If something feels bad, stop doing it

I’m getting kind of tired of being told whatever I like to eat or drink is going to kill me. You know what? I think stress is much more likely than sugar to do me in.

While I’m pretty sure that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to managing stress, maybe a few of these following changes I’ve made in my everyday routine might help you as well.

Do you love sports but get all worked up when watching your favorite teams? It may be asking too much, but have you ever considered reining in the amount of time you devote to following your heroes? Just cutting back by watching only three quarters could be good for starters. The same could work with news. If a steady diet of CNN or Fox upsets your otherwise sunny disposition, turn off your tv, phone or computer. Read a book or meditate.

Here’s something else I’ve discovered that has helped me a lot. Writing down birthdays, appointments and notes in my planning book. Being organized keeps me calm and gives me peace. Forgetting things is stressful, especially if you’re older and think you might be losing it.

We all have choices. There’s nothing stopping you from making better choices that make you happier. Volunteering and giving can be gifts to yourself. If something feels bad, stop doing it. Doing nothing is sometimes the best thing you can do. Perhaps being on time instead of always being late can reduce your stress. Financial planning and budgeting may be another way to worry and stress less. If you have friends who zap your energy, exchange them for some new, more interesting and enjoyable ones.

Here’s a biggie, at least for me. Simplify your life. Less really can be more. Procrastination can be quite the stressor. If you’re inclined to forget stuff, put things by your front door at night so you’ll remember them on your way out in the morning. Take more walks, especially in beautiful places.  I’ve never, ever, not felt better after taking a walk.

Learning to say no is also very important. You don’t need to stress yourself by being overly busy. Balancing work, play, social and alone time is key. And don’t forget to get enough sleep and rest. Try to remember what Gandhi said: “There’s more to life than increasing its speed.”