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How to reduce stress, irritation, or frustration
Personal Development
  • Jan 13, 2021
  • 2 minutes

How to reduce stress, irritation, or frustration

What do you need to have a peaceful day or week? Here are some useful tips:

- Finish unfinished projects or tasks you’ve been putting off

If something was worth starting, it’s worth finishing. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel peaceful when I start a task and don’t finish it, especially when the remnants of that task remind me about it. A few months ago, I started to install a safety bolt on a back door, but I broke a drill bit while pre-screwing for the screws. A whole bunch of other stuff needed attention at the same time, and I left the tools and supplies out—for weeks. No big deal, really, but it was an extra thought every time I let the dogs out, which is 4-5 times a day. Oh yeah, gotta do that. Or grrr what a mess.

Why not just do it so I don’t have that clutter in my head? Today I finally cleaned out my refrigerator. Every time I opened it I thought, Oh God, I have to clean this up. It only took 20 minutes for a total clean-up and wipe down, but I put it off for weeks. I resolved today to make a weekly routine so it never gets that bad again.

- What projects are you constantly reminded of, at work or at home?

Maybe it’s a cluttered closet or desk (or refrigerator), or some project you started months ago. Just do it, get it done, clear your mind.

- Repair relationships and situations or let them go

This is easier said than done, I know. But here’s the thing. So many people complain about their husbands or wives, friends, relatives, a coworker, a job, or a neighbor, and I wonder: What are you doing to fix this? Instead of complaining about it or living in conflict, why not make changes, resolve things, apologize, forgive, request changes, or accept things as they are? In extreme cases, sometimes it’s best to end the relationship or quit the job or situation, as hard as that can be.

I’m talking from personal experience. My marriage ended in divorce four years ago, for example, and the years leading up to that were far from peaceful. There was a never-ending clutter in my mind, and my emotions were on a rollercoaster. I didn’t complain so much; I took action and read stacks of books, and I spent a lot of time talking or listening and going to couples counseling and a marriage program. I tried to fix it, but it wasn’t fixable, so I ended it. There’s a lot more to it than that, of course, and I probably should have ended it long before I did. But the goal was peace, and I took it in stages.

What is cluttering your mind?

Think about times you have less patience with your kids, coworkers, husband, wife, partner, yourself, or any situation. You can’t relax, and you’re on edge or frustrated. Have you taken care of your priorities and put first things first? Do you have unfinished tasks or projects begging for attention? What about your relationships?

If you want more peace in your life or want to reduce stress, irritation, or frustration, think about what you need to take care of — before you do anything else — so the rest of your day and life can be more peaceful.

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