Life

Three Simple Ways to Stress Less in 2018

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Hands up who wants to feel more grounded, more in control and more present in 2018?

If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to get side-tracked, swept up and feel like you’re ‘too busy’ (ick) for the things that bring you back down to earth and keep you sane.

Over the last 6 months I’ve been really honing in on ways to (gently) kick to the curb. And do you know what I’ve discovered? It’s literally the smallest things that have been making the biggest difference.

Case in point: out of everything I have implemented and practiced, the three tips I’ve included below for you are the simplest methods of all to reduce stress and help me feel present and grounded.

I’m willing to bet they might be of use to you too.

01 Turn off your notifications

This is something I did about 4 months ago and I freaking love it.

I’m one of those people who cannot stand to see a little red notification bubble on my phone screen. I have a compulsion to get rid of it and to do so, I’ve got to click on it.

When I think about all the apps that I had set to notifications (Facebook, Instagram, Emails, Voxer, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, not mention games) it took me by surprise. It’s basically a full-time job just to keep up with them all! Even the meditation and mindfulness apps send you a little nudge to ‘remind’ you to use them!

One evening, I went straight to my phone’s settings and switched every single one of them off. And guess what – I still don’t miss a single comment on Instagram or like on Facebook. Everything sit there patiently until I consciously decide to open the app and see what’s going on.

I cannot begin to tell you just how much this has effected the quality of my day. Not only am I not being prompted to scroll mindlessly every two minutes, I’m also no longer wired to being ‘on’ every minute of the day.

If the thought of turning off your phone notifications freaks you out (and let’s face it, that’s probably even more of a sign that you should do it) try turning it all off for one whole day. That’s not committing to too much and you can still go in and check everything as often as you feel called.

But, here’s my challenge to you: it’s got to be the whole kit and caboodle. Free yourself of the little red bubble for 24 hours and I can almost promise you, you won’t think about turning it all back on again.

02 Use essential oils

My favourite little discovery to reduce stress and feelings of exhaustion, anxiety and overwhelm come straight from mama nature herself. I use essential oils every single day – from the moment I get up to the moment I climb into bed – to aid and support my mood. Because they are so small and so potent, they are the simplest little dudes to pull out and take a sniff, dab on your wrist or diffuse while you’re going about your to-do list.

My favourites right now for relieving stress and heightened emotions are Lavender, Frankincense, Rosemary, Ylang Ylang and Wild Orange.

03 Breathe and Be Still

How many times have you overlooked this simple practice?

I’m not talking about meditation or yoga or anything as wild as that!

I am talking about taking 3 seconds out of any task that you might be doing.

It is so flipping easy to get wound up when we allow our minds to run at 100 miles an hour. Our actions get faster, our mental clarity goes out the window and we very easily end up making mistakes or just burning out. Talk about the embodiment of a whirlwind!

Let me remind you (because you already know this deep down), it is so very easy to calm your farm if you stop and pull out of overdrive for 3 seconds, breathe deeply (fill you belly and then your chest right up) and then continue on with what you were doing.

It is literally sending a signal to your brain that everything is alright, you are not being chased by a saber-toothed tiger, and you don’t require any fight or flight response right now.

Breathe. Be still. You have all the time in the world my darling.

There are so many practices and things we can implement to keep the stress-monster at bay. The simple fact is, we have to do them to be able to benefit from them.

Is there anything from the list above that you will commit to practicing in 2018?

Maybe you have your own stress-buster tip! If so, share with me below!

Happy new year beautiful,

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Rachel Hodgens

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