Want to Reduce Stress? Set Daily Goals
Thursday, September 2, 2021
Do you ever feel stressed because there are too many things to do and not enough time to do them? Do you sometimes worry you’ll forget something important? Do you ever notice physical symptoms of stress, like a rapidly beating heart?
Okay. Take a deep breath. We can deal with this.
First, know this: it’s normal to feel these ways once in a while. But if stress starts dominating your every waking hour—or is starting to keep you up at night—you need to do something about it.
The good news is, you can start reducing your stress right now by goal setting.
Do the words “goal setting” sound daunting? Don’t worry. Goal setting doesn’t have to involve reassessing your entire life or take hours of planning to be helpful.
In fact, making lists with your daily goals is one powerful, yet incredibly simple way of reducing stress. When you write your daily goals down in the morning, several positive things happen automatically—before you’ve even done anything on the list:
It takes the pressure off: you no longer need to worry you’ll forget something.
It allows you to see the “big picture,” so you can better decide which items you should tackle first.
It helps give structure to your day and more often than not helps you realize things aren’t as bad as they seemed.
You don’t need to get goal setting apps or software, unless, of course, you want to—in fact, stepping offline and jotting things down by hand, on a small notepad can often be stress-reducing in itself.
Then, when it comes time to take care of your tasks, stay realistic about the time it may take to complete them. Cut yourself some slack if you don’t get everything done. Remember, tomorrow is another day.
Now, a final word to the wise: if you don’t deal with the stress you are experiencing, it could lead not only to more serious mental health challenges, but physical problems like heart disease, obesity and/or high blood pressure.
If you’re looking for additional ideas to maintain your positive mental health, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends the following:
Getting professional help if you need it
Connecting with others
Getting physically active
Getting enough sleep
Developing coping skills