It is a stressful world we live in. Aside from the regular demands of everyday life that come with holding down a job, managing a home, and dealing with family, friends, and coworkers, many people pile on additional pressures like a daily commute, outrageous debt, physical neglect (leading to illness, injury, and other health problems), and unnecessary social obligations. And then, of course, there are the things that are out of your control, like the poor state of the economy, social inequality, widespread environmental pollution, and so on. In short, it’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to succumb to the stress and anxiety that result from modern living. You can find ways to overcome the pressures of your daily life and get back to what’s important. Here are just a few tips that will help you to make the most of your life.

  1. Simplify. All work and no play make for a pretty dull life, so when it seems like you’re being pulled in a million different directions it’s probably time to reassess your many commitments. You might not need to cut back in every area (and in some cases you might not have much choice). But if your day is so packed with unpleasant activities that you barely have time to taste your food or let your head touch the pillow, it’s definitely time to simplify and get back to what matters; your health, your family, and a stress-free existence.
  2. Relive the terrible twos. If you’ve ever been around a toddler, you know why the second year of life has been dubbed “the terrible twos”. And while you don’t have to take on the temper tantrums that often characterize this age group, you can certainly adopt a toddler’s penchant for saying “NO!” Most of us have been trained to say yes to every request, and this could be why our schedules get so full that we often have overlapping obligations and little to no time for ourselves. This can be a terribly harrying state of existence. So learn to say no and don’t feel guilty about booking time for yourself, even if all you’re going to do with it is take a nap or read a book.
  3. Get back to nature. Surrounding yourself with nature is proven to help reduce stress, so work in the garden, plan a camping trip, or get out of the house for a walk around the park or a nature hike on a regular basis. All of these activities can help you to forget your troubles and take a much-needed breath of fresh air.
  4. Exercise. Our stress is often exacerbated by a poor diet (full of stimulants like sugar and caffeine) and a lack of exercise. But if you knew how good it felt to release that negative energy and replace it with endorphins, you’d exercise all the time. So try out a few different types of physical activity to find the one that best suits your interests and your lifestyle.
  5. Create a relaxing retreat. High stress at work is one thing, but if you’re coming home to more of the same it can start to feel like there’s no relief in sight. So create a relaxing atmosphere at home by making sure everyone in residence pulls their weight in the chores department (all should contribute to a clean and organized home). And use lighting, d├ęcor, and music to engineer a space that is conducive to reducing anxiety and giving you the peaceful escape you need.