1. Living in or owning messy / disorganized/ cluttered space(s)
“But that’s just how I live,” says your girlfriend as she throws her dirty clothes on the floor.
When everything is lying everywhere it can create a raucous. When important documents, homework, papers, materials get scattered, it takes time away from your busy schedule to locate and retrieve whatever it is you need. It’s not that hard to stay organized as long as you keep everything in a designated spot! Take a little bit of time to clean and organize your spaces and I promise you’ll feel like 10 pounds was lifted off your shoulders.
2. The people you hang out with
Ever hear the quote: “Your vibe attracts your tribe” ? The people you’re hanging out with, whether it’s your roommates, your friends, your coworkers, or your family (as much as you may love them), can cause you great stress. Maybe you don’t feel like you can be your true self around your friends; that can make you slightly uneasy. Your coworkers don’t know how to stay positive at work so you fall for their “pity party,” only making work more miserable. Sometimes your family will tend to pound you about grades, chores, and other responsibilities making you feel like you’re not good enough, or like you have an endless amount of standards to reach.
It happens, even if it doesn’t seem like anyone intends to do you any harm. Stressors know they’re uninvited so they tend to sneak their way into everything, whether it’s through your conscious or behind the attitudes of others.
Obviously, we can’t pick our family, but try to stay aware of the little things that trigger you to feel less than you deserve. Being mindful can make the biggest difference. And as for friend, roommates, and/or coworkers: stay mindful of how you feel, or how they make you feel, and adjust your circle accordingly.
3. Spending too much time on social media
It’s not a secret that majority of us spend way too much time scrolling and scrolling through endless amounts of pictures, tweets, statuses, videos, and other posts. The posts we see usually include updates from our family, friends, celebrities, and maybe some of our favorite motivators (authors, body builders, politicians, speakers, comedians, etc.)
But we forget that we can’t see behind closed doors. What you see online never portrays what really happens behind the scenes.
That model you gloat over? She has 20 hair-and-make-up artists and three personal stylists working together to make her look spectacular – it’s their job to make her look like perfection.
The body builder you admire who posts billions of selfies of his/her abs? That’s literally only one second in time where they held their breath, flexed super hard, and captured the right angle, the right lighting, and the right pose. You don’t think they have bad days too? No, they just don’t show it to you.
The friend who seems to have their entire life together? We all have our own challenges, stress, and difficulties, and as much as society says “pretend you don’t!”…life gets the best of us whether we want to show it or not.
What’s more? Through social media we try really hard to capture or create perfect posts in order to measure up to the one’s we’re constantly watching. Don’t believe me? How about those snapchats we post all the time about where we are and what we’re doing? And those 276 selfies we take in order to find the right one for Instagram? The status or tweet we revise and ask our friends “is this good?” before sending it out into computer world for everyone to read.
Constantly trying to post statuses and pictures to portray that we’re having the grandest time, or wearing the cutest outfit, and going to the most fun places can make it hard to focus on what’s really important: are you actually having a good time? Are you seriously comfortable and confident in that outfit? Do you and your friends maintain a healthy relationship? Are you really enjoying your life as much as your posts reflect?
I’m happier than a bee if you answered yes to those questions…but at least let it serve as food for thought.
4. Comparing yourself to other people & ignoring the things you deserve credit for
Stop telling yourself that you’re not as good as someone else! Stop telling yourself things like, “I’m such an idiot,” “Wow, I’m so dumb,” “Ugh, that was so stupid of me.” You may think that it’s just a little statement, it’s “just something everyone says,” but it has such detrimental effects on your self esteem. The more you tell yourself these things (I don’t care how minuscule and mindless it seems) the more you will actually believe it. Whether you say you can or you can’t, you’re right; whether you say you’re smart or you’re stupid, you’re right.
Please don’t allow yourself or anyone else to compare you to others. Where I excel, you may not be as competent; my learning pace might be faster while yours may take more hands-on effort and time; I might be a professional in one field of interest, while you’re still trying to understand the basics. Does that make you a failure? Does that mean you don’t have any of your own talents? Does that mean you can’t reach a higher level with a little bit of practice? Absolutely not! We all have to start somewhere. We all have our own pace, and we all have a bunch of stuff going on in our lives that may effect what direction we take, how long it takes us to understand and master our project, and whether or not we decide it’s where we want to spend our time and effort.
There’s this idea in society that to improve, one must strengthen his weaknesses. But that’s trying to reach perfection. Rather than focusing on weaknesses, focus on what you’re good at instead! Stay true to your talents, strong suits, and passions and build off that. Give yourself credit because I know you are good at something. If you want to improve why not be great at that something?
5. Uncomfortable about yourself because of labeling/ judging others
“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” they say…but we all do it anyway. For teens, I think it has a lot to do with appearance and act. We observe our friends’ style, etiquette, expressions, demeanor, walk, and we have opinions about it.
