blog

How to Appear Confident When You Really Aren’t

No one feels confident all of the time, but sometimes you need to appear confident. You might be on a date, have a job interview, or attending a company function. There are times it can be helpful to appear confident, even if you’re feeling anything but. There are plenty of things you can do to appear confident.

Try these tips to convince the world you’re confident, even if you’re shaking in your boots:

1. Maintain good eye contact. Consider where confident people look while you’re engaged in a conversation with them. They aren’t looking at their feet or gazing around the room. They look you in the eye. This isn’t a staring contest, but look the other person in the eye the majority of the time.

2. Stand or sit up straight. Confident people don’t slouch. Stand tall and proud. The same goes for sitting. People that lack confidence slouch and try to appear as small as possible. Be tall and make people notice.

3. Keep your hands out of your pockets. This will reduce fidgeting. Showing your hands also shows confidence. Keep your hands where others can see them.

4. Avoid fidgeting. Your hands don’t have to be in your pockets to fidget. Avoid picking at your clothes, your face, or your hands. This is a sure sign of nervousness.

5. Smile. You’re happy and confident, so smile. Smiling puts others at ease. It puts you at ease, too.

6. Walk confidently. Watch movies to see how a confident person walks. Take purposeful strides. Look like you have someplace to go without looking like you need to get there in a hurry.

7. Speak slowly. Does James Bond speak quickly? No. He takes his time and enjoys the attention. Confident people have been shown to speak more slowly than the average person. Nervous people tend to speak more quickly. Slow down and take your time. People will assume you’re confident.

8. Unfold your arms. When you fold your arms, it looks like you’re trying to protect yourself. There’s nothing to fear, so unfold your arms, be tall, and smile. Just allow your arms to hang naturally by your side.

9. Keep your head up. There’s nothing interesting going on down on the floor. This is the human version of an ostrich sticking its head in the sand. If you’re pretending to be confident, keep your head up. By the way, an ostrich only sticks its head in the sand to check on its eggs.

10. Speak at a reasonable volume. When you’re feeling shy, you’re likely to speak too softly. It’s better to be a little too loud than a little too soft if you’re trying to appear confident.

11. Use gestures when you speak. Gesture naturally when you’re speaking. Watch your favorite actor for tips. Just ensure they’re playing a confident role!

12. Tell yourself that you’re confident. Repeat to yourself, “I am confident and powerful.” Keep repeating it to yourself. It will crowd out other thoughts, and you might even believe yourself. Try out a few affirmations and see which one makes you feel the best.

You can convince others that you’re feeling confident, even if you’re not. Adopt the mannerisms of someone that is confident, and you’ll look confident to the rest of the world. Tell yourself you’re a confident person. Pretend you’re confident and you’ll start feeling that way.

Healthy Lunch Ideas Your Coworkers Will Want to Steal

When you bring lunch to work, do your coworkers run away because of the smell? Or, do they wish they could steal your lunch? If you try these ideas, you’ll be the envy of the office. Plus, they’re nutritious and healthy!

Lunch doesn’t have to be boring, bland, expensive, or unhealthy junk food!

Try these healthy lunch ideas to spice things up:

1. Make an amazing sandwich with portobello mushrooms. Add layers of mozzarella and cheddar cheese slices to the bread. Then, add your favorite meat and grilled portobello mushrooms.

* Consider adding vegetables such as romaine lettuce, spinach leaves, and tomatoes. Other delicious options include red or white onions, cucumbers, and pickles.

* Remember to pack your favorite condiments like ketchup, mayo, and mustard.

2. Create a lettuce-free salad. Lettuce can wilt and get soggy by lunchtime, but this salad will hold up through your morning meetings and conference calls.

* Try a lettuce-free salad by cutting and mixing tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, dill, and corn.

* Another option is to make a lettuce-free salad with corn and beans. Mix corn kernels, kidney beans, lima beans, chopped bell peppers, olives, and tomatoes.

