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How To Reduce Stress In Your Lifestyle


Updated February 10, 2011

How To Reduce Stress In Your Lifestyle

Which of your many extra responsibilities is the most stressful? Which would be easiest to change? Assess your list of stressors and reduce stress in your lifestyle.

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One of the best ways to reduce stress from your lifestyle is to create a list of stressors or "tolerations", and form a plan for cutting these stressors out of your life. One important part of this process is to identify areas of stress to eliminate first, and to use that information when you're making your plan. Here are some strategies for completing this important part of the process, with tips for completing the rest of the process as well. Eliminating stressors from your lifestyle can be simple if you follow this straightforward plan. Here's how to get started:
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. Create a list of tolerations, or areas of your lifestyle that regularly drain you of time and energy, or cause you stress. (See this article on identifying tolerations for effective strategies on how to identify the tolerations that are currently in place in your lifestyle.)

  2. As you go down your list of tolerations, assign a number value to each of them, ranking them from 1 to 5 depending on the frustration they cause, or energy they drain. (A toleration that barely registers as "a toleration" can be ranked as a 1, whereas a toleration that is so draining you can't believe you've put up with it for so long can be ranked as a 5, for example.)

  3. Use a similar scale to rank how simple it would be to eliminate each toleration. (A toleration that can be eliminated from your life in minutes can be ranked as a 1, whereas a toleration that would require considerable time and effort to remove from your life may rank as a 5.) Highlight the items that have low ranks in this category.

  4. Without complicating things too much, you may want to make notes of other key features, like tolerations you would need help in eliminating vs. tolerations you can deal with by yourself; tolerations associated with work, home, or relationships; tolerations that only affect you at specific times vs. tolerations that you encounter on a daily basis; tolerations that would be costly to fix vs. those with inexpensive solutions. With most tolerations, it’s sufficient to note the stress they cause and note how simple it would be to eliminate them. Note what's most important to you, keeping it as simple as possible.

  5. Once you've created your list of tolerations and have prioritized them, it's time to eliminate these tolerations from your lifestyle in a systematic way. See this article for more on reducing this list of stressors.

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