This post fulfills the SEO Post requirement for my New Media course, so it has virtually nothing to do with new media. Technology, however, can at times overwhelm one; it overwhelms me all the time, after all. These five best ways to manage stress; therefore, can certainly apply to the stresses of various technologies, especially new media rather than old media.
1. Listen to Music
Okay, so I may be kinda biased on this one, considering how much of a music buff I am, but music has amazing effects both on the body and the mind, and depending on the person and/or the music, a reduction of stress and ensuing relaxation can be achieved.
While listening to music that you like can help, if it gets you too amped us then this might not be a good thing, unless it distracts you enough so that you forget about your stress entirely. The best tip is probably to listen to music that you both like and that relaxes you. You’re even better off if you can achieve both those things and also find something that motivates and inspires you, the latter two being positive emotions that often result in a sense of accomplishment, after all.
The usual answers as to what kind of music would be classical, easy-listening, soft rock or something of the sort. As I mentioned above, however, it really depends on you. Personally, classical music agitates me and metal music both relaxes me and motivates me, so it’s an easy choice of what I’m going to be pumping into my ears and over-cluttered head.
If you’re not a music person, well, then proceed on to the remaining four tips.
2. Avoid Procrastinating
This one especially pertains to schoolwork but hey, isn’t that a large source of much of the stress we humans possess? It’s not much of a comfort that even after school is over and done with we’re still relying on the art of procrastination, whether it’s putting off going to the dentist or getting our taxes done, but there are helpful ways to avoid it and plenty of reasons why you want to in the first place, the primary one being avoiding stress.
Regarding anything in life, try breaking up what needs to be done into small chunks, maybe by category or level of difficulty or even the ones you just want to get out of the way. Once you finish a chunk then guess what?
It’s time to take a break ’cause you’ve earned it!
After the break, work on your next chunk and then take another break once it’s completed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Until that sense of accomplishment hits you hard.
When you take a break you should make sure to step entirely away from what you’re doing (maybe even from your computer entirely if you’re using it). The best possible option is to go into another room and do something distracting for an hour – not too long and not too short. If your mind keeps going back to all the work you still have remaining, repeatedly go through what you’ve already accomplished until you’ve calmed down. If this still doesn’t work, then try another activity.
Just as taking adequate breaks is essential to avoid procrastination, since it allows you to work on one piece of the agonizing puzzle at a time, avoiding procrastination in turn allows you to tell stress to take a hike.
3. Fresh Air
Never underestimate the clarity and peace of mind something so simple as fresh air can provide a weary and stress-clouded mind. Since stress usually causes one to look inward, forcing one to become completely self-absorbed in their own affairs that they often can’t see a way out or an end in sight to their troubles, going outside into nature allows one to get that bigger picture back.
Gaining a reminder that the world is out there and is bigger than you, and that you are a mere particle in its vastness, will allow you to realize that the world won’t simply end if you don’t get something done.
Once you go back inside, your mind should feel surprisingly clearer and your body maybe even lighter. If not, then go back outside and try again.
If it’s not possible to go outside then at least move to another room or move around to change your position, so your body doesn’t grow sore from remaining in one position for too long.
4. Balance of Sleep
Sleep is important with or without stress, but a good night’s sleep can achieve something as wonderful as melting all – or at least a considerable portion – of one’s stress away. Sleep allows one to not only rejuvenate the body, which in turn soothes the mind, but also allows one to escape from the pressures of the day.
Many people are willing to forgo sleep in order to get something done that will inevitably add to their stress, partly because they believe that finishing it immediately will be better for them in the long run.
There are multiple reasons why this way of thinking usually does more harm than good.
For one, the best way to accomplish something – and to do something right, in addition – is to hold that something off for a brand new day where one is feeling rejuvenated and likely more motivated than the previous day. It’s also far easier to catch inconsistencies and mistakes this way.
Another, rather than force oneself through a sleep-deprived and likely largely unproductive night, why not work on it the next day where one will surely be more productive and likely get the assignment done in half the time?
A last point: rather than spend all night rushing to get one thing done, simply wait for the next day where you just might get more than one thing accomplished.
So we’ve determined that sleep is important for both the body and the mind, but one must also make sure to get enough sleep but not too much, given the latter can make one feel as sleep-deprived as the former. You should figure out what works for you and then stick to it, and balance is everything: if you stay up late one night, then go to bed early the next.
Learn your limits and stress will leave you be.
5. Enjoy Life!
This one is pretty obvious but it’s also perhaps the most difficult of the five to achieve for some people. Enjoying life is as simple as doing things that you enjoy, not someone else, and certainly not something that you’re forcing yourself to enjoy because you want to enjoy it but can’t quite seem to.
It’s important to remember that no matter how small or stupid or mundane your happy thing is, the point is that it’s your happy thing and no one can take it away from you.
Make your favorite dish, or just eat your favorite food. Watch that movie you’ve watched a thousand times before, even better if you can quote the lines and thus, distract yourself by your awesomeness. Sit on the couch and read a few chapters of a good book, or why not read the whole thing? Go on a walk or a jog with your dog (pets are great stress reducers, by the way). Take a hike, literally and out into nature. Go shopping and try on the most ridiculous items. Spend some time with your family and your friends, as long as they don’t infuriate you too much. The list is truly endless.
And please comment here if any of these tips have helped you and/or you have ones to share that have worked well for you.