* Make your own salad dressing by using olive oil, salt, and pepper.

3. Make the perfect wrap for lunch. Instead of buying a wrap from a taco stand or restaurant, make your own. You’ll be able to control the ingredients and make it healthier.

* Start with strong corn or flour tortillas that won’t fall apart or shred.

* Cover the tortillas with a layer of sour cream. This will help the ingredients stay in place.

* Add your favorite toppings such as shredded cheese, ground beef, onions, tomatoes, and shredded lettuce. Remember to roll the wrap tightly. Wrap it in foil to help it keep its shape.

* If you prefer a low calorie version, then use lettuce wraps instead of tortillas. Simply wrap the ingredients in iceberg or romaine lettuce leaves.

4. Make a power bowl. Power bowls combine multiple ingredients together into one easy to eat mix. They’re a good way to reuse leftovers, and they’re convenient for those who have to eat at work. You can make savory or sweet power bowls.

* The key to creating a successful power bowl is to ensure it has a variety of healthy carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

* Try the BBQ power bowl that combines chopped carrots, corn kernels, beans, meat, and bell peppers with rice and BBQ sauce. You can use brown or white rice for this recipe.

* Another option is to make a quinoa power bowl. The quinoa serves as the main carbohydrate. You can add protein by using meat or tofu. Then, add chopped celery, spinach leaves, and tomatoes. For a sweeter version of this recipe, replace the vegetables with dried cranberries and dried apple slices.

5. Create delicious miniature food cups. One of the issues many people run into at work is they don’t have a lot of time to eat, and they often must multitask while having lunch. Miniature food cups make it easy to grab a quick meal.

* You can use foil or paper cupcake liners and fill them with your favorite ingredients.

* For example, one cup can have fruit such as grapes, sliced oranges, and apples. Another cup can have nuts or seeds. A third cup can have cheese, meat, or vegetables.

Lunch can be fun and nutritious. Try these ideas, and your coworkers will want to share lunch with you.

Expert Tips for Coping With a Sudden Loss of Confidence

Self-esteem can be fragile, and it’s possible to lose it. A traumatic event can also be a blow to your confidence. How can you deal with a sudden loss of confidence? Is it possible to recover and regain the confidence that is gone?

Your confidence levels can fluctuate, but there are ways to cope.

How Confidence Can Disappear

In many cases, trauma or a negative event is behind this issue.

Confidence can disappear after an embarrassing or difficult moment. For example, your self-esteem can diminish if a presentation at work is mocked and ridiculed by coworkers. Your confidence can be hurt by cruel words and laughter.

Another common cause of low confidence is arguments. Fights with your significant other or family members can make you feel unsure and unhappy about yourself. They can lead to doubts about your abilities and skills.

How the Loss is Manifested

The loss of confidence can appear differently for each individual. You may react to it in several ways:

* Some people deal with a loss of confidence by freezing and not being able to make decisions. They’re scared of making another mistake, so they avoid all decisions.

* Others deal with a loss of confidence by becoming defensive and argumentative.

* Another ineffective coping mechanism is to pretend nothing is wrong.

If you feel like your confidence has been shattered, try these strategies to restore it:

1. Step back and evaluate. Experts recommend stepping back and evaluating the situation in a calm manner. It’s important to examine the situation without letting emotions take over.

* Why did the loss of confidence occur, and how can you prevent the same issue from repeating itself?

* You may benefit from talking to a therapist or good friend about the event and your loss of confidence. Get an unbiased opinion, so you can start to see the patterns.

* Often, childhood issues are behind confidence losses. There may be deep rooted issues that need to be resolved.

2. Finish something else. Finishing a task that has been left undone for a long time can boost confidence.

* Experts share that finishing a chore or work assignment can give an instant self-esteem boost. This is caused by the brain realizing that you can still accomplish great things.

