Tips on Reducing Stress

1. Regular relaxation for body and mind.  Take relaxation breaks.  Learn to value and enjoy doing nothing.  Find a technique that works for you and practice it regularly.Remember, when you don’t have time to relax, this is when you need it most.

2. Healthy lifestyle. Rest, regular exercise and nutritious food.  These practices are incredibly helpful!  Realistic schedule, including time alone.  Slow down!  Slower eating, walking, driving, etc.  Become aware of what you are doing and what is around you.  Play.  Take time to do the things you love to do.  Develop friendships that are supportive, nourishing and fun.

3. Positive mental attitude.  Focus on what you want to happen (not on what you don’t want to happen). Focus on your strengths and successes instead of your fears, limitations and failures.  Eliminate negative self talk and self defeating beliefs.

Practice acceptance, forgiveness, concern for others and a sense of humor.  Maintain adequate mental stimulation and personal challenges.

4. Meaningful goals.  determine what is important to you.  Set priorities and stick to them.  Define your long and short range goals and then enjoy the process of working toward them.  Reevaluate and change goals when desirable.

5. Skills for handling stressful situations include learning to be assertive, to comfortably stand up for your rights and to communicate honestly and openly with others.  Practice visualizing yourself having the thoughts and feelings you want to have and handling situations in the way you want to handle them.  Identify and reprogram the irrational beliefs that underlie any immobilizing fears or worries.

If you can’t change the situation, change your attitude about it.


1. get up 15 minutes earlier
2. prepare for morning the night before
3. don’t rely on your memory — write down addresses, directions, etc
4. practice preventive maintenance – car, applicances, relationships, etc
5. make duplicates of all keys
6. say “no, thanks” more often
7. walk everywhere you can — exercise has a soothing effect
8. make copies of all important papers and keep the originals in a safe place
9. anticipate your needs
10. don’t put up with anything that doesn’t work properly

11. be prepared to wait places – have a good book with you
12. find humor in a bad situation
13. relax your standards – doing everything perfectly is not only unnecessary, it’s boring
14. get help with the chores you hate
15. establish a serene place of your own
16. memorize your favorite poems
17. ask questions
18. take advantage of your body rhythms
19. make contingency plans
20. unclutter your life
21. avoid reliance on chemical aids – alcohol, tranquilizers, sleeping pills

22. get in touch – physical contact is the best stress reliever of all
23. take time out – to breathe deeply, stretch your muscles, nap, meditate or do a few tension-relieving exercises
24. find enjoyable ways to exercise
25. get it off your chest – don’t bottle up feelings
26. talk to a good friend
27. reward yourself after stressful activities
28. take leisurely baths
29. unwind before bedtime
30. schedule more fun
31. pet your animals
32. sing and/or listen to music
33. take short vacations
34. drink plenty of liquids and eat more vegetables
35. do nothing for 5-10 minutes


1) irritability and a general mistrust of other’s intentions
2) no new ideas in the past six months
3) lack of energy – both physical and emotional
4) feelings of isolation and lack of personal support
5) urge to get out of present job
6) measuring self-worth solely by quantity of work/busyness

IRRATIONAL BELIEFS are extremely stressful.  Thoughts such as “I don’t think she likes me” may stem from a belief that “everyone SHOULD like me.”  This is clearly not a reasonable premise.  Other such stressful thoughts are listed below.  Watch out for this kind of thinking:

The idea that it is a dire necessity for an adult human being to be loved or approved by virtualy every significant other person in his community.

The idea that one should be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving in all possible respects, if one is to consider oneself worthwhile; that one should never make a mistake.

The idea that certain people are bad, wicked, or villainous and that they should be severely blamed and punished for their villainy.

The idea that it is awful and catastrophic when things are not the way one would very much like them to be.

The idea that human unhappiness is externally caused and that people have little or no ability to control their sorrows and disturbances.

The idea that if something is, or may be, dangerous or fearsome, one should be terribly concerned about it and should keep dwelling on the possibility of its occurring.

The idea that it is easier to avoid than to face certain life difficulties and self-responsibilities.

