Are you an expert at stressing?  

I bet I can find a bunch of experts.

What I am after though is what helps you stress less?

After asking different sources here are some great methods some people use to stress less:

  • Meditation
  • Mindful actions such as eating, walking, and more
  • Listening to relaxing music
  • Spending time with pets
  • Having a mini aquarium
  • Sitting in the sunshine for moments throughout the day
  • Just stopping to enjoy a cup of tea
  • Cooking
  • Sewing
  • Reading
  • Jogging
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Miscellaneous exercise
  • Watching a movie
  • Spending time with friends
  • Fishing
  • Gardening
  • Driving
  • And so many more things; really we can create a huge list.


let me share something interesting with you.

I also know that some of the above activities can be done stressfully too.

Let’s consider for a moment “how” we do things.  Perhaps it’s not “what” we do, but “how”.  Let me explain…

Imagine cooking but constantly trying to control a screaming baby.  Or rushing because you are expecting guests.  Now do you see how cooking in this situation is not a relaxing activity?

Driving can be relaxing if you take the “relaxing” attitude with you.  However what about when you are in a rush, or you are just running late?  It’s no longer relaxing is it?  I know people who drive in peak hour traffic (as we all may do).  And there are two categories: One where you take advantage of slow traffic, and see it as an opportunity to unwind and relax.  These people simply accept that they are in this situation, and so they do not stress.  Oh, and then the other category who are so impatient, that they have a pounding heart whilst sitting in traffic, and almost break into a sweat.  Sound familiar?

Let’s move to jogging.  Thats me!  This is my favourite pass time.  My favourite unwind.  But for me to be successful I must be flexible.  My runs usually take about an hour.  I prefer not to run and speak on the phone with my wireless headphones, but this happens sometimes.  I prefer the music blaring in my ear as I run.  Sometimes I feel like some education, and may listen to an audiobook, or podcast (but I prefer music).  When I finish that run, I feel amazing.  

I’m not the type of runner who thinks about the day or what I need to do.  I actually run in the moment and that’s probably why I last the typical hour.  I just run.  But let me tell you, there have been some times that I decide not to run because it won’t be relaxing.  Why? Because I have things to do and I develop the attitude that I must miss out on the run and do my tasks.  Otherwise I will run and in my mind, I will be rushing to get back home.  And that’s not fun.  For me, that’s not worth it.

Let’s touch on a self-care routine for a moment….I have been practicing enjoying a hot shower.  By enjoying I mean, not rushing.  I am so often telling my clients to transform their shower routines to “time-out self care” routines.  I have had plenty of times shampooing my hair and thinking of moving faster so I can finish faster.  WHAT FOR? What will that extra 5 min give me?  I much prefer to take my time and slow down and treat it as a proper time out.  

Evaluate your life.  Can you make small tweaks to make small differences?  Trust me, these small differences make a huge difference at the end of the day, month, year.  

Who here, suffers from the “rush” syndrome.  Trying to do things in a rush.  Even going to meet friends for coffee becomes a rush.  And when we have nothing to rush about, we still rush because we have practiced it so much we have become good at it.  So it’s easier to rush.  Even kids are rushing here and rushing there.  Slow down I say.  Surely there are times we need to rush, but there are also times we are not rushing but we actually are….

Interestingly, we all have typical characteristics.  My husband was in a habit of “hurry up” being his last words.  So he would drop my kids off for example for a hair cut and tell them to hurry up, or send them for a chore and end up saying hurry up.  As soon as I noticed, I would join in by calling out my child’s name and as he would turn around I would add “take your time”.  So I really made this a habit.  I tell my kids to take their time.  And thank goodness, my husband stopped saying hurry up (although he secretly wants to).  So let me tell, you….language is important.  Use the words “take your time” or “slow down” or something similar.  Word are impactful, and we need to hear the right ones.

Stress down as much as you can.  Have a good look at how you do stress, and the pattern that you run.  What can you change?  Remember change is good progress, if you choose to see it that way.  If your morning routine is stressful, what can you change?  If you try and do 3 things at 10 am and you have nothing to do in the afternoon, well can you change those 3 things at 10 am so that you don’t get so stressed?  Don’t get stuck in routine.  Not every routine is healthy.  Change routines if you can.  Make improvements to stress less.

Let’s touch on fun.  Where there is fun there is not much stress is there?  Is there fun in your life?  What is it?  Why do we put it last?  Do you put it last?

