There are countless sources of stress in our everyday lives. Feeling stressed is bad enough but feeling stressed because you think your life is out of control can be even worse. Many of us want things to go exactly as we plan all the time, but let’s face it, that’s completely unrealistic. One of the best ways to deal with that kind of stress is to simply go with the flow. Life can jerk you around, but sometimes it’s best to just see where it takes you. Here are some quick, easy ways to go with the flow and reduce your stress!
- Breath – Feeling overwhelmed and out of control? Take a few deep breaths to focus your thoughts. Not only does this physically calm you down, it will also force you to stop and think about what’s stressing you out and whether or not it’s worth the stress.
- Realize You Can’t Control Everything – One of the first steps to going with the flow is realizing that there are some things that are simply out of your control. Illness, accidents, and other people’s attitudes are all things far beyond one’s control, but they are still things most of us worry about all the time. By letting go of the things you can’t control, you free yourself up to focus on the things that you can and should be controlling in your life.
- Embrace Failure – Failure can be rough, but it can also be one of the greatest tools and opportunities for growth and learning. Yoda put it best when he said, “the greatest teacher, failure is”. Embracing our failures and learning not to make the same mistakes is one of the simplest lessons to learn, but a powerful one all the same. Not getting hung up on failure helps on to follow life’s course and can help to eliminate stresses of the past.
- Have a Sense of Humor – One of the greatest skills one can learn is to laugh at one’s self. We always think our lives are so important and so serious, but most of the time we’re fretting over trivial things. Think about how wildly important and deathly serious your various teenage dramas felt and how silly they seem now. Being able to laugh at yourself is not only good for your ego, but it also gives your perspective on what’s really important in your life.
- Trust in Yourself and Others – This is perhaps the most important way to learn to go with the flow. Learning to trust in yourself, and others especially, helps to take away parts of the burden of stress. Trust that others will support you, know what they are doing, and are working hard in their lives too. Trust that you are capable, that you are strong, and that you can face the challenges that may come your way. Let life take you where it takes you and trust that you’ll get where you need to go. George Harrison summed this idea up when he wrote, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”.