How to Use Routines to Clear Your Mind and Reduce Stress

Dealing With Stress Series – 2

Routines are highly underrated. Most people who are portrayed in the media as having a good work ethic and who have high standards for their lives and environments are often teased as being neurotic or obsessive over details that donít seem to matter. However, if you pay attention to the people around you, the more organized you are, the more you can get accomplished in the least amount of time with the least amount of stress.

One mistake that obsessively organized people make is in sweating the small details if things donít work out the way they anticipate the first time. Some people forget to leave room for error and may become even more stressed out if things donít go exactly according to the plan.

The act of getting organized and following the routine that you set for yourself is to reduce the stress in your life, not to cause it! Fortunately for us all, there is a middle ground that we can utilize. And the key thing to remember is that we have to be realistic in our goals and leave ourselves enough wiggle room that we can easily overcome unforeseen bumps in the road.

While itís important to stay flexible, it is also important to keep up with the habits and routines that you are creating. When we build a habit, it is a way for our brains to get used to a new activity that can be stressful at first but will ultimately be chalked up to autopilot. This takes much of the stress away from the activity itself because our minds already know what is coming and our bodies are used to the challenge, making it a comfortable part of daily life, even if the activity itself is not a particularly enjoyable one.

Good habits do not have to be enjoyable for us to begin finding comfort in them. In fact, even doing unenjoyable things in a routine way can begin to feel satisfying. Even if we do not like the activity, like cleaning or taking out the trash for example, we can still feel a sense of accomplishment in doing them. We are rewarded in our brains for upkeep of a good habit, and once we get it over with then we donít have to worry about it anymore. At least until the next time.

It causes incredible stress to the body to dread activities that are a constant part of daily life. Most times it is far healthier to accept that they are inevitabilities and to train ourselves to deal with them promptly and efficiently so that we can move on to doing the things we really enjoy.
Accepting the things we must do and forming habits and routines around them takes the pressure of dread and anticipation away and free up your mind for the things that really matter, like spending time with your friends and family and getting your personal goals accomplished. So embrace the power of routines today!

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