My Top Stress Busters

Some of my close friends like to joke that my management position at a national not-for-profit organization is not stressful. I think they’re joking. I hope they’re joking 🙂

My job, like most jobs, has stress, sometimes lots of it. Short-term stress is not always a bad thing and I’d argue most of us wouldn’t want to live without it because I think it gives life some spice. But if stress gets out of control (that spice is too hot for too long) it may harm your relationships and your health. Long-term, chronic stress isn’t good.

You probably already know the “classical” definition of stress: emotional and physical strain(s) caused by our response to our environment. Common stress reactions include tension, irritability, inability to concentrate, and a variety of physical symptoms like headaches.

I won’t go into a long list of stressful examples because you are well aware of what those are since you’ve likely experienced them now and again:
1. You and your spouse both work full time while raising a family. You not only need to focus on work, but shopping, running errands and getting the kids around town afterwork.
2. You’ve got a mortgage, car payments and not much else left over for savings. You’re salary isn’t rising as fast as the rate of inflation (join the club). It’s getting harder year after year to pay the bills and save for your future.
3. Expectations and competition at work are becoming more fierce and complex. You are starting to come into work earlier and stay later. It makes # 1 and # 2 above more stressful.
Personally, I get more stress from our mortgage than the need to save for retirement. Simply put, I hate owing people (the bank) money. I feel like I work for them and not for me. While saving for retirement is important, I want to be mortgage free as well. Having no mortgage would be one significant less stressor to deal with.

For the most part, I associate stress with an unpleasant event such as losing a job or mortgage debt.  Stress can also be caused by changes for the better, such as a wedding, a baby or a new house. In an ideal world, I could control all my stressful situations and thus my environment but that’s never going to happen. What I can get better at, since my mortgage is going to be around for a few more years is control my response(s) better.

For today’s post, I’d like to share what I found to be great stress-busters. These aren’t cure-alls by any means but I’m going to work at some of these more to reduce my stress.    Whether your stressors are financial, personal, emotional or other, I hope some of the following can help you too:

• Take Deep Breaths
• Exercise
• Eat Right
• Laugh
• Smile Often
• Set Realistic Goals
• Prioritize
• Avoid Clutter
• Have a Hobby
• Talk Things Out
• Budget Time and Money
• Reward Yourself
• Think Positively
• Believe in Yourself
• Stretch Often
• Learn to Say “No”
• Forgive
• Reflect on Your Accomplishments
• Encourage Others
• Love
• Seek out Positive People
• Read Books
• Ask Others for Help

Like I said above, in an ideal world, we could all get away from stressful situations, or better still change them. If we can’t do that as often as we would wish, we might as well learn to control our responses to stressful situations. That way, everyone wins 😉

How do you reduce stress?
Any tactics you’re going to work on above?

My Own Advisor


Just a reminder…

If you’ve managed to find this site (from my old site, I encourage you to subscribe here since this is my new home 😉  As a fellow blogger has said “welcome to the real world, Mark!”

Subscribing to my blog has two big benefits:  1) you can follow my financial independence journey and 2) you can provide any feedback on it!

Thanks again for your support readers, it is a pleasure to interact with you!

14 Responses to "My Top Stress Busters"

  1. I might just add one more, and that would be to take a nap. Sometimes when work gets a little crazy I take a quick cat nap in my car during my lunch break. I wake up refreshed and usually I forgot what was bugging me. It’s a great little 20-30 minute break from the world. Works for me 🙂

  2. Stress is insidious, no doubt. Tending a garden and getting dirt under the fingernails does it for me, as do a good cigar, a good book and a tumbler of whiskey. At work, if the situations get a little too hot, I walk around and visit with a couple of friends.
    Good work on moving the site, by the way.

  3. Booze is usually a good stress buster, albeit short term 🙂 However, it can add to financial stresses if that’s the source of the stress. But seriously, having a beer or a glass of wine after a hard day at work can certainly temporarily relieve tension, as long as you don’t become dependent on it.

  4. I know what you mean.. my mortgage (uh massive mortgage) stresses me out too. Not that we can’t pay it or are having trouble making ends meat at all, but just the idea of owing money to the bank.


    Stress also comes into play when you have things you WANT or NEED to do, and there is limited time for it (which I guess is the full time job, household chores, and chauffering the kids to hockey and soccer practice etc. gig).

    What helps for me is yoga (though I haven’t been doing it lately) and listening to my “Calm Radio” app lol. It’s got “new age” and zen music and it really relaxes me.

  5. 101 Centavos, another great tip – gardening. It can be very relaxing and I think that’s another hobby I’d like to explore, given our new home has about 0.5 acres of land. Can I email you for tips? 🙂

  6. YoungandThrifty, yoga, another excellent tip! My wife does it from time to time and I also join her now and again. I’ve heard it can do amazing things for you!

    I agree with you, separating wants from needs is crucial for dealing with stress.

    Thanks for your comment!

  7. Mark, you’ve listed many good stress-busters. What works for me as well is working in our garden, calling or meeting a friend (or reading a nice blog) and practicing aikido.

  8. @Elemag, thanks! I probably should have added reading a great blog as well, that definitely helps me unwind. Practicing, aikido – impressive!!!


Post Comment