How to Beat Stress Without Really Trying


These are what I should do when I’m stressed:

  • Meditate, even for just 5 minutes. Even better, meditate daily, once in the morning and once in the evening, preferably for at least 15 minutes each time.
  • Take deep, cleansing breaths. Practice Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing cycle, which takes 2-3 minutes, tops.
  • Exercise. Running never fails to put me in a much better, more energized and hopeful mood, one that can often last all day.
  • Eat healthy, regular meals with 1/4 protein, 1/4 carbs and 1/2 colorful veggies.
  • Snack on fruit and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Get at least 9 hours of sleep (minimum my body requires).
  • Take a 30-minute Epsom salt bath. Add a few drops of lavender oil for extra relaxation.
  • Adopt an attitude of gratitude: be thankful for all the blessings in my life, including having the best husband in the world, a roof over my head, a full pantry, and a relatively healthy body.
  • Write my thoughts in a journal, practicing meditative, free thinking.
  • Read a thoughtful/spiritual book like The Tao of Pooh.
  • Drink lots of water, at least 8 glasses a day, preferably sparkling mineral water.
  • Drink soothing herbal teas like lavender and/or chamomile.

Alas, these are what I actually do when I’m stressed:

  • Engage in such intense thoughts about the situation/problem in question that I end up breathing like a boxer in the 12th-round of a match, i.e., very, very shallow breaths.
  • Lie on the couch and watch movies. Some of my favorites: The Devil Wears Prada, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, How Stella Got Her Groove Back.
  • Lie on the couch and watch TV. Some of my favorites: Friends, Three’s Company (if I can find it), Reba, King of Queens, The Nanny. Basically, any TV show on Lifetime, the so-called cat lady network.
  • Lie on the couch and read fluff magazines like InStyle, Lucky and MarieClaire, each of which will end up making me feel bad about myself and how fat and ugly I am. (Stress increases dramatically at that point.)
  • Lie on the couch.
  • Eat bags of M&M’s (regular), Cheetos and/or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, preferably the Big Cup.
  • Spend half the night tossing in bed, then eventually get up and do any of the above elsewhere in the house.
  • Complain to best husband in the world about the sad state of my life. Cue whining.
  • Read more fluff magazines, maybe Harper’s Bazaar or the European editions of InStyle and MarieClaire, at the chain bookstore.
  • Eat more bags of M&M’s.


One thought on “How to Beat Stress Without Really Trying

  1. LOL, your post had me giggling! I relate. 🙂The best stressbuster I do is hike in the mountains. It’s absolutely wonderful. Recharges me, rejuvenates me, and it’s fabulous exercise. And I’m proud to say I do it regularly because I enjoy it so much.However… I often succumb to less healthy stressbusters such as cream cheese honeybuns and ice cream bars.I hope you’ve been doing well! Hard to believe it’s May already. This year is flying by!

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