* Find something on your to-do list that is easy to complete.

3. Get help. Sometimes it’s necessary to get outside help to deal with low self-esteem. Be honest about your situation and sudden loss of confidence. You can’t receive help unless you’re open to it.

* Look for local therapy groups that deal with confidence issues.

* Consider going to a therapist and setting up weekly or monthly appointments.

* Find a close friend or family member who can serve as a confidante.

* Keep in mind that some people may need more help than others to regain their confidence. Don’t be discouraged if your confidence doesn’t return right away.

4. Review past accomplishments. After a traumatic experience or embarrassing moment, it’s easy to think that you’re a failure. However, remembering past accomplishments can serve as a reminder that you’ve done many things.

* Go back and look at old rewards from school or college.

* Talk to your parents or siblings and ask them to share something positive about your childhood.

* Go through your old photo albums or journals to remember happy moments. Dig through your attic archives to unearth treasures from the past.

* Try to remember that you have made a positive impact on the world.

It’s normal for your confidence levels to vary over time. Avoid letting a temporary situation turn into a permanent loss of confidence! Actively pursue strategies that can bring back the self-esteem you’ve been missing.

Do You Know Yourself? Answer These 12 Questions

We largely operate on autopilot. We do the same things and think the same thoughts each day. When we have a few free moments, we occupy our minds with TV, the internet, or our smartphone. We avoid spending quality time with ourselves.

You probably don’t know yourself as well as you think!

Learn more about yourself through the power of questions:

1. How would I honestly describe myself? What would you say? Be completely honest with your positive and negative characteristics. How does the answer to this question make you feel? What changes could you make?

2. Anyone that knows me knows that I ……..? This question reveals a fundamental truth about you. What is your defining characteristic? What does the answer say about you?

3. What am I passionate about? What gets you excited? This is the thing that causes you to lose track of time. It’s the thing that can make you jump out of bed in the morning. Maybe you haven’t even thought about this before. When you know your passion, you can spend more time doing it.

4. If I had one year left to live, what would I do? It’s easy to live day-to-day in a rut. However, if you knew that you only had one year left, you would find the energy to change your life and your focus. What do you feel that you should be spending more time on?

5. If I could go back in time five years, what advice would I give myself? What was the most important thing you learned over the last five years? What were your biggest mistakes? What did you fail to appreciate? What opportunities did you squander? What can you learn from the last five years?

6. If I lived today over and over, what would my life look like in five years? This can be a very informative question. Take a look at your average day. What are you accomplishing each day and how will that impact your future? Most of us are working diligently, but accomplishing little in the long-term.

7. If I could accomplish five things before I die, what would they be? This question will help you to determine your most important tasks and reveal your values. What do you want to be able to look back upon when you’re at the end of your life?

8. What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail? What does your fear of failure prevent you from attempting? This question will let you know.

9. What would I do with $10 million? Would you stay at your job? Help others? What would you purchase? How would you spend your free time? Ten million dollars creates a lot of options. What would you do with those options?

10. Who am I? The big question. This is a challenging question to answer, but it’s important to ask and to give the answer some thought.

11. What is my purpose? Why do you exist? What is your purpose in life? It’s up to you to determine. Maybe you’ve never considered it.

12. In what ways am I failing to live authentically? Why? How are you not being true to yourself? How do you hold yourself back and why? What are you afraid of and what is that costing you?

Asking yourself questions is a great way to learn about yourself. It also forces you to be honest with yourself about who you are and where you’re going.

Many people lack the nerve to answer these questions honestly. Be courageous and learn about yourself! You might discover some answers that will turn your life around for the better.

Courtship Clues That Can Affect Your Future Marriage

Your courtship can show warning signs about your future marriage. It can provide clues and red flags about your relationship.

What can your courtship reveal about your partner?

1. Romantic courtships. Contrary to popular belief, extremely romantic courtships are not a guarantee that the relationship will last.

