There are tons of ways to reduce stress: Eliminate stressors. Exercise regularly. Eat well. Sleep enough. You’ve heard them before, because they’re true.
But I’ve noticed another source of stress is the way we approach stressors. Put another way, it is the way we think about them.
It might not be possible to erase all sources of stress from your life. But, if you can learn to find the good in good things, then the way you experience your situation will feel closer to gratitude. Here are six habits people have successfully followed to keep their lives stress-free:
1. Find the Good in Spending Less Than You Earn
Among relatively healthy people, finances are the #1 source of stress. Debt can be particularly stressful, because owing and having to pay a large chunk of your income prevents you from achieving your financial goals or pursuing new experiences.
On the other hand, spending less than you earn is liberating — if you make the effort to appreciate it.
Sure, it’s easy to feel “less than” if you can’t buy as much as your friends or neighbors. But, you need to be intentional about finding satisfaction in saving. Notice how much stress you eliminate when you set up your money to grow. You will not feel “less than” when you run into an emergency and you have money at your fingertips when you need it the most.
Here’s how to do it.
Lower Your Bills
Bills keep your expenses high. Owing a ton of money keeps your stress high. Your goal is to lower your expenses (and stress) without sacrificing experiences. Here are three services that can lower your bills with very little effort on your part.
Want to lower your bills without having to negotiate over the phone with all of your providers? Trim’s bill lowering experts will negotiate on your behalf. Trim can secure a better deal on things like TV, internet and cellphone services. Best of all, you only pay if you save you money.
If Trim cannot lower your bills, you pay nothing. But if Trim is able to lower your bills, you keep 66% of your savings the first year, and 100% of your savings every year after that.
Please note that Trim takes their payment immediately. For example, if Trim saves you $10/month, they will request their 33% fee ($40) right away. But you keep 100% of the savings after that.
Lower your home and auto insurance with Gabi. Gabi is an online insurance broker and agent that makes saving on home and auto insurance super easy. Just sign up for free, share your current policy, and sit back while Gabi gets you quotes for similar coverage.
On average, Gabi saves customers an impressive $825 per year — what are you waiting for? Sign up for Gabi and find a better deal on home and auto insurance.
Most people don’t realize they may have more than one option when it comes to electricity providers. In many cities, there are more than one power provider in your area. Want to know which provider offers the cheapest rates?
Head to ElectrictyRates.com to see what’s available in your area. It takes just a couple minutes. There could be an opportunity to switch to a new power provider and save every month on your power bill!
- Related article: Save on Energy Bills This Month with These 9 Products
Leverage Cash Back Apps
Lowering your expenses is a great way to reduce financial stress, but so is increasing your income. Most people think earning extra money means picking up a second job, and that’s a time commitment not everyone can make.
But what if I told you you can make easy money just by using a few cash-back apps when you shop? It sounds too good to be true, but it’s legit! These are some of the best cash back apps:
Ibotta — Bag a $20 Bonus!
Ibotta pays you cash back when you shop in-store for groceries and other household items at more than 300 retailers. Simply download the app, view and select the offers you like before you shop, and then upload a picture of your receipt to get paid. You can also link loyalty accounts and pay directly from the app for more earning opportunities.
Earn cash back at more than 150 online retailers when you shop through the app or use the convenient browser extension on your computer.
Capital One Shopping
Take your online shopping to the next level with Capital One Shopping. The time and money-saving features help you earn loyalty credits (credits can be redeemed for gift cards to Amazon, Walmart.com, and thousands of other retailers), find instant coupon codes, and score lower prices using its price comparison tool. The browser extension even automates your savings so you never miss an offer.
Sign up for Capital One Shopping, get the browser extension, and put cash back in your pocket when you shop online.
Dosh — $1 Bonus!
Want to earn free money for doing nothing? That dream becomes a reality with Dosh. Download the app and link your cards and then forget about it. When you use your linked card, you’ll earn cash back. No receipts, no offers, no effort. Just cash back.
Nothing could be simpler. Join Dosh and nab a $1 bonus today.
CoinOut pays you cold, hard cash when you submit receipts for in-store purchases and you shop online at partner retailers. If you’re using Ibotta, you’re already taking pics of your receipts — send ‘em on in to CoinOut, too.
Join CoinOut for free — Your PayPal will thank you.
“Help me stop being poor!”
The *only* way to save money is to spend less than you earn. That means you need to decrease your expenses or increase your income.
We want to help you do both.
Join our FREE Simplify Money Workshop to learn the fundamentals of growing wealth. Because when you can spend less than you earn, your money has no choice but to grow. You will build your savings and pay down debt.
