With the world the way it is today there seems to be more stress than ever before. Luckily, a psychology teacher has come to the aid of the students by giving them a list of 101 ways to cope with stress.
Brilliant, so let’s rate them with difficulty and efficiency. Let’s see which ones give you the greatest return depending on the effort involved.
How did I work out the most efficient ways out of the teacher’s list of 101 ways to cope with stress?
Difficulty – I rated the difficulty based on being able to do it in the current moment. If it is really easy to do it would be rated higher with a maximum score of 100.
Effectiveness – is based on how much it would help reduce stress at that moment. The more instant and more effective it is the higher the score with a maximum of 100.
Overall – I then come to the conclusion based on adding the difficulty and effectiveness together and dividing by 2.
It is very unscientific, purely opinion-based and on my own experiences of helping clients That suffer from panic attacks, anxiety and PTSD. Although there are a few things on the list that I had to guess, most are calculated with some element of the experience.
It is important to remember that stress is not a problem. It is not your enemy. Coping with stress does not mean pushing it away, and getting rid of it and living a life of no stress or fear. Learning to cope with stress, and learning to destress is more about learning to become friends with your body and the mechanism that we call the fight, flight, and freeze. It has evolved to keep us alive, and it does a very efficient job. You don’t want to remove this mechanism.
When you recognise that stress is actually your friend, just like a friend protecting you it is giving you the information you need in order to do or prepare for something that may happen. Unfortunately, we have over-exaggerated the threat we are under nowadays. The anxiety and stress we might have with the kids screaming, or a job interview is not what the system was designed to react in such a severe way every time.
So if we recognise when we feel anxious, stressed, and that panic attack feeling arising we can well commit like an old wise friend. Someone that loves us deeply, doesn’t want to see us get into any harm and is pointing out what might happen.
Then we can use our skilful wisdom to respond rather than panic.
Here is a TED talk that explains this way better than I can. How to make stress your friend
This list is simply a starting point, and the rating is a little bit of fun. I did a Facebook live on it which you can see at the bottom of the page. And although most of these will help you to feel better in those stressful moments, it is always best to work on the deeper causes and become friends with this wonderful mechanism that you’ve been gifted with.
101 ways to cope with stress rated with difficulty and effectiveness.
|2||Practice breathing slowly||89||97||93|
|3||Be responsible for your feelings||85||100||92.5|
|4||Read a story curled up in bed||90||87||88.5|
|5||Do it today||80||95||87.5|
|6||Take time to smell the flowers||85||89||87|
|7||Look up at the stars||95||78||86.5|
|8||Take a bubble bath||80||90||85|
|9||Strand up and stretch||85||85||85|
|10||Ask a friend for a hug||75||91||83|
|11||Unclutter your life||70||95||82.5|
|12||Read a poem||90||75||82.5|
|13||Be prepared for rain||85||75||80|
|14||Schedule play time into everyday||70||90||80|
|15||Watch a move and eat popcorn||80||80||80|
|16||Recognize the importance of unconditional love||60||96||78|
|17||Say something nice to someone||75||79||77|
|18||Say “hello” to a stranger||85||69||77|
|19||Listen to a symphony||70||83||76.5|
|20||Visualize yourself winning||60||92||76|
|21||on’t know all the answers||60||91||75.5|
|22||Do a brand new thing||75||75||75|
|23||Put air freshener in your car||85||65||75|
|24||Learn to meet your own needs||50||99||74.5|
|25||Break large tasks into bite-size portions||50||96||73|
|26||Take a different route to work||60||85||72.5|
|27||Dance a jig||60||83||71.5|
|28||Go on a picnic||50||92||71|
|29||Learn to whistle a tune||65||76||70.5|
|30||void tight-fitting clothes||70||70||70|
|31||Set appointments ahead||60||80||70|
|32||Stop thinking tomorrow will be a better day||50||90||70|
|33||Buy yourself a flower||75||65||70|
|34||Learn a new doodle||75||65||70|
|35||Clean out one closet||60||80||70|
|36||Remember you always have options||55||85||70|
|37||Look for a silver lining||50||89||69.5|
|38||Pet a friendly dog/cat||50||88||69|
|39||Get enough sleep||40||98||69|
|40||Quit trying to fix other people||42||94||68|
|41||Always make copies of important papers||60||75||67.5|
|42||Walk in the rain||50||85||67.5|
|43||Be aware of the decisions you make||50||85||67.5|
|44||Write a note to a faraway friend||60||75||67.5|
|45||Hum a jingle||58||75||66.5|
|46||Have goals for yourself||40||92||66|
|47||Watch a ballet||60||70||65|
|48||Remember that stress is an attitude||40||90||65|
|49||Work at being cheerful and optimistic||40||88||64|
|50||Don’t rely on your memory… write it down||35||92||63.5|
|51||Strive for excellence NOT perfection||35||92||63.5|
|52||Find support from others||35||91||63|
|53||Cook a meal and eat it by candlelight||50||76||63|
|54||Do everything in moderation||30||95||62.5|
|55||Plant a tree||40||85||62.5|
|56||Freely praise other people||60||65||62.5|
|57||Stop saying negative things to yourself||25||98||61.5|
|58||Keep a journal||25||98||61.5|
|59||Believe in yourself||25||97||61|
|60||Put safety first||50||70||60|
|61||Stretch your limits a little each day||35||85||60|
|62||Memorize a joke||60||60||60|
|63||Talk less and listen more||30||89||59.5|
|64||Exercise every day||25||93||59|
|65||Set priorities in your life||30||87||58.5|
|66||Always have a plan “B”||20||96||58|
|67||Leave work early (with permission)||30||86||58|
|68||Have a support network of people, places and things||20||96||58|
|69||Prepare for the morning the night before||30||85||57.5|
|70||Look at problems as challenges||25||90||57.5|
|71||Look at a work of art||45||70||57.5|
|72||Ask someone to be your “vent-partner”||45||68||56.5|
|73||Become a better listener||15||98||56.5|
|74||Get to work early||25||88||56.5|
|75||Anticipate your needs||20||92||56|
|76||Stop a bad habit||15||96||55.5|
|77||Look at challenges differently||50||60||55|
|78||Teach a kid to fly a kite||25||85||55|
|79||Feed the birds||60||50||55|
|80||Practice preventative maintenance||25||80||52.5|
|81||Tickle a baby||20||85||52.5|
|82||Practice grace under pressure||15||90||52.5|
|83||Ask for help with the jobs you dislike||10||94||52|
|84||Say “no” more often||10||92||51|
|85||Play patty cake with a toddler||30||72||51|
|86||Get up 15 minutes earlier||50||50||50|
|87||Repair anything that doesn’t work properly||20||80||50|
|88||Develop your sense of humor||50||50||50|
|89||Pay attention to your appearance||50||50||50|
|90||Maintain your weight||10||90||50|
|91||Know our own limitations and let others know them, too||50||50||50|
|92||Learn the words to a new song||50||50||50|
|93||Practice a monster smile||15||85||50|
|94||Use time wisely||20||75||47.5|
|95||Throw a paper airplane||50||45||47.5|
|96||Simplify meal times||10||82||46|
|97||Make duplicate keys||50||40||45|
|98||Avoid relying on chemical aids||30||50||40|
|99||Go to a ball game and scream||25||40||32.5|
|100||Avoid negative people||10||45||27.5|
|101||Tell someone to have a good day in pig Latin||10||10||10|
Here’s a good article about dealing with your live during really tough times. Although it does not deal with coping with stress it does have a different take on times in your life when the stress is mixed.