Fifty Proven Stress Reducers
Source unknown put published as Appendix A in a book I read a long
time ago and photocopied this list.
1. A lot of things are “stressful” simply because we don’t allow
ourselves enough time to get them done. Look for ways to take the
hurry out of your everyday tasks and responsibilities.
2. Get out of bed fifteen minutes earlier to avoid the morning rushing
3. Prepare for the morning the evening before. (Set out clothes,
breakfast, pack lunch, etc.)
4. Write things down. Don’t rely on your memory. (Trying
to remember not to forget is stressful.)
5. Ask questions, repeat back directions, repeat back what you heard
the other person say, etc. Taking an extra minute to be sure
you understand what was said can save time and prevent
6. Keep a duplicate car key in your wallet; bury a duplicate
house key in your garden.
7. Practice “preventive maintenance” on your car, appliances, teeth,
personal relationships, etc., so they won’t break down at the worst
8. Add an ounce of love to everything you do.
9. Eat healthy foods. Don’t overeat (always leave the table
feeling a little hungry).
10. Procrastination is stressful. Whatever you want to do tomorrow, do
it today; whatever you want today, do it now. Hard work is simply
the accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when yo should have
11. Organize your home and work area so that everything has a
place. You won’t have to go through the stress of losing things.
12. Plan ahead. Don’t let the gas tank get below one-quarter full,
keep a well-stocked “emergency shelf” of supplies at home and at
work. Buy postage stamps and bus tokens before you need them, etc.
13. Schedule a realistic day. Allow ample time between
appointments. Make a “to-do” list and cut it in half.
14. Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn’t
get mowed this weekend.
15. An instant cure for most stress: thirty minutes of brisk walking
or other aerobic exercise.
16. Make everyday purchases by cash or check; save credit cards for
major planned purchases.
17. Make friends with nonworriers.
18. Every day, find time for solitude and introspection. Seek out
19. Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged,
sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and
erring – for sometime in life you will have been all of these.
21. Say “No, thank you” to projects you don’t have time or energy for.
22. Always carry reading material to enjoy while waiting in
lines or for appointments.
23. Remind yourself that Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times.
24. For every one thing that goes wrong, there are 50 to 100
blessings. Count them.
25. Do nothing that, after being done, leads you to tell a lie.
26. Put brain in gear before opening mouth. Before saying anything,
ask yourself if what you are to say is (1) true, (2) kind, and (3)
necessary. If it’s not all three, K.M.S.(Keep Mouth Shut).
27. If an unpleasant task faces you, do it early in the day, get it
28. Do one thing at a time.
29. Donate extra belongings to your favorite charity. Getting
rid of what you don’t need will make what you do need easier to
30. Write your thoughts and feelings in a journal. This can help you
clarify your ideas and put things in their right perspective.
31. When someone cuts you off in traffic, stops suddenly in front of
you, etc., instead of getting mad, think of all driving mistakes
you’ve made in your life-and give the other guy a break.
32. Remember that everyone around you is carrying some kind of burden.
33. Get enough sleep. Use an alarm clock to remind you go to bed, if
34. Set up contingency plans. “If either of us is delayed here’s what
we’ll do.” “If we get separated in the here’s where we’ll meet,”
35. To relax instantly, breathe as if you were trying in inflate an
imaginary balloon in your stomach. Inhale slowly to the count of
10; then exhale slowly to the count of 10. Repeat.
36. Turn “needs” into preferences. Our body’s basic needs food, water,
and keeping warm. Everything else is a preference.
37. Don’t put up with things that don’t work right. Get things fixed
or replace them.
38. Stop worrying. If something concerns you, do something about
it. If you can’t do anything about it, let go of it.
39. Practice labeling situations differently. Are you really “furious”
about something, or are you simply feeling angry or annoyed? Are
you “crushed,” or are you merely let down or disappointed? If
World War II was “terrible,” can you describe your flat tire as
“terrible”? No, at worst, it was an inconvenience. Resisting the
temptation to exaggerate situations, and labeling situations with
the appropriate word, can reduce stress.
40. Live in the present.
41. Every day, do at least one thing you really enjoy.
42. Be kind to unkind people-they probably need it most.
43. Unplug your phone or switch on your phone answering
machine while you take a bath, have dinner, etc.
44. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
45. Laugh! It puts distance between you and your problems.
46. Make promises sparingly and keep them faithfully.
47. Remember that the best things in life aren’t things.
48. Buy clothes and shoes that are: (1) comfortable, (2) easy and
inexpensive to maintain, (3) easy to match with other clothes you
49. Using the TV or radio for background “company” can be
surprisingly stressful. Learn to enjoy quiet.
50. Forget about counting to 10. Count to 100 before say
anything that could make matters worse.