* Research shows that couples who have romantic dating experiences can still end up divorced. However, the path to divorce is often longer for couples with romantic courtships.

* Romance can fade in any relationship.

2. Comfort levels. One of the biggest clues about your future marriage is related to comfort levels. How comfortable are you around your partner? Can you share everything with them, or do you hold things back?

* Comfort levels are an important indication that a relationship may or may not last.

* Couples who are comfortable with each other during courtship are more likely to have longer marriages. They’re also more likely to be happier in the relationship.

* It takes time and trust to reach a comfortable level.

* However, it’s worth pursuing this before getting married. If you can’t be comfortable around your partner, then the same feelings can continue after marriage.

3. Longer courtships. If you date for several years, your marriage is more likely to succeed.

* Whirlwind romances are popular in books and movies, but they often don’t last long in the real world. It takes time to get to know your partner and feel a strong commitment.

* Research shows that couples who date longer are more likely to stay together and avoid divorce.

4. Companionship. Couples who enjoy spending time together are happier overall.

* During courtship, companionship can be a big indicator of the future. Couples who like each other’s company and share interests are more likely to stay married for a long period of time.

* You don’t have to share every hobby and interest. However, having some mutual interests can make the relationship stronger.

* It’s important not to force companionship in a relationship. It should feel natural, and you both should want to spend time together. It’s normal to have some alone time and different interests. However, you should be able to come together and enjoy some things as a couple.

5. Forcing it. Society continues to place marriage on a pedestal and demands that couples exchange vows. However, research shows that forcing a relationship during the courtship stage is a sign of trouble for the future marriage.

* This can appear in several ways. For example, if you’re constantly setting up dates, but your partner isn’t interested or involved, you’re pushing too far.

* Another example is a partner who constantly talks about commitment and pressures you to agree to things you’re not ready to accept.

6. Family drama. Although some couples are able to overcome differences between their families, many relationships fail because of this. Family drama often appears during the courtship phase.

* Whether your partner hates your mother, or you can’t stand his uncle, it can be a sign of trouble.

* How you handle family drama in the beginning of a relationship matters. It can affect the entire course of your relationship. Instead of ignoring the issues, face them and work through them together.

Your courtship is an important part of the relationship. Pay attention to these clues because they can reveal information about your future marriage.

Change Your Thoughts and You Can Change Your Life

When you follow the same recipe, you get the same results. Likewise, changing your behavior is the only way to change your life. However, changing behavior directly is extremely challenging.

Look at how hard it is to lose weight or to stop smoking, yet both have simple solutions: eat less and stop putting cigarettes in your mouth.

While behavior is hard to change with sheer willpower, it can be changed quickly with a change in perspective.

For example, you might find it impossible to lose weight under normal circumstances. But suppose your child needed a kidney transplant to live, and you were the only possible donor. However, the doctor won’t do the operation until you lose 50 pounds. Do you think you could do it?

Not only could you do it, but you’d do it easily. A simple change in perspective made all the difference.

You don’t need to be forced to make inner changes. You can choose to change your beliefs and perspective to something more useful.

Imagine what you could accomplish by making a few inner changes!

Consider these ideas:

1. Outer changes in your life are the result of changes in behavior. Changes in behavior are most often the result of inner changes. When your thoughts and beliefs change, your behavior is also altered. For example:

* Suppose you decided that helping others was important. You might start volunteering. While you’re volunteering, you meet new people and learn new things. You make new friends and perhaps date someone you never would have met otherwise. You might even get a job.

* All of this began with making contribution a priority.

2. Examine your current beliefs. Are your current beliefs holding you back? Are you certain that the things that you believe are true? Are you aggressively and enthusiastically pursuing your goals each day? Everyone has limiting beliefs. What are yours?

* Your beliefs are like your software. If your software is faulty, you aren’t operating efficiently.

* Examine each belief you have and determine if it is serving you or holding you back.

