52 Proven Stress Reducers

1- Get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning.  The inevitable 
morning mishaps will be less stressful. 

2- Prepare for the morning the evening before.  Set the breakfast 
table, make lunches, put out the clothes you plan to wear, etc.

3- Don't rely on your memory.  Write down appointment times, when 
to pick up the laundry, when library books are due, etc.  ("The 
palest ink is better than the most retentive memory." -  Old 
Chinese Proverb).  

4- Do nothing which, after being done, leads you to tell a lie.  

5- Make duplicates of all keys.  Bury a house key in a secret spot 
in the garden and carry a duplicate car key in your wallet, apart 
from your key ring.  

6- Practice preventive maintenance.  Your car, appliances, home, 
and relationships will be less likely to break down/fall apart "at 
the worst possible moment".

7- Be prepared to wait.  A paperback cam make a wait in a post 
office line almost pleasant.  

8- Procrastination is stressful.  Whatever you want to do 
tomorrow, do  today; whatever you want to do today, do it now.  

9- Plan ahead.  Don't let the gas tank get below one-quarter full;  
keep a well-stocked "emergency shelf" of home staples;  don't wait 
until you're down to your last bus token or postage stamp to buy 
more; etc.  

10- Don't put up with something that doesn't work right.  If your 
alarm clock, wallet, shoe laces, windshield wipers - whatever - 
are a constant aggravation, get them fixed or get new ones.  

11- Allow 15 minutes of extra time to get to appointments.  Plan 
to arrive at an airport one hour before domestic departures.  

12- Eliminate  (or restrict)  the amount of caffeine in your diet.  

13- Always set up contingency plans, "just in case".  ("If for 
some reasonseither of us is delayed, here's what we'll do..."  
kind of thing.  Or, "If we get split up in the shopping center, 
here's where we'll meet.").
14- Relax your standards.  The world will not end if the grass 
doesn't get moved this weekend.  

15- Pollyanna-Power!  For every one thing that goes wrong, there 
are probably 10 or 50  or 100 blessings.  Count 'em!   

16- Ask questions.  Taking a few moments to repeat back 
directions, what someone expects of you, etc., can save hours.  
(The old   "the hurrieder I go, the behinder I get,"  idea.).

17- Say "No!"  Saying no to extra projects, social activities, and 
invitations you know you don't have the time or energy for takes 
practice, self-respect, and a belief that everyone, everyday, 
needs quiet time to relax and to be alone.  

18- Unplug your phone.  Want to take a long bath, meditate, sleep, 
or read without interruption?  Drum up the courage to temporarily 
disconnect.  (The possibility of there being a terrible emergency 
in the next hour or so is almost nil).  

19- Turn  "needs"  into preferences.  Our basic physical needs 
translate into food, water, and keeping warm.  Everything else is 
a preference.  Don't get attached to preferences.  

20- Simplify, simplify, simplify.  

21- Make friends with nonworriers.  Nothing can get you into the 
habit of worrying faster than associating with chronic worrywarts.  

22- Get up and stretch periodically if your job requires that you 
sit for extended periods.  

23- Wear earplugs.  If you need to find quiet at home, pop in some 

24- Get enough sleep.  If necessary, use an alarm clock to remind 
you to go to bed.  

25- Create order out of chaos.  Organize your home and workspace 
so that you always know exactly where things are.  Put things away 
where they belong and you won't have to go to through the stress 
of losing things.
26- When feeling stressed, most people tend to breathe in short, 
shallow breaths.  When you breathe like this, stale air is not 
expelled, oxidation of the tissues is incomplete, and muscle 
tension frequently results.  Check your breathing throughout the 
day, and before, during, and after high-pressure situations.  If 
you find your stomach muscles are knotted and your breathing is 
shallow, relax all your muscles and take several deep, slow 
breaths.  Note how, when you're relaxed, both your abdomen and 
chest expand when you breathe.  

27- Writing your thoughts and feelings down  (in a journal, or on 
paper to be thrown away)  can help you clarify things and can give 
you a renewedperspective.  

28- Try the following yoga technique whenever you feel the need to 
relax.  Inhale deeply through your nose  to the count of eight.  
Then with lipspuckered, exhale very slowly through your mouth to 
the count of 16, or for as long as you can.  Concentrate on the 
long sighing sound and feelthe tension dissolve.  Repeat 10 times.  

29- Innoculate yourself against a feared event.  Example:  before 
speaking in public, take time to go over every part of the 
experience in your mind.  Imagine what you'll wear, what the 
audience will look like, how you will present your talk, what the 
questions will be and how you willanswer them, etc.  Visualize the 
experience the way you would have it be.  You'll likely find that 
when the time comes to make the actual presentation, it will be 
"old hat" and much of your anxiety will have fled.  

30- When the stress of having to get a job done gets in the way of 
getting the job done, diversion - a voluntary change in activity 
and/or environment - may be just what you need.  

31- Talk it out.  Discussing your problems with a trusted friend 
can help clear your mind of confusion so you can concentrate on 
problem solving.
32- One of the most obvious ways to avoid unnecessary stress is to 
select an environment (work, home, leisure) which is in line with 
your personal needs and desires.  If you hate desk jobs, don't 
accept a job which requires that you sit at a desk all day.  If 
you hate to talk politics, don't associate with people who love to 
talk politics, etc.  

33- Learn to live one day at a time.  

34- Everyday, do something you really enjoy.  

35- Add an ounce of love to everything you do.  

36- Take a hot bath or shower (or a cool one, in summertime) to 
relieve tension.  

37- Do something for somebody else.  

38- Focus on understanding rather on being understood, on loving 
rather than on being loved.  

39- Do something that will improve your appearance.  Looking 
better can help you feel better.  

40- Schedule a realistic day.  Avoid the tendency to schedule 
back-to-back appointments; allow time between appointments for a 
breathing spell.  

41- Become more flexible.  Some things are worth not doing 
perfectly and some issues are well to compromise upon.  

42- Eliminate destructive self-talk:  "I am too old to ...,"   "I 
am too fat to ...,"  etc.  

43- Use your weekend time for a change of pace.  If your work week 
is slow and patterned, make sure there is action and time for 
spontaneity built into your weekends.  If your work week is fast-
paced and full of people and deadlines, seek pace and solitude 
during your days off.  Feel as if you are not accomplishing 
anything at work?  Tackle a job on the weekend which you can 
finish to your satisfaction.  

44- "Worry about the pennies and the dollars will take care of 
themselves."That is another way of saying: take care of the todays 
as best you can and the yesterdays and the tomorrows will take 
care of themselves.  

45- Do one thing at a time.  When you are with someone, be with 
that person and with no one or nothing else.  When you are busy 
with a project, concentrate on doing that project and forget about 
everything else you have to do.  

46- Allow yourself time - everyday - for privacy, quiet, and 
47- If an especially "unpleasant" task faces you, do it early in 
the day and get it over with; then the rest of your day will be 
free of anxiety.  

48- Learn to delegate responsibility to capable others.  

49- Do not forget to take a lunch break.  Try to get away from 
your desk or work area in body and mind, even if it is just for 15 
or 20 minutes.
50- Forget about counting to 10.  Count to 1,000 before doing 
something or saying anything that could make matters worse.  

51- Have a forgiven view of events and people.  Accept the fact 
that we live in an imperfect world.  

52- Have an optimistic view of the world.  Believe that most 
people are doing the best they can.  

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