50 Tips for a stress-free life

Young Woman Thinking --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Since we all live busy lives, and don’t always get around to revisiting all the information we have access to, I’ve decided to compile this life guide for a stress-free life.

You may want to display them where they are easily visible: to remind yourself, and others.

Warning: those who are not ready to get real may take offence…

1. Stop obsessively focusing on the problem and you’ll see solutions and opportunities (about 2cms from your nose).

2. Not taking responsibility for your actions or in-actions is not okay. Someone else has to pick up the slack.

3. Stop taking responsibility for others. It prevents them learning that actions or in-actions have consequences. It stunts their personal growth.

4. Talk less. Do more. There is a direct link between ACTION and achievement.

5. Simplify and de-clutter! Why make life tougher and more complex than it already is?

6. No, life isn’t fair. Who told you it was? The world won’t change to accommodate you. It’s up to you to fit into the world.

7. Quitting prematurely prevents you gaining traction or building momentum – whether it’s in jobs, careers, partnerships, diets, exercise plans, friendships or belief systems.

8. Get over this failure-phobia – it’s just your navigation system. It stands for:

Repeating the same one

9. Admit it, you’re not a perfectionist. There’s no such thing as perfection. It’s just another method of procrastination.

Woman having a headache

10. What you put in you get out – physically, emotionally, mentally and materially. Value in = value out. Crap in = crap out. It’s that simple.

11. Stop kidding yourself – making excuses may self-soothe and keep you in your comfort zone, but it also keeps you powerless to change things.

12. Risk failing. Not reckless risks. Calculated risks. You will get wiser and more confident each time.

13. No, you’re not stressed because you have a heavier workload and more responsibilities. It’s your inability to manage it, allocate time productively, prioritize and install boundaries that’s causing the stress. These skills can be learned.

14. No, government economic policy, your company, your age, bad luck or your spouse are not solely responsible for limiting your wealth-creating ability. It’s holding doggedly onto that belief that is preventing you increasing your wealth.

15. Stressed? Given that at least 80% of a illnesses are stress related, aren’t you playing roulette with your health? Learn how to handle it better.

16. Blaming your problems on external circumstances, other people or bad luck, is missing the plot. If you don’t take ownership for your part in helping to create this situation, you become a helpless passenger on a hijacked jet.

17. When stress speaks – listen! It’s your internal anti virus alert – a threat to your well-being has been detected. It’s an invitation to ask questions and refocus your attention. Surely smart people know what happens when you ignore that kind of message?

Portrait of a unhappy young woman covering her ears over white background

18. Dump the drama. It’s a childish way to get attention. It makes you a pain in the butt.

19. Learn to manage your emotions. They’re powerful. Like driving a Ferrari—beyond exhilarating done with expertise. Potentially lethal if you don’t know how.

20. If the demands and expectations of others are making you feel like a carcass pulled apart by a pack of hyenas—pause that yes impulse! Say NO instead.

21. Set clear boundaries—vague job descriptions, relationship or responsibility expectations confuse people. We need a framework within which to operate. It makes us feel safe.

22. Sick of a lack of respect? Then respect yourself! We show people how to treat us.

23. Don’t be intimidated by displays of bravado, arrogance or venomous criticism – it’s just fear playing dress up.

24. Crazy-busy-stress is not a trendy tag for success. It doesn’t say I am so in demand that I must be valuable. It says my emotional intelligence skills need upgrading.

25. There’s no such thing as no time – just get your priorities straight.

26. Celebrate your strengths – but watch your weaknesses. If you don’t you’ll fall into the same holes repeatedly.

27. Risk getting naked – mentally and emotionally. Dump the protective armor. Drop those unwieldy weapons of defense. Strip off the camouflage – and just be yourSELF. You are a work in progress -and you are enough!

Adjust your expectations. Life is fascinating, messy, mercurial, unpredictable, unfathomable, joyful, rewarding and sometimes infuriating and painful. There is no one-size-fits-all operating manual. Prepare yourself for it

28. Adjust your expectations. Life is fascinating, messy, mercurial, unpredictable, unfathomable, joyful, rewarding and sometimes infuriating and painful. There is no one-size-fits-all operating manual. Prepare yourself for it.

29. Pump up your 4 x 4 capacity – mentally, emotionally, materially and physically. Stay in tip top condition to meet the challenges.

30. Ignoring problems does not make them go away. Like tumors, they grow bigger, and take over your life.

31. Know yourself intimately – when the going gets tough, if you don’t trust your ability to survive and thrive – you won’t.

32. Evaluate problems objectively – don’t allow your emotions to mislead you.

Close-up Of Beautiful African American Woman Eating Salad

33. Put YOUR wellbeing first. You’re useless to anyone (including yourself) if you don’t.

34. Stop resisting change. It’s inevitable. Why waste energy resisting what you can’t control?

35. Change your strategy when something’s not working. Same strategy = same result.

36. Be clear on your goals. If you’re not, you’ll drift off course and get lost.

37. Celebrate everything you get right – it builds confidence and momentum.

38. Stop whining! Appreciate what you have – and focus on solutions instead of problems.

39. Negative feelings have a purpose. Listen to the messages they come to deliver. Then turn them into positive action.

40. Practice seeing things from other people’s perspectives – instead of rigidly clinging to your own. You’ll be surprised what you can learn.

41. No, you’re not always right. We all have blind spots. Question your beliefs and perceptions. Just like computer programs, they need updating from time to time.


42. Relax! It’s not the end of the world. What looks like “the end” may just be a bend.

43. Holding onto blame isn’t cheap. Pride, righteousness and defensiveness are exhausting and high maintenance – and they prevent you from questioning and learning.

44. The more often you face adversity, the less power it has to cripple you.

45. Stop running away from problems. They’ll follow you, and you can’t look behind you and watch where you’re going at the same time. You know what’s going to happen…

46. Stop taking stressful episodes personally. Who gave you the stress franchise? Deal with it, like the rest of us.

47. Don’t waste energy. Know where you can influence change – and where you can’t.

48. Stop being held hostage by your tools and toys. All digital devices have OFF buttons. Use them. If you don’t, your relationship with yourself and others will suffer.

49. Take time out. The human psyche wasn’t designed to be on-call 24/7. Nobody will die if you’re “off the grid” from time to time. But if you’re plugged-in 24/7 you might.

50. Yes, you’re scared. Join the club. Fear is a fact of life. Hang out with fellow fear-fighters, who are on a similar journey; so you can support and encourage each other. Make like-minded mentors your fuel supply.

And remember, nobody is an island. Nobody gets it right 100% of the time. When we’re taking strain, we often isolate ourselves. That’s the worst thing to do. It just digs the hole deeper.

When you’re out of your depth, don’t try to go it alone. Value, grow, nurture and reach out to your support team. That’s what they’re there for.

Use available resources. Draw on the expertise, inspiration and support of mentors, master classes and coaches, to give you the best possible chance of success when the dice is loaded.

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