* Look at your behavior for clues regarding your inner world. What must you believe to be behaving the way that you do?

3. Inner changes change your habits. When you change your thoughts and beliefs, your habits will change, too. When the things you do each day are altered, your results are altered.

4. Envision the life you want to lead. When all you think about is your current life, you get more of the same. Spend some time each day imagining yourself in your new life. When this type of life begins to feel normal to you, you’ll start to make outer changes in your life, too.

* The first step is making the big decision about the type of life you’d prefer. Most people never make definitive decisions. Vagueness won’t work. Be specific.

5. Monitor your thinking. Negative thoughts bring poor results. If you spend most of your time thinking worrisome thoughts, how can you have a positive life experience?

* Each time you find yourself having a negative thought, change it to something positive.

If you want to experience outer changes in your life, start by making inner changes.

Inner changes can be challenging, but they are under your control. As your inner world changes, your behavior will change. As your behavior changes, your outer world will change, too. Try it! You’ll enjoy the results.

Are Infrared Saunas the Best Way to Detox?

Infrared saunas are the latest detox craze.

Infrared saunas promise a fast and easy way to detox your body. There are standalone saunas you can purchase for the home, or you can go to one at a spa. Are they safe and worth trying?

Consider these questions:

1. What are infrared saunas? Infrared saunas rely on light to make heat. They’re also known as far-infrared saunas.

* Infrared saunas make people sweat and increase their heart rates. Many believe that this can detox the body.

* They’re usually not as hot as regular saunas or steam rooms. However, infrared saunas can still reach 100 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Regular saunas can reach 200 degrees.

* These saunas appeal to those who want a way to detox without doing a liquid diet or fasting.

* The process of using infrared saunas is simple. After drinking water and changing into a towel, you’re usually ushered into a small room or box that is the sauna. You spend 30 to 45 minutes in the sauna sweating.

2. Are there negative side effects? Research hasn’t shown any clear negative side effects from using infrared saunas. However, you have to proceed with caution before stepping into one.

* You shouldn’t use infrared saunas if you’re pregnant, sick, or dealing with an injury.

* They’re also not recommended for those who have certain medical conditions such as heart disease, strokes or heart attacks. You want to avoid saunas if you have lupus or take steroids.

* Talk to your doctor before trying an infrared sauna. Ensure you understand the risk factors for your health condition. Also, remember to mention your medications and supplements.

3. What are the detox claims? There are many health and detox claims about infrared saunas. The most common claims are that they can help remove harmful toxins from the body by sweating.

* Some people believe that sweating can restore the immune system. They also think that it can help chronic health issues. From fibromyalgia to colitis, you can find claims about multiple medical conditions that are allegedly helped by infrared saunas.

* Several research studies have not shown a direct benefit from using infrared saunas. They have not revealed a cure for any disease. However, the possibility remains that some people feel better after using saunas.The high heat may help them feel more relaxed and calm.

* Health experts also point out that the long-term impact of using infrared saunas has not been studied.

4. Are they worth trying? Decide with your doctor if infrared saunas might be beneficial to you. There are many spas and fitness centers that offer this type of sauna. Ensure you’re aware of the price and treatment length before signing up for a session.

* Don’t expect an infrared sauna to be a magical cure for any condition!

5. What safety precautions should I take? If you plan to go to an infrared sauna, it’s important to stay hydrated. All saunas make people sweat, and the water has to be replaced.

* Experts recommend hydrating before, during, and after a session. Drinking water is an essential part of the process.

* It’s also important to make the sessions short in the beginning. Your body may not be able to tolerate the high heat for long. Avoid trying an hour-long session at first. Gradually build up the time and stay hydrated.

Infrared saunas are a hot detox trend. Before you try it, talk to a doctor to ensure it’s safe for your situation.

