8 Intentional Ways to Reduce Stress in Your Twenties

Photo by Inside Weather from Unsplash

With all the overwhelming things to prioritize and goals to accomplish, almost everything causes stress to anyone in her twenties. When you have to juggle school, work, relationships at such a young age, it’s just a matter of time until you explode. Apparently, a lot of things cause you stress especially being in a role that you were forced to play. You feel so limited because your potential is reduced to multiple roles, none of which you personally enjoy doing. It’s exhausting to be one thing and then switch to another when at a different place.

A little stress is good, even motivating, but too much is not good. Stress holds you back from your dreams just as much as fear and doubt do. Fortunately, everything it takes to reduce stress in your life is in your hands. It takes resilience and courage to face challenges while maintaining a positive disposition, but it’s frankly much easier said than done. Nevertheless, it’s essential to understand the place where your stress and anxiety are coming from, so you know exactly what behavior to adjust, change and compromise.

It takes a drastic change in your day-to-day life, starting with your belief and perspective about the world. What happens in your mind affects everything around you and vice versa. To reduce stress from infiltrating Stop blowing simple problems out of proportion. You can avoid much unnecessary stress if you don’t take everything so personally. It’s time you face the reality that life can surprise you no matter how prepared you are
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8 WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS EFFECTIVELY:


ELIMINATE THE SOURCE OF YOUR STRESS

 
When you’re in your twenties, it’s easy to indulge in things that boost your ego and sense of validation even at the cost of your health and happiness. Usually, things like fame, material desires, adoration appear to be the most important to you at the moment but don’t truly matter at all. During this time, the reason you’re doing things is centered more to how people will think of you instead of what makes you happy.

As young adults, we are burdened by the need to be liked and accepted to a community. This is why we get so worked up on impressing others by the figures on our salary, the number of properties we own, the extravagant parties we throw, and many more “determinants” that we made it. Our desperation comes from years of bottled-up insecurities, and without knowing how to properly deal with these negative thoughts, we make terrible decisions from a place of resentment and fear. That right there is the source of your unnecessary stress. It’s critical that you set clear and direct boundaries with yourself.

GET TO KNOW YOURSELF MORE 


As I always mention on my blog, self-awareness is the key to personal accountability. Stress management has a lot to do with determining the reasons for your choices (why you do what you do) and understanding how your mind processes when confronted with unlikely stimuli (how your brain and ego respond to challenges). accept yourself, learn what stresses you, and begin to erect powerful boundaries that help you honor who you are authentic. Stop spreading yourself too thin and exposing yourself to experiences that make you feel overwhelmed, resentful, angry, and out of control. You don’t have to live up to someone else’s standards anymore. You’re you and you’re more than enough.


PLAY INTELLECTUAL GAMES 

 
As a kid, I was never one to excel in sports and video games. I was naturally bad at it and even ashamed by my skills when playing with other kids. But this shame no longer bothered me when I discovered I was interested and slightly good at mind games. Since then, I’ve been playing this type of games until now, especially when I’m stressed from school work.

Online mind games can be an effective avenue to challenge your intellect. They improve your logical and cognitive skills. They can be a good distraction from all the stress you get from school or work.

When I came across Solitaire.org., I was delighted there is still another site that offers the games I love playing. I browsed the website and had so much fun playing their varied collection of word games. They also have Mahjong games, Card games, Logic puzzles, Hidden Objects, and many other categories. I even called my nieces and nephews to play with me with these conceptual and analytical types of games rather than the popular ones with violent nature.

Solitaire games. Life Begins At Twenty
Solitaire


I find Solitaire a sentimental game for me for two reasons:


(1) this is what my grandmother (father’s side) ALWAYS played. She would bring a deck of cards wherever she goes and just plays Solitaire manually. She would call me to play with her and that’s when I first learned about Solitaire.
(2) the first time we bought a computer, solitaire was one of the very first few games I played since we didn’t have internet back then. They also have mind games like Word Search. I prefer playing this on a book so I can highlight or cross or underline the words on my own and my eyes don’t have to get too watery looking at the screen for too long but it’s still a good alternative.

