Stress is Optional

Here are 11 ways to take time for what matters and put stress in its place.

Ilya/Stocksy United

Waging a battle against stress doesn’t make much sense, does it? It’s the surest way to increase the stress: “This battle against stress is really stressing me out!” Mindfulness lets us interrupt the stress cycle and let in some space and air.

1. Take a walk

Modern life seems designed to make us stay in one place—sitting, standing, or lying down—for long periods of time. Most people don’t even remember a time when you had to get up off your butt to walk across the room and change the channel on the TV or go over to the bookshelf to consult the dictionary. Moving has gone out of style, and the balance of mental to physical energy expended can get way out of whack. Find an excuse to use muscles that are feeling lonely and neglected. Raise your heart rate a little. Your body, and mind, will thank you.

2. Eat lunch somewhere pleasant

Taking lunch at your desk ensures your mind will stay in the same frame of reference while you’re eating, particularly if you’re checking email or doing work at the same time. Go somewhere else to have lunch, hang out with co-workers, let go…