Address Your Attitude and Enjoy More Favorable Results

Why resist the current situation in which you find yourself? It’s reality. When you fight reality, you lose. When you stew over how you think things “should” be or how you want them to be, you’re using up time and energy that could be spent on making your life great.

When you deal with anything other than reality, you’re working from a false premise, and your solutions will be less than optimal.

The key to accepting your current situation is your attitude. A negative attitude brings about negative thoughts and, more often than not, a poor outcome.

Use these strategies to maintain a positive attitude and deal effectively with the real situation:

1. View life as a game filled with challenges. Your job is to find a way to keep all of your plates spinning while you find a way to solve your unique challenges. It’s a tough game. Enjoy the challenge of trying to solve it.

2. Spend time with others that have a positive attitude. Your attitude, beliefs, and habits are affected by those you spend time with. If you want a more positive attitude, fill your social circle with those who can uplift you with their positive perspective.

3. Take care of your business. Life is more stressful when you have things hanging over your head. When you manage your life responsibly, your attitude will become more positive. Procrastination and avoidance negatively affect your attitude.

4. Keep your mind in the present moment. Thinking about the past and the future can cause regret and worry. Keep your mind right here where you need it.

5. Practice gratitude. It’s easy to feel down when things aren’t going your way. One way to feel even worse is to focus on your challenges and what is currently lacking in your life. Instead, make a list of all the good things you experience each day. Remind yourself of these things when your attitude takes a nosedive.

6. Keep your self-talk positive. If you’re not on your side, who will be? Say something nice and encouraging to yourself.

7. Enhance your environment. Fixing up your environment can boost your attitude. Clean up a little. Paint the walls. Get outside and enjoy a nice day. Plant a tree in the front yard. Hang a few photographs. Control the things you can control, like your environment.

8. Expect the best. Being optimistic is more enjoyable than being pessimistic. Why not enjoy yourself? Holding negative thoughts will create pessimism in your life. Try to see the positive side of every situation and expect good things to come your way. You’ll be surprised how often you’re right!

9. Monitor yourself. Notice when your attitude begins to drift. Notice where your thoughts are directed. Are you dealing with the situation at hand, or feeling annoyed that things aren’t the way you’d like them to be?

Our beliefs and attitudes cloud our perspective. A clear, open mind is much more likely to view a situation accurately.

Keep tabs on your attitude and be more accepting of what life has to offer. Your resistance does nothing but prolong your misery. Once you’re practicing acceptance, your situation becomes easier to alter.

A Parent’s Guide to Helping Your Child Cope with Cliques

Cliques can make school days rough for tweens and teens, but they’re no picnic for parents either. It hurts to see your child pushed off to the sidelines or facing peer pressures beyond your control.

Whether your child is being left out or running with the popular crowd, they need your support. After all, they’re learning about socialization as well as academic subjects when they go to school.

Try these tips for helping your child to look beyond cliques and start forming healthier connections.

Helping your Child to Deal with Cliques:

1. Empathize with their emotions. Feeling accepted is a high priority for most tweens and teens. They long to fit in, and may use their popularity to measure their worth. Think about your own adolescence and then factor in the impact of today’s social media. You’ll understand how much rejection can sting.

2. Watch for risky behavior. Cliques and their leaders exert a lot of power and their rules may be harmful. Be alert for signs of extreme dieting, bullying, or shoplifting.

3. Share your experiences. Let your child know that you went through similar trials back when you were in school. They may appreciate the solidarity and be more willing to open up.

4. Use stories. You can find lots of books, movies, and media stories to help you get your message across in an entertaining and compelling manner. Pick a recent title or suggest something that helped you when you were growing up. Be sure to discuss it afterwards.

5. Reach out to teachers. Ask your child’s teacher to talk about what they see going on at school. See if your school has resources that can help your family deal with cliques and related issues. Talk with other professionals, like guidance counselors or psychologists who work with adolescents.

