Stress is one of the most under-addressed aspects on the path to healing. Most patients readily dismiss the recommendation to reduce stress in their life and assume with the right pills, powders or potions things will simply resolve without any changes to their lifestyle or behavior.
This is more often than not very unlikely, as stress is actually what underlies almost all disease.
According to The American Institute of Stress, 77% of people experience stress that affects their physical health.
In order to see real changes in one’s health, one must make real changes to one’s life. Addressing the sources of stress and changing the food we eat are typically the most challenging hurdles, but also the most powerful agents for lasting change.
Here are 60 suggestions that might help you bring about the changes necessary to begin to find relief from stress:
1. Set boundaries and enforce them.
2. Cut toxic people out of your life and don’t look back.
3. Learn to love saying no without explanation or apology.
4. Listen to your body and obey it.
5. Follow your intuition wherever it takes you.
6. Trust your gut. It knows more than your mind.
7. Refill your own cup before filling others.
8. Don’t commit to things you don’t want to do.
10. Exercise when it energizes, not when it exhausts.
11. If it makes you feel drained, stop doing it.
12. Stop engaging with arguments and conflict.
13. Limit exposure to mainstream media.
14. Practice non-attachment in all areas of your life.
15. Meditate every day. Even if it’s for one minute. Start now.
16. Develop a breath work practice.
17. Learn to scan your body for places it holds tension and practice letting it go.
18. Reframe stressful situations to see how they can benefit you.
19. Release expectations for everything and everyone.
20. Allow what is simply to be.
21. Accept what cannot be changed.
22. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
23. Find gratitude for all the things you love in your life each day.
24. Cultivate empathy and compassion for others.
25. Be gentle with yourself.
26. Stop blaming others and realize the only thing in your control is the way you respond.
27. Spend time in nature every day. Let it tune you.
28. Walk more. Everywhere.
29. Laugh with friends who make you feel like the real you.
30. Avoid people you find yourself performing for.
31. Make getting quality sleep one of the most important things in your life.
32. Avoid artificial light at night and expose yourself to morning and midday sunlight.
33. Stop consuming stimulants like caffeine.
34. Listen to music that soothes you.
35. Light beeswax candles and sit in silence.
36. Take baths.
37. Fill your home and workspace with plants.
38. Add more play into your day.
39. Take adaptogenic herbs.
40. Drink more water. Your body needs it to function.
41. Stop eating foods that inflame your body and generate anatomical and physiological stress.
42. Trust that things happen for you, not to you.
43. Know that the only constant in life is change.
44. Learn to let go and stop chasing.
45. Don’t be a dumping ground for other people’s problems.
46. Learn to respond rather than react.
47. Develop tools to regulate your nervous system.
48. Get regular acupuncture treatments.
49. Understand deeply that you and you alone are responsible for your own happiness.
50. Realize we are here only a brief moment, don’t take it all too seriously, enjoy it while you can.
51. Respond when you are ready, not when others expect.
52. Identify the patterns in your life that cause the most dissonance and break them.
53. Realize that most people are projecting their reality on to you and learn to define what is true to you.
54. Identify past traumas and work to resolve them.
55. Listen to your heart always. Always.
56. Become comfortable being alone. Find peace in solitude.
57. Sit with the pain or suffering you carry and delve deeper into it rather than suppressing or ignoring it.
58. Raise the vibration of a stressful encounter by choosing to be kind instead.
59. Break habits, abandon routines, choose new paths, explore alternate routes, foster neuroplasticity.
60. Make a list of the things that create the most joy in your life and do them as often as you can.
The combination of reducing or eliminating major sources of stress and consuming only a nutrient-dense, whole food diet could together likely fix 80% of the modern health conditions people face today. The catch is you have to actually do these things every day.
Reducing stress is hard work and requires making real sacrifices, reprogramming the brain, breaking patterns and routines, and shifting relationship dynamics. We can’t just think about making changes, or do something different once or twice and then revert back; we must identify what needs to change and take actions that result in new outcomes and new patterns.
Truly reducing stress in life is accomplished not only with a few large changes, but dozens of smaller changes, as well. The slides for this post offer 60 approaches to consider implementing for managing stress. Try incorporating some and see what changes in both your life and your health.