Do you sweat the small stuff? Learn how to be more easy-going

Being able to let go is a valuable skill to master, but some stress can be good for you. If you're a chronic worrier, Annika Rose reveals how you can stay calm, carry on and be happy.

Relaxed woman

We all have someone in our lives who just seems to take everything in their stride, while others seem to be stressed out by the smallest of challenges.

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If you’re someone who finds themselves easily stressed then don’t worry – there are lots of practical things you can do to become a calmer person.

How to accept change in your life

Some people are comfortable to go with the flow and exude a relaxed, casual presence as they do. Others are more tense and seem generally more highly-strung in certain situations.

If you consider yourself to be an easy-breezy personality type, do your significant others agree? Would those who know you best describe you as relaxed, or restless?

If you’re reading this and already worrying that they think you’re not chilled-out enough, therein lies a little clue.

Dr Rangan Chatterjee (photo by Susan Bell)

The more easy-going you can be, the easier you’ll find it to be even-tempered in the face of change, challenges or adversity. Yet when things are out of your control, there’s a real knack to keeping calm and carrying on.

While you may not be thrilled that your meeting was cancelled or that dinner plans have changed for the third time, your ability to let go and move on determines how flexible and forgiving you’ll seem to others.

How easy-going are you? Take our personality test

What are the physical health benefits of a calmer lifestyle?

When you’re calm, the benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing are discernible. For a start, you’re in greater control of your responses – rather than your reflexes causing problems for you.

Those who are laid-back tend to be happier and more satisfied with their life as a whole too.

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.
Chinese proverb

In contrast, the negative impact of being a worrier can influence how you think, feel and behave. Mental and emotional tension often manifest into physical symptoms, including aches and pains.

Break the cycle by finding ways to reduce the amount you worry, thus improving your health and giving your brain a break.

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Is stress good for you?

So why can’t we all just kick back and chill out? For starters, telling someone who’s tense to calm down, or pointing out to a highly-strung person how totally uptight they are, is almost guaranteed to make them even more so.

Furthermore, a little stress is actually a good thing! It helps us to take action and get things done. Without that drive, we’d all have zero motivation.

Mindful woman

Besides, the world needs a dash of both. People who worry when there’s no plan usually thrive on organisation and structure, using it to support them being at their absolute best.

Their rituals and routines can keep those of us who are very easy-going in check, and their dose of healthy pessimism can be useful to conjure up a ‘Plan B’.

Conversely, those of us who are laid-back step in to show how stress can be successfully kept at bay. Their optimism will gently remind the highly-strung it’s more important to be happy than to worry.

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4 ways to become more relaxed and easy-going

1

Pour yourself a cuppa

The calming properties of chamomile have been tried, tested and celebrated for centuries. If you’re feeling particularly tense, stick the kettle on, make a pot of chamomile tea and take a few moment to relax with your warming drink.

2

Head for the gym or go for a walk

Exercise helps to reduce tension by encouraging the release of endorphins. Not only do they relieve pain, these wonderful chemicals can also stimulate relaxation, leaving you in a more mellow, easy-going state.

3

Light a burner containing a few of your favourite essential oils.

This can be a great way to help calm the mind and body. One study found that soothing your senses with lavender essential oil lowered the heart rate and reduced blood pressure, decreasing the physical response to stress.

4

Take time out just for you to relax.

Allocate some guilt-free time to look after yourself by reading that book you’ve been meaning to get into, painting your nails or stretching out in a slow yoga slow.

Once you’ve harnessed that quiet, relaxing energy, you can take it with you through the rest of your day.

Photos by Nick Grant, Tamara Bellis, Simon Migaj and Aline Kovalchuk on Unsplash.