10 Simple Ways to Live a Less Stressful Life

Stress is a major problem for many people — a hectic, stressful job, a chaotic home life, bills to worry about and bad habits such as unhealthy eating, drinking and smoking can lead to a mountain of stress.

If your life is full of stress, there are some simple things you can do to get to a more manageable level.

Now, your life will probably never be stress-free. That’s not desirable (even if it was possible) because stress is something that challenges you and helps you grow—when it’s at a reasonable level. But when stress gets too high, it causes you to be unhappy and unhealthy.

One of the keys to success is taking a realistic, gradual approach to change. How do you do it? One change at a time. Change one habit a month and gradually, over the course of a year or two, you will find you have made long-lasting changes to many things in your life.

Not all of these tips may work for you. Each person is different. Pick and choose the ones that you feel will be effective for you, and give them a try. One at a time.

  1. One thing at a time. This is the simplest and best way to start reducing your stress, and you can start today. Right now. Focus as much as possible on doing one thing at a time. Clear your desk of distractions. Pick something to work on. Need to write a report? Do only that. Remove distractions such as phones and email notifications while you’re working on that report. If you’re going to review email, do only that. This takes practice, and you’ll get urges to do other things. Just keep practicing and you’ll get better at it.
  2. Simplify your schedule. A hectic schedule is a major cause of high stress. Simplify by reducing the number of commitments in your life to the essentials. Learn to say no to the rest — and slowly get out of commitments that aren’t beneficial to you. Schedule only a few important things each day, and put space between them. Leave room for down time and fun.
  3. Get moving. Do something each day to be active — walk, hike, play a sport, go for a run, do yoga. It doesn’t have to be grueling to reduce stress. Just move. Have fun doing it.
  4. Develop one healthy habit this month. Other than getting active, improving your health overall will help with the stress. But do it one habit at a time. Eat fruits and veggies for snacks. Floss every day. Quit smoking. Cook a healthy dinner. Drink water instead of soda. One habit at a time.
  5. Do something calming. What do you enjoy that calms you down? For many people, it can be the “get moving” activity discussed above. But it could also be taking a nap, or a bath, or reading. Other people are calmed by housework or yard work. Some people like to meditate, or take a nature walk. Find your calming activity and try to do it each day.
  6. Simplify your finances. Finances can be a drain on your energy and a major stressor. If that’s true with you, find ways to simplify things. Automate savings and bill payments and debt payments. Spend less by shopping (at malls or online) much less. Find ways to have fun that don’t involve spending money.
  7. Have a blast! Have fun each day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Play with your kids — that can take your mind off everything and can be really hilarious. Play sports (with or without your kids). Board games are fun. Whatever you choose, be sure to laugh.
  8. Get creative. Throwing yourself into a creative activity is another great way to de-stress and to prevent stress. Consider writing, painting, woodworking, playing music, sketching, cooking or making pottery, interior design or building things.
  9. Declutter. Take 20 to 30 minutes and just go through a room, getting rid of stuff you don’t use or need anymore or find a better place for it. When you are done, you will have a nice, peaceful environment for work, play, and living. Do this a little at a time — make it one of your “fun activities.”
  10. Be early. Being late can be very stressful. Try to leave earlier by getting ready earlier, or by scheduling more space between events. Things always take longer than normal, so schedule some buffer time: extra time to get ready, to commute, to do errands before you need to be somewhere, to attend a meeting before another scheduled appointment. If you get somewhere early, it’s good to have some reading material. 

The Most Successful Kids Have Parents Who Do These 9 Things

Much has been written about the attributes of high-achieving adults, and what makes them different from everyone else. But if you’re a parent, a more compelling question may be: “What can I do to make sure my kids succeed in life?” Here’s what researchers say.

Researchers have previous found that children of older parents tend to have fewer externalizing behavior problems than children of younger parents. But common traits are being discovered in successful adults that appears to affect the way we interact with our children.

1. Don’t Tell Them They Can Be Anything They Want.

According a survey of 400 teenagers, conducted by market research agency C+R Research, young Americans aren’t interested in doing the work that will need to be done in the years to come. Instead, they aspire to be musicians, athletes, or video game designers, even though these kinds of jobs only comprise 1 percent of American occupations.

In reality, jobs in health care or in construction trades will be golden in future decades. Why not steer them into well-paying professions in which there will be a huge shortage of workers?

2. Eat Dinner As a Family.

According to a nonprofit organization operating out of Harvard University, kids who eat with their families roughly five days a week exhibit lower levels of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, obesity, and depression. They also have higher grade-point averages, better vocabularies, and more self-esteem.

3. Enforce No-Screen Time.

Researchers have found that the brains of little kids can be permanently altered when they spend too much time using tablets and smartphones. Specifically, the development of certain abilities is impeded, including focus and attention, vocabulary, and social skills.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says children younger than 18 months should have no screen time at all, other than video-chatting. For kids ages two to five, it recommends limiting screen time to one hour a day.

For older kids, it’s a matter of making sure media doesn’t take the place of adequate sleep, exercise, and social interaction. The AAP also says parents should make the dinner table, the car, and bedrooms media-free zones.

Steve Jobs Didn’t Let His Kids Use iPads & You Shouldn’t Either

4. Work Outside The Home.

There are certainly familial benefits to having a stay-at-home mother, but researchers at Harvard Business School have found that when moms work outside the home, their daughters are more likely to be employed themselves, hold supervisory roles, and make more money than peers whose mothers did not have careers.

5. Make Them Work.

In a 2015 TED Talk, Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult and the former dean of freshman at Stanford University, cites the Harvard Grant Study, which found that the participants who achieved the greatest professional success did chores as a child.

