yaro, when it come to needing at least 8 hours sleep. Sadly though, I find that some people tend to mock me, or imply that I’m lazy or a nanna for placing a value on 8 hours sleep. They are too “busy” with “more important things” for the luxury of a good night’s sleep. It makes me feel guilty. The same goes for striving towards a balance life that isn’t ruled by the 9-5. It seems that some people view it as an inappropriate goal, like I should do the things I enjoy as a hobby and get a “proper” job to pay my bills.

    Have you experienced this? How to you deal with it?

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