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
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
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
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
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
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.
=================================== end ================================
From: NATIONAL HEADACHE FOUNDATION
Formerly National Migraine Foundation
5252 N. Western Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60625
(312) 878-7715 --
In Illinois 1-800-523-8858 --
Outside Illinois - 1-800-843-2256
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