What’s more? We’ve got a bunch of free money-hacks to share with you:
- Hacks to lower your monthly bills
- Hacks to spend less on debt
- Hacks to start investing
- Hacks to increase your income by $20/month (with no extra effort)
This workshop has everything you need to accomplish the cardinal rule of personal finance: keep your income over your expenses.
Join our free 5-day Simplify Money Workshop, and start growing your wealth today.
- Related article: How to Budget: The Step-by-Step Process
2. Find the Good in Eating Nutritious Foods
Eating well isn’t the same as dieting. It’s about self-care, not deprivation. Notice how your body and mind feel when you eat nutritious foods. That capability and clarity can be yours on a regular basis if you ditch sugar, vegetable oils, and processed junk.
Need a little boost in the health department? Vitacost is your one-stop-shop for health and wellness solutions like vitamins and supplements, as well as specialty foods (think organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free).
Check out Vitacost’s wide selection of nutritious products to keep your body healthy so your mind can be stress-free.
- Related article: 25 Cheap Keto Diet Recipes
3. Find the Good in Exercising
Exercising offers plenty of physical benefits with the added bonus of making you feel great by reducing stress and improving your mood. The problem is, people become discouraged when they don’t see instant results. That, or they set unrealistic expectations that leave them frustrated.
Be realistic about your goals and try to find the good by noticing your physical progress and celebrating small wins. You don’t have to run for 30 minutes or bench press 100 lbs. Why not start with a walk? Just don’t make it too easy — a one-minute walk to the fridge doesn’t count.
Get Motivated with HealthyWage
Are you and a group of friends looking for a fun way to get and stay motivated to lose weight? Why not get paid to shed your excess pounds with a HealthyWage Weight Loss Challenge?
Participants wager how much weight they will lose, and anyone successful in hitting their weightloss goals wins a cash prize.
Get the push you need to start your weight loss journey — check out HealthyWage today.
4. Find the Good in a Clean Home
Is your house cluttered or in need of a deep cleaning? It might be contributing to your stress!
Our surroundings create energy and influence our moods. I don’t know about you, but I find it so much easier to relax in my space when it’s clean and orderly.
Want to create a zen vibe in your home but don’t know how to tackle the cleaning? Check out these cleaning hacks you’ll wish you knew sooner and notice how calming a clean home feels.
- Related article: 9 Ways to Make Your Own Cleaning Products
5. Find the Good in Reading
Reading is great for stress relief because it transports you to another world, away from your worries.
While reading non-fiction can be relaxing and certainly drives self-improvement, there’s lots to learn from fiction, too. Stories have lessons to teach, if you’re receptive to them. Savor your reading time and notice how much it enriches your life.
Reading is the perfect frugal hobby. Head to your local library to access hundreds or thousands of books for free.
- Related article: 9 Frugal Tips to Live on One Income (without the stress)
6. Work for Good Things and Appreciate Them
Perspective is a powerful thing. There’s more than one way to look at the goals you’re working to achieve. The key is to appreciate the journey.
Consider paying off debt. Working towards becoming debt-free can feel like a stressful chore that eats up all your money. Or, it can feel like an exciting accomplishment that will give you a better future. It all depends on how you look at it.
Find joy in working towards good things and you’ll feel content with your day-to-day experiences and build a low-stress life in the process.
- Related article: 9 Money-Saving Tips to Live Below Your Means
7. Eliminate Procrastination and Take Steps Today to be Stress-Free
When we push things aside, whether it is decluttering the house or starting to exercise, we increase stress because stuff stacks up and remains undone. Procrastination doesn’t promote a stress-free environment, it only gives the appearance we have everything taken care of. We didn’t resolve anything, we just delayed taking care of it.
Start reducing your stress today by implementing one of these stress-free habits, then build on it.
Want More Life Hacks? Check these out…
- 21 Habits of Busy Women who Always Have Clean Homes
- 7 Hacks to Make Your House Look Expensive on the Cheap
- 7 Health Hacks to Avoid Getting Sick
Need help saving money? Read these next…
- 9 Essential Dave Ramsey Tips for Budgeting Beginners
- 6 Habits of People Who Are Never Broke
- 43 Tips to Live on One Income & Never be Poor
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*Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up for Capital One Shopping using the links we provided*
Sandra Parsons is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance, travel, and health & psychology. Her work has been featured on sites like Club Thrifty, MoneyTips, and Credit Knocks. She also freelances for Wooster Media Group LLC. Sandra lives in Eastern Canada with her husband and son.