5 Tips to Radically Reduce Stress

UPDATED: October 20, 2008
PUBLISHED: October 20, 2008

1. Compartmentalize. The problem for most people is they are worried about everything all at once, all the time. I break what I’m concerned about into time chunks. If I have an important presentation on Tuesday, I schedule time to begin thinking about it on Monday at noon. This way I don’t “stress” about it all weekend long.

2. Say no. Nancy (Reagan, that is) was right: Just say, “NO!” Today we have more time-saving technologies to make our lives more convenient, yet we are the busiest (and most stressed-out) society in history! Studies show that life for families a hundred years ago was a lot less stressful, when we didn’t have 90 percent of the so-called conveniences we have today. Yes, today we get more stuff done and we collect more things in our garages, closets and attics, but we are not any happier. We are over-obligated and over-scheduled. Take back control of your life by learning to say “NO!”… or at least, “No thank you.”  

3. Feel it… really feel it. Most everyone spends the majority of their time trying to avoid painful emotions. Here is the irony of that: What you try to avoid expands in its power. Or put another way, what you resist, persists. “Whatever you avoid will come back. The more you avoid, the stronger it will return.” –Deepak Chopra

4. End the love affair. You love the pain of your emotions. How do we know? You keep creating them. You are a creative being. There is nothing in your life you have not created. You are the cause of every effect you are experiencing right now. Frightening, but true. You have either attracted the circumstances that have caused you pain or you have just decided to CALL them painful. Nothing is painful in and of itself. Pain is a result of your thoughts about it. What one calls painful another calls enjoyable. Pain results from a judgment you have made about something. Remove the judgment and the pain disappears. You could decide to have what you call painful to be joyful if you wanted, simply by deciding it to be. You could also stop attracting circumstances in your life that cause you pain, but you don’t. Why? Because you love the feeling!

5. MOVE! Perform an exercism. That’s right. Exercise the stress out of you. You know the mind-body connection to your health! Just as a cut on your finger will aggravate your mental concentration, so will collecting mental battle wounds and pressures all day drag your body down. You store your mental stress in your body. The only way to get the stress out of your mind is to get it out of your body. Not only does exercise keep you looking good in that skimpy swimsuit – and from dropping dead of coronary artery disease – but it also is the key to maintaining your energy, and to staying in psychological and mental balance.

Darren Hardy is the former publisher of SUCCESS magazine, an entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author of The Compound Effect and Living Your Best Year Ever: A Proven Formula for Achieving Big Goals.