Life Improvement... By Removal?
What if you had to improve your life but could only remove from it?
One thing we love to do is ask our potential clients where they want to be in 5 years. Go ahead and think about it for a moment…. I know you probably already did as soon as you read that question, I know I did as I typed it.
Looking that far into the future often makes us think about what we can add to it in order to make it better. This may be a new house, car, partner, jewelry, dog, etc., but oftentimes what we are adding isn’t making us all that much happier. The new house comes with more stress of paying a bigger mortgage, cutting a bigger lawn, higher taxes, etc. The new partner… well that has a long list of stresses too.
The next thing we often do after asking our clients where they want to be in 5 years is to then have them do the same drill, but they can only remove things from it. Want to play a fun version of this game with your diet? Go see our article on how to Improve Your Diet… By Addition?
When people think about their happiness it rarely means fewer or less of anything, but often times that’s exactly what it would take to reduce our stress and make us happier. We’ve talked about how life stress can seriously impact your weight loss or other health goals, so this article was written to help you understand that finding a balance in your daily life and reducing stress is just as important as what you eat and drink on a daily basis.
To begin, it’s important to have a good understanding of the things that may be contributing to your stress or any imbalance in your life. Similar to identifying triggers that lead to poor eating habits, we can identify triggers that lead to heightened levels of stress. One way to do this is by keeping a journal-this can be as easy as using the Notes app on your phone. Each time you begin to feel stress, anxiety, or unease during the day just simply record what led to those feelings. Soon enough, you will begin to notice patterns in your journal entries. This list is a great place to start when thinking about what you can remove from your life to find a better balance and more fulfillment.
Below are some common stressors that can be removed or lessened to help achieve this balance:
- Social Media
- This one’s a no brainer. Whether your feed is filled with selfies, baby pics, or political posts, excessive scrolling on social media inevitably leads to comparing yourself to others, questioning your own lifestyle, and a heightened level of stress for so many people. Of course, this will not help you reach a life of balance and fulfillment. Try to dial back your screen time by setting daily limits for yourself on your phone (technology is amazing, huh?), or allowing yourself a “break” from your social media accounts for a set period of time (maybe start with 1 week a month).
- TV can be tricky. For many, this is how we unwind after a long, stressful day at work. The key to watching television/Netflix is ensuring you’re not adding any additional stress to your life while doing so. For example, if you find the nightly news leaving you with strong emotions of anger or despair, maybe try switching over to your favorite episode of The Office or Schitt’s Creek. Limiting your tv time, much like your social media time, and picking up a book, taking a walk, or grabbing an extra hour of sleep instead will contribute to your overall health.
- Toxic Relationships
- Some relationships serve as a constant source of support toward reaching your goals in life while others, unfortunately, can hold you back. It’s important to recognize if there are relationships in your life that are causing you additional stress or heartache—then decide what to do about them. Many times an honest conversation will help resolve misunderstandings, but if a relationship seems too toxic or hostile to save, and is interfering with your day to day happiness, it may be time to step away for a bit while you focus on your goals.
- Being the “yes” man/woman
- We see this one often. You’re working toward that next promotion and every request of you is one more chance to show your worth, or maybe you’re just a people pleaser who doesn’t like the thought of letting others down. At some point, you’ve taken on maybe not more than you can handle, but more than you can handle without impacting your mental health and stress level. It’s important to realize that it’s OK to say no once in a while in order to save yourself some unneeded stress. If you stretch yourself too thin, at some point your results, whether it be at work, home, or the gym, will suffer.
If any of this sounds familiar (and I’m betting it does), take some time to think about how you can lead a happier, less stressful life through elimination and reduction. Check out this quick and free assessment to help you figure out what your stressors are.
If you need more assistance on how to make any of these decisions, our coaches at PP are here for you every step of the way. Click Here to connect with our staff and get the personalized coaching you need to help remove things from your life to improve it.