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Monday, October 15, 2012

Tips To Reduce Stress - Part 1

Today we begin a series of articles with tips and techniques to reduce stress. This series will be a regular Monday feature and I look forward to your feedback as we go along.

Stress – everyone is under some kind of stress. Some stress in life is normal and it is good. However, when stress becomes overwhelming and is constant, health problems occur. If you’re now in a situation where stress is overwhelming and constant there is hope. I’ve been there. I felt tired all the time, irritable and had an overall feeling of being not quite well and not able to put my finger on what was wrong.

Image courtesy of Ambro/

Optimal health is in danger if we’re constantly stressed. We sometimes get depressed and depression has a way of weakening our immune system.  So in order to continue along the path of optimal health we need to reduce stress. If you don't find a way to control stress, it will definitely control you. Stress is something that is very intrusive. It makes sure that it is front and center in your life. It leaves you feeling out of control, overwhelmed and beat down.

Many times people who are stressed find themselves playing the blame game. They blame their employer, their husband or wife, their children, the traffic, their in-laws, the list could go on. The truth of the matter is that more control exists in their hands than they think. We may be powerless to control the actions of others or what they say, but there are things in our life that we can take control of and decrease the stress we experience. I did some research and found that there are a myriad of things that we can take charge of to reduce and manage stress.

Today we focus our attention on one of those within our control things. We will look at what it is. Then we will discuss how to eliminate it.

Clutter has proven to be a huge cause of stress. Clutter has a way of stealing our peace. Our minds and our bodies cannot rest because of all the stuff around us. We cannot take the time for ourselves because of all the clutter around us demanding that we give attention to it.

Look around you. Do you see a home filled with stuff that you do not want or use? Are their piles of paper heaped up in different spots around the home? Are there knick-knacks you don’t love anymore but they are there because you’re used to them being there? Are there gifts that you have received that you don’t like but you hang on to because of what you think the giver will say – but you feel depressed just seeing them? Are you holding on to those size 1 clothes hoping for the day you can get back into it? Clutter takes on many forms and with its many forms it brings added stress.

Tip #1


Reduce some of the stress by getting rid of some of the clutter around you. If you don’t need it get rid of it. If you don’t love it get rid of it. One way to reduce the demand that clutter makes on us is to throw it out, evict it pronto. If it is good give it away to someone. If it is not good throw it away. If you have not used it in 3yrs, 2yrs you might not really need it so kick it out of your house and reduce your stress.

Here’s an exercise that you can do. Go through each room of your home one at a time. Put aside five minutes and look at the contents of that room. Take one item at a time and ask yourself these questions – Do I need it? Do I love it? Does it have a painful memory? If the answer is no, no and yes then put it in a box to give away to someone (only if it is a good item). Do this exercise every day. Ideally you could spend 15 minutes but if you’re just starting out and find it hard to release some of your stuff then do it in five minute increments. I found to be an awesome resource. She helped me in a very huge way to eliminate the stress that came from clutter. I’m still a work in progress but I am getting there.

Here is another way to reduce stressful clutter. Purchase less stuff. Before you buy anything, stop and think – do I already have something that could be used to do the same thing? Do I really need to buy this now? Give yourself a couple of weeks to think about it first.

Here’s another clutter/stress reducer – Get rid of clothes. Many of us have too many clothes. We don’t use them all we just have them hanging in our closets. Our closets are stuffed and we can’t find a thing to wear we say. Or the closet is so stuffed that the clothes never remain ironed they get wrinkled because they are pushed up all on each other. Give the clothes to someone else who is in need and doesn’t mind receiving good used clothes.

Those were just a few examples of how to reduce stress by taking control of the clutter. Your clutter did not get accumulated in one day or one week or one month or even one year, so give yourself some slack and work on it for 15 minutes each day. It will eventually be gone and in the meantime you will feel the stress that comes from clutter going away bit by bit.

A wonderful resource to help with reducing clutter in simple baby steps is FlyLady's book - Sink Reflections.  It is available on Amazon in paperback form as well as on Kindle.

Want more tips to reduce stress? Click here - Next Tip To Reduce Stress

Ebook coming soon - The Ultimate Stress Relief Guide - 52 Simple Ways To Beat Stress and Enjoy Life!


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For God's Glory

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