Take some time to stress less.  Close your eyes for a while,  take some relaxing and refreshing breaths.  Create a gratitude list, work on your patience.  Do something kind for someone else.  Find something to laugh about.  Be creative with your mind.  So many people say that gardening is a nice way of dealing with stress.  Have you even sat down to plant some simple and organic thoughts in your own mind?  It’s never too late to start.

There are so may people who strive for perfection.  Let me tell you I have never met someone who is perfect.  That someone does not exist.  So this makes me feel great.  That means we are all real, and imperfect.  Doesn’t this take lots of stress off you? It does for me!  I don’t have much stress actually to tell you the truth.  I am part of 5 businesses, and whilst there are pressures, I also understand how to manage them.  Let’s just say I share the responsibilities and pass the stressors onto others. And I don’t mean this in a bad way.  I mean it in terms of team work.  This allows me to genuinely let go.  If a task belongs to someone else I may follow up, but I don’t try take that task back (I use to though).  So back to imperfection, I am totally fine with it.  I know what I can control, and I know what I cannot control.  This sets me free.  I am also organised.  So I stress less because I organise my schedule.  If I have something important in the afternoon, I don’t need to let it worry me all day.  Most of the time this really works.  

Compartmentalisation is the key word here.  There is a time and place for everything.  So for instance, if you are going to the dentist tomorrow do you really need to worry about it today.  Infact you don’t need to worry about it tomorrow either.  You just need to turn up to the dentist.  The dentist is not the enemy so why have so many people placed them in this category.  

I did a guided visualisation on a small group of kids one day, and I was reframing the way they viewed the dentist http://www.positivethinkingclinic.com.au/blog/guided-visualisation-helps-with-dentist-phobia/.  I guided them to change their relationship in their own minds, to the dentist.  We also worked on trust.  Believe it or not this was the key ingredient.  Trust is what was needed to help reduce stress.  Plus the use of a stress releasing rock.

Only focus on what is important.  Getting rid of what is not important really helps you stress less.  

Get your friends on board.  Teach others to stress less.  Support yourselves, and each other.  Send affirmations to your friends. Remind them not to rush, and to take their time.  Remind them to lose the RRRRRRRRush word.  

Go on and make a difference from now.  Stress less but gain more of yourself.  How nice to take your time and really place things into perspective. 

Two people can have the same job roles with the same pressures, yet one will have stress and the other may not.  How can this be?  What is the person who stresses missing?  What skill?  And what about the person who is not stressing?  OK, excluding the possibility that this person may simply not care about work, or it’s pressures, what skill do they possess?  Could it be that they compartmentalise and have a neat internal organisational structure?  Do they leave work at work, and do they leave their domestic issues at home?  Quite possibly.  Some people can do that easy.  And some need to learn to do that.  The important part here is recognition and identifying with it.  

Are you the type that needs to make sure your bed is perfect, or your clothes are perfect?  And what about the fridge and cupboards?  And the tools in the garage and the car?  Well what would happen if they were less than perfect?  Nothing!!! Oh, yes actually something would happen… all the people who want it perfect will STRESS.  

Solution?  Stress less and be ok with some mess.  Is it really a big deal if the pillows are not straight on the bed!  I remember being a kid and going to my friends house.  We sat on her bed and got spoken to, not to sit on the bed!  Funny I remember that.  My bed is never perfect.  But its always good enough, and the sheets are always fresh and clean.  Even if I took the time to make it perfect, my furry animals will just jump on and their foot imprints will be everywhere.  And I don’t care.  I have not made my boys beds in years.  Thats their job.  Most of the time they do a great job, and if ever they are rushing to sport, for example and don’t make their bed, big deal!  They can make it when they come home.  Yep less stress for me.  I decided to have this attitude with the beds once I realised there were 3 king size beds in my house.  No thanks I don’t need that stress.  There is no judge in my house.  And if a judge should walk in, I will surely challenge them for judging me and my house.  Stress less.

So I have shared some insights with you.  I hope that you enjoyed them, and I would love to hear your tips too.  I guess stressors are universal even though we have our own unique ways of wearing them.  Make it your priority to pay attention to stressing less.  Make this your new mission.  Best of luck.


I hope you don’t stress about stressing less!

Amanda Dounis

Positive Thinking Clinic

1/7 Magdalene Terrace

Wolli Creek, 2205

0458 850 850



Positive Living Skills has a great blog on taking charge of stress.