Word Search. Life Begins At Twenty

Word Search 16X16 Puzzle Grid Size

Word search is one of the games that I always played when I was a kid. I used to let my parents buy a lot of Word search books in different grid sizes as something I’d do in my past time. I was too young to have a cell phone back then so this was what I considered as fun. I love that I still enjoy playing this until now, in my twenties, but I do prefer the book version more because staring at the screen for too long hurts my eyes. Besides, it’s more fun to encircle or highlight the word yourself rather than using your mouse.

Letter Scramble. Life Begins At Twenty

Letter Scramble

I’ve played a lot of word scramble games but nothing quite like this yet. I find this game very unique and enjoyable. Nothing beats the adrenaline pump when trying to form 40 words in 5 minutes while the letters are flying and upside down. Not to mention the dopamine you feel when you finish the goal before the time ends and still get additional bonus points. The number of words required goes up and up as you level up. The only thing I’m sad about this is it’s only up to 3 levels. I wanted more challenges from this; maybe more difficult letters and different backgrounds.

Overall, Solitaire.org is filled with FREE & CLASSIC games. They have lots of mental and challenging games for people in all ages. Engage in fun and fantastic challenges that improve mental sharpness, memory, and focus.

If you want to play classic and fun online games, click here.

ADAPT A BETTER PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE

 
Are you the kind of person who would rather experience discomfort in facing new challenges or would you rather sit back and think about all the things that could go wrong than keep yourself at risk? If you’re someone who does the former, we have the same perspective on life and I guess we’d make great friends. If you’re the latter, you have a lot to learn, accept, and understand about the uncertainties and mysteries of life.

Change the way you see your fears, so you can outgrow them with your head held high. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather live a short yet fulfilled life. The kind of life where every single day is filled with gratitude knowing I’m alive and the possibilities are endless, only if I’m brave enough to chase them. Have genuine intentions with everybody around you, and under any circumstance, be honest. But remember that the hard truth hurts less if said politely and sensitively, not the opposite. If you have no ulterior motive about anything you do, you don’t have to watch your back or worry about how will respond to your actions.

It feels so much better and freer to mind your own business and let people live however they wish (unless it directly affects you). Know that you can only do so much to help someone because you can’t control all their actions. You don’t have to feel guilty for their life decisions (even if they’re clearly in the wrong) because you’re not the one responsible for such.

STOP WORRYING ABOUT THINGS YOU CAN’T CHANGE


When you receive bad news that can potentially sour your mood for the entire day, ponder on the idea if there’s still something you can do to change the outcome. If there’s none, what’s the point of worrying? Instead of allowing your anger to take away the joy in the present, except that it is what it is. It’s not your fault that it’s happening that way, so stop finding reasons that it is. Stop criticizing yourself, especially for the mistakes you’ve done in the past.
As they say, if it’s out of your hands, let it out of your mind. You deserve to feel peace despite all your misdeeds because they happened to make you yearn for solemnity at the end of the tunnel.

TAKE TIME TO RELAX


Whether you’re up for it or not, life is going to be one crazy hell of a journey but you have the choice to enjoy the ride or complain all the way through. If you don’t take breaks in between your aggressive hours of hard work, you’re inviting a whole lot of stress into your life that’s served on a silver platter. Who else wouldn’t be overwhelmed if every single day of your life flows according to a routine? Even the most skillful and diligent people go through breakdowns because they don’t have a healthy work-life balance. Work isn’t everything, but it shouldn’t be disregarded as well.

Dedicate time for work but also for spending time with family and loved ones; both are indispensable and won’t work in the long-term if the other is unfairly compromised. It’s very important to use your time intentionally for the things that matter to you and can enhance the quality of your life. Relaxation isn’t the only time for recharging your energy but also remembering why you do what you do. When you adapt to a healthy, happy life, you can freely refuel your purpose and nurture the relationships around you, which in totality, is the meaning of a fulfilled life for me. By doing this consistently, you become more grateful.