6. Think long-term. Remind your child that high school is not forever. Cheer them up by giving them exciting things to look forward to. Send away for college brochures and plan campus visits. Use volunteer work and internships to start them thinking about the career of their dreams.

Helping your Child to Form Healthy Friendships:

1. Encourage outside activities. Balance out the influence of cliques by giving your child opportunities to pursue their interests and make friends in contexts other than school. Having diverse social circles can help them become more independent and inclusive.

2. Make your home inviting. Do your children feel comfortable bringing friends home? When you create a welcoming place to gather, your children have more chances to practice their social skills and interact with friends in a space where they feel secure.

3. Have deep conversations. Discuss big issues on an ongoing basis. Challenge each other to live up to your values, use power responsibly, and speak up for yourselves and others.

4. Act it out. Role playing can be an excellent way to explore complex subjects. Children can practice resolving conflicts without endangering their real friendships.

5. Start early. Children start forming attachments at a very young age. Even infants can benefit from having more face time with other babies, and toddlers can enjoy play dates or looking at books together.

6. Be a role model. Your children will learn from your example. When you cultivate positive connections, you teach your sons and daughters to do the same.

With your guidance, your child can maintain their confidence while they deal with cliques and prepare for more mature relationships in their adult life. Teach them how to be a good friend, treat others with kindness, and make their own decisions.

A 5-Step Process to Reduce Tech-Based Stress

Technology can help you connect with more people, but it can also create stress.

Tech-based stress can affect your health and relationships. Becoming dependant on technology can be an addiction. It’s hard to turn off your phone or stop checking messages, which adds even more stress.

In this fast-paced world, using tech is often a must. But what can you do to stop the stress that comes from it?

Try this process:

1. Notice the issues. The first step is to realize how much you depend on technology and determine what – exactly – is causing the stress.

* Pay attention to your stress triggers when you’re using technology. Do you get upset after each text message or email? Is social media creating a fear of missing out?

* Track how much technology you use for one week. Keep a journal with this information. Also, write down how you feel after each interaction with a piece of technology. Does it make you feel stressed, frustrated, sad, or annoyed?

2. Make a list of your tech tools. Once you’ve realized that tech stress is an issue, making a list of all the tools you use can help you regain control.

* Write down every piece of technology you use, including fitness watches and other tracking tools. It’s important for the list to be accurate and complete.

* Next, write down how each piece of technology affects you in a positive or negative way. Make a note of the amount of stress each device creates in your life.

* You may use several tools and devices for work. Highlight the ones that you can’t live without.

* Cross off the devices on the list that are not essential.

3. Clean up your connections. Go through all of your social media accounts and inboxes to disconnect with people who create additional stress.

* Try to keep a smaller list of close contacts such as friends, coworkers, and family.

* Turn off notifications and get rid of unnecessary subscriptions.

* Clean out your email inboxes and eliminate old messages or contacts that are not needed. Consider setting up automated apps that can sort emails and delete them faster.

4. Make a plan. Use your list to focus only on the devices and tools that are essential.

* Have a plan each time you turn on a computer or phone. What do you want to accomplish, and how long will you need to do it? Try to avoid distractions by planning your time.

* Turn off and put away any devices that aren’t essential.

* Include time away from technology, such as a weekend without tech or TV.

5. Create reasonable expectations. If you’re addicted to checking your messages every hour, it will take more time to reduce tech-based stress. It’s important to have realistic expectations and avoid putting too much pressure to change fast.

* Give yourself the chance to work through each of these steps.

* Inform your family and friends about your technology changes. They need to understand you’ll be available less on social media. They also need to respect that you’re turning off some notifications to reduce stress.

* Set up vacation or away messages on your phone and email, so others will know when they can reach you. Create specific windows of time to return calls or messages.

Stress can come from many parts of your life, including technology. Pay attention to how technology affects you. It may be necessary to evaluate how much you depend on tech tools and make some changes in your daily routines with these tools to reduce your stress.