10 Fast Fixes to Manage Stress

Stress is a normal part of life and usually comes from everyday occurrences: Here are the best ways you can deal with everyday sources of stress.

View as Slideshow

1. Eliminate as many sources of stress as you can.

1. Eliminate as many sources of stress as you can.
For example, if crowds bother you, go to the supermarket when you know the lines won’t be too long. Clear up the clutter in your life by giving away or throwing away the things that get in your way. A garage sale is one effective way to do this.

2. If you are always running late, sit down with a pencil and paper and see how you are actually allotting your time.

2. If you are always running late, sit down with a pencil and paper and see how you are actually allotting your time.
Say it takes you 40 minutes to get to work. Are you leaving your house on time? You may be able to solve your problem (and de-stress your life a bit) just by being realistic. If you can’t find the time for all the activities that are important to you, maybe you are trying to do too much. Again, make a list of what you do during the day and how much each activity takes. Then cut back.

3. Avoid predictably stressful situations.

3. Avoid predictably stressful situations.
If a certain sport or game makes you tense (whether it’s tennis or bridge), decline the invitation to play. After all, the point of these activities is to have a good time. If you know you won’t, there’s no reason to play.

4. If you can’t remove the stress, remove yourself.

4. If you can’t remove the stress, remove yourself.
Slip away once in a while for some private time. These quiet moments may give you a fresh perspective on your problems. Avoid stressful people. For example, if you don’t get along with your father-in-law but you don’t want to make an issue of it, invite other in-laws at the same time you invite him. Having other people around will absorb some of the pressure you would normally feel.

Content continues below ad

5. Competing with others, whether in accomplishments, appearance, or possessions, is an avoidable source of stress.

5. Competing with others, whether in accomplishments, appearance, or possessions, is an avoidable source of stress.
You might know people who do all they can to provoke envy in others. While it may seem easy to say you should be satisfied with what you have, it’s the truth. Stress from this kind of jealousy is self-inflicted.

6. Laborsaving devices, such as cellular phones or computer hookups, often encourage us to cram too many activities into each day.

6. Laborsaving devices, such as cellular phones or computer hookups, often encourage us to cram too many activities into each day.
Before you buy new equipment, be sure that it will really improve your life. Be aware that taking care of equipment and getting it repaired can be stressful.

7. Try doing only one thing at a time.

7. Try doing only one thing at a time.
For example, when you’re riding your exercise bike, you don’t have to listen to the radio or watch television.

8. Remember, sometimes it’s okay to do nothing.

8. Remember, sometimes it’s okay to do nothing.

Content continues below ad

9. If you suffer from insomnia, headaches, recurring colds, or stomach upsets, consider whether stress is part of the problem.

9. If you suffer from insomnia, headaches, recurring colds, or stomach upsets, consider whether stress is part of the problem.
Being chronically angry, frustrated, or apprehensive can deplete your physical resources.

10. If you feel stress (or anything else) is getting the better of you, seek professional help — a doctor or therapist.

10. If you feel stress (or anything else) is getting the better of you, seek professional help — a doctor or therapist.
Early signs of excess stress are loss of a sense of well-being and reluctance to get up in the morning to face another day.

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram

@kristencarney

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.

@sixthformpoet

Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”

@NicCageMatch

Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
—Alcohol

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.