Pick a Specific Way to Reduce YOUR Stress

The post How to Reduce That Stress lists many suggestions for reducing your stress.  And you might have even thought, “yes, those are good ideas” or “well, maybe I’ll try one of those tomorrow.”  While those ideas were easy to read, it’s a bit harder to actually get yourself to use them, even if you know they’d help.

Well, here’s a quick way to start on your way to reducing stress…

1. Choose only 1 idea from the “stress-reducers” list (to make it even easier for you, the list is below) or come up with your own idea.  Then, get a piece of paper right now and write it down.

The one idea I’ll do is: ________________________________________________
For example:
The one idea I’ll do is: Exercise more.

2. We all know that good intentions can easily get derailed.  So we’ll start to address that ahead of time.

One thing that may get in the way of me doing #1 is: _________________________

For example: Rain.  If it’s raining, I can’t exercise outside.

3.  I’ll deal with this obstacle by: __________________________________________

For example: I’ll get some exercise videos, so I can exercise inside.

4. Finally, I want you to make your goal as specific as possible.  It’s more likely you’ll do it!

So instead of:                     A specific goal is:

1. Exercise more                   1. Exercise 2 times a week
2. Eat better                         2. Eat 2 servings of fruit a day
3. Meditate                           3. Spend 10 minutes meditating, 3 days per week

My specific goal is: __________________________________________________

For example: Exercise 2 times a week.


Here are 2 examples, with all 4 steps:
Example #1:
1. The one idea I’ll do is:  Get better at time management.
2. One thing that may get in the way of me doing #1 is:  I’m always running behind.
3. I’ll deal with this obstacle by:  Leave 5 minutes earlier than I think I have to.
4. My specific goal is:  Give myself 5 extra minutes to get to work each morning this week.

Example #2:
1. The one idea I’ll do is:  Saying ‘yes’ to people that offer to help me.
2. One thing that may get in the way of me doing #1 is:  I’m embarrassed that I need help.
3. I’ll deal with this obstacle by:  View this as an experiment.  I don’t need to continue if it’s too embarrassing.
4. My specific goal is:  Say ‘yes’ to 2 offers of help this week.


So go through this exercise right now for yourself.  And then next week, see if you can add in another way to reduce your stress.
1. The one idea I’ll do is: _________________________________________________
2. One thing that may get in the way of me doing #1 is: ________________________
3. I’ll deal with this obstacle by: ___________________________________________
4. My specific goal is: ___________________________________________________

List of Stress-reducers…

  • Exercise
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Time management

         … leave extra time in your schedule to get things done or get to places

         … reduce the number of things on your “to-do” list

         … schedule in relaxation and fun

  • Practice assertiveness skills
  • Take a walk
  • Practice saying ‘no’ to requests you don’t have time to do, can’t do, or don’t want to do
  • Practice saying ‘yes’ to offers of help
  • Have at least 1 positive activity each day
  • Spend time with family
  • Plant something
  • Spend time with friends
  • Schedule time just for yourself
  • Do something for others regularly
  • Practice deep breathing or meditation regularly
  • Repeat positive phrases to yourself, like “things will work out all right”
  • Write in a journal
  • Spend time on a hobby – gardening, reading – whatever you enjoy
  • Laugh at something each day
  • Have a favorite place to go, either physically or in your mind