“Those jeans give her a muffin top…”
“His walk makes him look like a tool…”
“Wow, she has such a nice body…”
“He’s the biggest (muscle wise) guy in the room…”
“What kind of exercise are they doing? That’s not how you squat…pft they look ridiculous.”
Eventually, all these thoughts we project on others comes back to us…
“Oh my gosh, do these jeans give me a muffin top?”
“How does my walk make me look?”
“My body would never look like hers.”
“I wish I was that jacked.”
“It’s my first time trying this exercise, but I probably look so stupid right now.”
We start comparing ourselves, we start worrying too much about how we look to others, we start putting labels on yourselves, and that’s stressful. Instead how about we start thinking in more positive terms:
“Who cares if she has a muffin top…even the skinniest of girls can get a muffin top.”
“That’s just how he walks. Doesn’t mean he’s jerk, and doesn’t mean he’s friendly…that’s just part of who he is.”
“She has a nice body, and with the healthy choices I’ve been making, I’m sure I’ll be at my own personal best in no time!”
“We all start somewhere! With enough time and effort, I’ll eventually reach my goals!”
“He may be new to the exercise…let me offer to show him the proper technique!”
If we start thinking this way more, not only will we feel better about ourselves but also we’ll be spreading a tremendous amount of positive vibes into the world.
6. Doing too much of what you HAVE to, and not enough of what you WANT to
We go to work because we have to.
We go to the grocery store because we have to.
We do our homework and study because we have to.
We do sooo many things because we think we have to, but do you really have to?!
Why not switch things up and turning that I have to into an I want to? It will make life so much easier and so much less stressful. Why not find a job doing what you like? Or at least doing it with people who’s company you like? Maybe then it won’t feel like such a drag.
If you’re studying in a particular field…are you doing it because you have to or because you actually want to? (If you say you want to because your parents say that’s the best thing for you then you’re doing it because you have to). If you actually want to do something, you wouldn’t have that hard of a time studying for it…right?
Grocery shopping can be a drag, I know…but why not make it fun? Take a friend and whoever can find the items they need faster, wins! Or they can simply serve as company; two is better than one after all, right? We don’t actually have to be adults in any situation, but it’s your job to figure out how you can make the not-so-fun tasks into entertaining missions to accomplish!
7. Not exercising enough, sleeping enough, or eating right
There are a great deal of studies showing that exercise boosts confidence, productivity, and happiness immensely; likewise, it helps sleeping routines! These three important pieces come together as one. They combine in a triangular-cycle; they ensure that you’re feeling your best, performing your best, and simply being your best you! Without one, another suffers.
Example: If you’re not sleeping enough, you’ll crave more junk food and your workouts will suffer.
If you’re not exercising enough your productivity, mental-sharpness, and confidence may suffer. (Read Spark, by Doctor John J. Ratey)
If you’re not eating nutritious foods, you may have trouble falling asleep or seeing progress in the gym…
Among a factor of other things, all are related to causing stress.
Also, this point ties in greatly with #6: don’t do any of these things because you have to, but because you want to!
Fuel your body in a way that makes you feel good; don’t eat broccoli and spinach because you think you have to. If you enjoy other veggies, eat those instead! Get creative and have fun with it!
Exercise because it’s good for your health and well-being. No is telling you that you have to run for an hour every day, or be a body-builder / power-lifter / join Crossfit club, or do yoga and pilates. If you enjoy Zumba, take Zumba classes! If you enjoy lifting, then lift! If you enjoy long bike rides, then go on a long bike ride! There’s an endless amount of ways to keep moving so stay active whatever way you enjoy.
Make sleep a priority. Instead of saying “I don’t have enough time,” try telling yourself, “I don’t make enough time.” It changes things, doesn’t it? We all love sleep, right? We all want more of it, right? Why not manage your time in such a way that allows you to do that? Go through your routine and start weaning out the things that could potentially be taking time out of your day, thus time away from getting to bed earlier?
Now you can use the excuse that it’s something you have to do – cause it’s good for your health!!
8. Not setting enough time aside for yourself
We all have something that makes us happy; something that we absolutely love doing. It could be exercising, cooking/baking, scrap-booking, swimming, watching movies, reading, people watching, long walks in the park,playing a sport, traveling, sewing, knitting, going out with friends, volunteering, writing, meditating, etc…the list is endless. But there’s something out there that you could do every day and never get sick of. Why aren’t you doing that every day? Or at least once a week?
Once again, this all comes down to priorities. Set aside time to do what you like. It doesn’t matter what it is, but invest in it. Do it because you have to, for your own health, well-being, and sanity. Don’t allow life to get in the way of something you’re passionate about. Try new things, go out and be a social butterfly, or stay in and spend time with being by yourself. Simply make time for what makes you feel good, what makes you happy. You’ll adore and love your life so much more.
Happy de-stressing you lovely person, you. 🙂
~Xoxo, Sab ♥