LIVE A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE

 
Healthy minds and bodies cope with stress better than others who live unhealthy lifestyles. Your physical health holds a great deal of importance when it comes to dealing with stress. By practicing good health habits, you’re strengthening your control and resistance to stress. When you get enough sleep, you also improve cognitive activity and focus on your work. When productivity is increased, your self-esteem is boosted which makes you resistant to stress from straining your professional relationship. Lacking sleep causes you to feel tired and not in the mood which makes you so vulnerable to stress and disagreements.

When you eat balanced-diet meals and exercise regularly, you boost your immune system from illnesses, sharpen your memory, and develop metabolism. When your work schedule gets hectic, you know you’ve armed and prepared yourself for the long nights and busy workload. Also, avoid indulging in vices like alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Some may say these are a great help to escape and relieve stress, but using these is not the effective way. They only provide temporary relief but do not really solve the root problem of your stress and even take a toll on your health in the long term.


STOP PLEASING OTHERS

 

One huge cause of stress is living based on perfection. Your desire to be perfect in the eyes of the people who are irrelevant to your story is ridiculous. When you try to act perfect all the time, you force yourself to take on too many responsibilities. By the time you realize it’s impossible to juggle all of them at the same time, you’ve already held yourself hostage to unrealistic standards. You’ve already hurt others, and mostly yourself, for being the woman who can do it all and still look ‘attractive’ enough for men to swoon over.

This type of mindset is what’s fueling the stress in your mind to spread yourself too thin. If you’re too worried about what others might think of you, it means you’re giving them the liberty to control your emotions and contribute stress to your life as often as they want. You can’t avoid all stress in your life, so for situations when you can, prioritize your health and well-being first. It’s imperative to figure out the root cause of this need to fulfill other people’s expectations even if it goes back to childhood years of suppressed feelings.

 

CONCLUSION:


To avoid stress from entering your life, you need to stop doing things that enable it in the first place. In your twenties, it is crucial to commit to a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle. This involves daily meditation and assessment of your thoughts, emotions, and relationships to practice accountability for your actions. Make it a habit to reflect on the way you handled a situation and assess whether it’s good behavior or a bad one.

When you’re actively aware of how you deal with unlikely situations, you will determine the factors that directly trigger your fears and negative behavior. Then, you can respond to these by either removing yourself from such situations that cause stress or doing something to change the paradigm that saves you from unnecessary stress. With your thoughts and feelings in check, you will be more in control of how you respond to others’ behavior and more likely to improve the quality of your relationships.


“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”

Amit Ray, Om Chanting and Meditation

Published by Monique Renegado

Monique started Life Begins At Twenty as a 20-year-old college student from the Philippines. In her lifestyle and wellness blog, she shares first-hand experiences and soulful advice about student life, relationships, mental health, adulting, and self-growth. Monique is passionate about literature, music, public speaking, and family. Besides studying and blogging full-time, she strives hard to become a published author with her first YA fiction novel and poems. Monique is the older sister you wish you had to help you navigate your twenties successfully. If you want a constant drive for motivation and pep talks, be a part of her journey.

14 thoughts on “8 Intentional Ways to Reduce Stress in Your Twenties

  1. If you’re anything like me when I was in my twenties, you can still be reckless and overindulge. And if you’re unlucky like me, that’ll lead to psychosis and a host of health issues in your thirties. So my advice, do everything in moderation to help with your stress and happiness, and remember to always be safe

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  2. Great structured post Monique! I should have to add that your advices are useful to everyone who deals with stress and not only women in their 20s. I understand that most of the struggle begins at 20 but truth is it never stops and your advices are valuable for everyone in need. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. I appreciate your kind messages, Eri! Thank you so much. Yes, I try to write advice for everyone but I just add “in your twenties” in the title to fit in my niche haha. You’re the sweetest x

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  3. I’m a little past my 20s but I think this advice is very useful to anyone struggling with stress. I love playing games to keep my mind off other things when necessary. Great post!

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  4. Some great advice! I definitely want to try and adopt a healthy lifestyle that will carry me through the rest of my life but also think your 20s are a great time to have fun and go on adventures!

    Tash – A Girl with a View

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  5. So many great suggestions. Whenever, I have stress I either, playing a mind game or practice breathing techniques. I will try some of your other suggestions. Thank you for sharing.

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