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6. Delay Gratification.

The classic Marshmallow Experiment of 1972 involved placing a marshmallow in front of a young child, with the promise of a second marshmallow if he or she could refrain from eating the squishy blob while a researcher stepped out of the room for 15 minutes.

Follow-up studies over the next 40 years found that the children who were able to resist the temptation to eat the marshmallow grew up to be people with better social skills, higher test scores, and a lower incidence of substance abuse.

They also turned out to be less obese and better able to deal with stress. To help kids build this skill, train them to have habits that must be accomplished every day — even when they don’t feel like doing them.

“Top performers in every field — athletes, musicians, CEOs, artists — are all more consistent than their peers,” writes James Clear, an author and speaker who studies the habits of successful people. “They show up and deliver day after day while everyone else gets bogged down with the urgencies of daily life and fights a constant battle between procrastination and motivation.”

7. Read to Them.

Researchers at the New York University School of Medicine have found that babies whose parents read to them have better language, literacy, and early reading skills four years later before starting elementary school. And kids who like books when they’re little grow into people who read for fun later on, which has its own set of benefits.

That’s according to Dr. Alice Sullivan, who uses the British Cohort Study to track various aspects of 17,000 people in the U.K.

“We compared children from the same social backgrounds who achieved similar tested abilities at ages five and 10, and discovered that those who frequently read books at age 10 and more than once a week when they were 16 had higher test results than those who read less,” she writes for The Guardian.

“In other words, reading for pleasure was linked to greater intellectual progress, in vocabulary, spelling, and mathematics.”

8. Encourage Them To Travel.

The Student and Youth Travel Association (SYTA) surveyed 1,432 U.S. teachers who credit international travel, in particular, with affecting students in a myriad of good ways:

• Desire to travel more (76%)
• Increased tolerance of other cultures and ethnicities (74%)
• Increased willingness to know/ learn/ explore (73%)
• Increased willingness to try different foods (70%)

• Increased independence, self-esteem, and confidence (69%)
• More intellectual curiosity (69%)
• Increased tolerance and respectfulness (66%)
• Better adaptability and sensitivity (66%)

• Being more outgoing (51%)
• Better self-expression (51%)
• Increased attractiveness to college admissions (42%)

If sending your son or daughter abroad or bringing them with you overseas isn’t feasible, take heart. The survey also asked teachers about domestic travel and found similar benefits for students.

9. Let Them Fail.

While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s one of the best things a parent can do. According to Dr. Stephanie O’Leary, a clinical psychologist specializing in neuropsychology and author of Parenting in the Real World: The Rules Have Changed, failure is good for kids on several levels.

First, experiencing failure helps your child learn to cope, a skill that’s certainly needed in the real world. It also provides him or her with the life experience needed to relate to peers in a genuine way. Being challenged also instills the need for hard work and sustained efforts, and also demonstrates that these traits are valuable even without the blue ribbon, gold star, or top score.

Over time, children who have experienced defeat will build resilience and be more willing to attempt difficult tasks and activities because they are not afraid to fail. And, she says, rescuing your child sends the message that you don’t trust him or her.

“Your willingness to see your child struggle communicates that you believe they are capable and that they can handle any outcome, even a negative one,” she says.

Kids Preferred Books to Screens So School Bans iPads and Brings Back Textbooks

Kids Preferred Books to Screens So School Bans iPads and Brings Back Textbooks

More research and more experts warn that excessive screen use isn’t good for kids AND for a variety of reasons (see 1, 2, 3, 4).

Silicon Valley parents (aka tech inventors) have been sending their kids to private low-tech schools for many years and limiting their use of tech in their homes.  More recently it’s been reported they’ve been going to desperate extremes to shield their kids from screens – like spying on their nannies.

Unfortunately, many public schools have become “high tech” – and that, of course, requires excessive amounts of screen time.  Thanks to Healthy Food House for reporting about one private school in Australia that traded in their tech so students could learn happily ever after:

Kids Preferred Books to Screens So School Bans iPads and Brings Back Textbooks

Nowadays, technology has become one of the crucial aspects of living, and youngsters are becoming growingly dependent on their high-tech devices. This made numerous schools incorporate them in the classroom, and numerous parents believe they are essential for modern education.

However, numerous scientists and doctors warn about their excessive use and the effects of the digital era.

As a result, Reddam House Private School, located in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, has officially banned the use of iPads and gone back to regular textbooks. The school claims that it was done due to the feedback they received from students, who prefer pages to screens.

The school has used these devices for the past five years, but found that they do not improve the technology skills of the students but hindered their learning instead.

According to principal Dave Pitcairn, students were distracted by messages and other alerts and maintained that they learned better when searching through a textbook, as they found it easier to research and take notes.

He explained that they had not entirely gone away from hard copy, as they kept year 11 and 12 hard copy. When students got to year 11 and made the comparison between digital and hard copy, they preferred the hard copy. Namely, they found it much easier to navigate through the textbook with the hard copy.

He maintains that students learn better the more faculties they use, the more senses they use in research and reading and making notes.

IPads were only introduced in 2010 and adopted into classrooms in the subsequent years, and the conflicting research between iPads and textbooks reveals that there are pros and cons to everything.

Students were also shown to engage better with a physical textbook and to comprehend better when learning from actual printed textbooks.

We should not forget the effects of the blue light emitted by these devices, which might lead to permanent eye damage, and their use has been linked to mental health issues and delayed language development, obesity, sleeping and attention problems, and more.

Some even note that the use of digital devices could cause addiction, depression, chronic stress, and irritability.

Screen Time Colorado Introduction – YouTube

https://youtu.be/QGZV-FZ1ggY