So in this article I want to tell you what I have consciously changed in my life to get to this calm and relaxed state of mind that has greatly affected all my relationships (and most of all my romantic one;) )
I fell in love with yoga because of the effect it has on my mood. I can not describe the feeling I get after a yoga class with anything else. It is a unique sensation of peace, clarity of mind and relaxation. And what's more, the length of the practice doesn't matter, even a 10 minutes class does wonders for my mood and stress levels.
Whenever I feel upset about something, I go to my mat and come back completely reset and focused.
2. Planning and organizing
I grew up in a home where nothing was planned and everyday life was complete chaos. So chaos became my comfort zone, but it also made me an excellent improviser.
Until a couple of years ago, I decided I didn't want to live like this anymore because it was stressing me out all the time. So I made a promise to myself to change my habits and I actively looked for ways to improve my planning and organizational skills.
The very first thing I do when I get up in the morning, is get a cup of coffee and sit down for 30 minutes thinking about and planing my day. I write down all the important tasks I need done that day; then I write down how much time each task would take me and I order them according to priority. This has made me a lot more productive and it takes the pressure off knowing the important things are done.
3. Don't procrastinate
Everyone does this, including my former self. We do the things we hate, last. But this means the entire time we are doing other things, like enjoying ourselves, we think about that one thing we still have to do. So it causes stress, because it is always there. And the hardest part is to just sit down and do it already. 9 out of 10 times, when we finally do the task we have procrastinated until the last minute, we realize it wasn't as hard or annoying as we thought it would be. It's our own mind and our behaviour that makes certain things seem horrible.
So now, I pay my bills when I get them, I put the things I hate on top of my daily To Do list and I have the entire rest of the day to feel relaxed and proud of myself of getting things done.
4. Be early
I was that person that was always late ... for everything. It didn't matter whether it was for a job interview, a casual encounter or a date.
This is also a habit I unconsciously picked up from my home and both of my parents are still constantely late. I actually didn't think of coming late as a big deal. I didn't understand that when you are late, you are stealing from someone. You steal their time and that's very disrespectful.
Until one day one of my girlfriends gave me a 10 minute speach explaining this to me. Thanks to her, I am now always early, for every encounter. I am not stressed out when I arrive, I have time to go the bathroom, read an article or have a coffee and take these 10 minutes for myself to relax before meeting the person in question.
5. Let go
I kept this one for last, because I think it is the most important one. Even if you have everything planned out, you arrive early and you are perfectly organized, life happens.
You should never hold on to one outcome of any situation because you can't control it. Here we go back to the yoga mentality, hope for the best and prepare for the worst but whatever happens, let it go. As long as you give any thought to something negative, that thought will grow and become a reality in your mind. So when things don't fold out like you planned, let it go, breathe and try again !
I hope this article was usefull and if you have found other ways to reduce the stress in your daily life, I would like to read about it, here in the comments.
I also recommend this book talking about Mindfullness and other creative ways to reduce stress.