The idea that one should be dependent on others and needs someone stronger than oneself on whom to rely.

The idea that one should become quite upset over other people’s problems and disturbances.

LET GO………………….

*letting go does NOT mean to stop caring, it means you can’t do it for someone else
*letting go is not to cut yourself off, it’s the realization that you can’t control someone else
* letting go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences
* letting go is to admit not being able to change anything but yourself, and even so the outcome may be unpredictable
* letting go is not to try to change or blame another, it’s to make the most of yourself
* letting go is not to care FOR, but to care ABOUT
* letting go is not to fix, but to be supportive
* letting to is not to judge, but to allow all others to be human beings
* letting go is not to be in the middle, arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their destinies
* letting go is not to be protective, it’s to permit another to face reality
* letting to is not to deny, but to accept
* letting go is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search out your own shortcomings and correct them
* letting go is not to adjust everything to your own desires, but to take each day as it comes, and cherish yourself in it
* letting go is not to criticize and regulate anybody, but to try to become what you dream you can be
* letting is to not regret the past, but to grow and live for the future
* letting go is to fear less, and love more


the good news is that it’s not your fault
more good news is that it isn’t my fault either


a few more stress coping strategies:

None of these copying strategies are new.  They are common sense techniques for reducing stress that we all know, but sometimes like to be reminded of.  Read several times the ones you’d like to remember.  Copy and paste this to your desktop and add your own to the list.

– say “no” when asked to do something you really don’t want to do.  Read a book on assertiveness if you have trouble doing this in a firm but kind way.

– when you’re concerned about something, talk it over with someone you trust, or write down your feelings.

– simplify your life!  Begin to eliminate the trivia.

– take time to be alone (this needs to be scheduled, as it will not happen spontaneously often enough) on a regular basis.  Listen to your heart, reevaluate your goals and prioritize your activities.

– plan to do something each day that gives you energy, something you love to do, something just for you.

– take deep slow beaths often, especially while on the phone, in the car, or waiting for something or someone.  Use this time to relax and revitalize yourself.

– choose to not waste your precious present with guilt over the past or worry about the future, neighter of which actually exists!

– finish something

– remember to use helpful cliches such as, “in a hundred years who will know the difference,” or “what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger,” or “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right!”

– remember, it takes less energy to get an unpleasant task done right now, than to worry about it all day.

– take time to be in Nature, to nourish other people, to enjoy music and to play with children.  Even in cities, the sky, seasonal changes and noticing people’s faces can be good harmonizers.

– practice consciously doing one thing at a time, keeping your mind focused on the present.  This is meditation.  Do whatever you’re doing more slowly, more intentionally, and with more awareness and respect.

– learn a variety of relaxation techniques and practice at least one regularly.

– carry a card with 4 or 5 personal affirmations written on it (such as “I am calm and relaxed. I am confident and able to handle any situation,” etc)

– organize your life to include time for fun, spontaneity, and empty spaces.  Set a realistic schedule allowing some transition time between activities.  Eliminate unncessary commitments.

– forgive yourself and those in your world.

– if you find yourself repeatedly angry in similar situations, ask yourself, “what can I learn from this?”  When anyone or anything can make you angry, you are allowing them (it) to control you, or, rather, you are being controlled by your own expectations of how someone or something “should” be.  When you accept people, yourselves and situations the way they (or you) are, you will become more effective in influencing change in a positive direction.

– practice basic communication skills, such as “I” statements, paraphrasing, and active listening.  Change the phrase “I need” into “I would like.”  Change “I have to” into “I choose to”.  Notice the difference in your body right now when you say “I choose to manage my stress” instead of “I have to manage my stress.”

– develop skills in negotiating and compromise, and become more flexible at least in those areas that aren’t so important.

– become more aware of the demands you place on yourself, your environment, and on others, to be different than they (you) are at any moment.  Demands are tremendous sources of stress.  Begin by identifying and releasing yourself at least from the ones that no longer serve any good purpose.

– practice relaxing if it doesn’t come naturally.