Stress is a silent killer that’s far too expensive to ignore.

Keep calm. Here are simple ways to address it.

Put simply every experience has a structure. When you change the structure, you change the experience. Try any (or all!) of the following next time you are really stressed and see how effective simple things can be to dissolve tension.

  1. Become a smile millionaire – just because. Give as many genuine heart-felt smiles to as many people as you can for a whole day.
  2. Play with laughter cues. Finish all your sentences with “Ha-Ha-Ha” or “Tee Hee Hee”. A great application of this is to share your embarrassing moments and then say “Ha-Ha-Ha”.
  3. Get some perspective: See small annoyances for what they really are – just small annoyances. To put a stressful situation into perspective, first try visualizing it getting completely out of control to an absurd degree. Exaggerating your predicament helps you differentiate a small annoyance from a life-threatening problem and allows you to find the humor in the situation.
  4. Another tactic is to write about the stressful situation using a funny slant. Start by simply writing about the problem. Then ask yourself: What’s a simple solution to my situation, and what’s the most ridiculous solution? Write about both. Your imagination is bound to push a laughter button. Putting your thoughts on paper also allows you to gain some distance from the event, and it gives you the opportunity to revisit the humorous scenario the next time a similar situation occurs.
  5. Express yourself: State your frustration out loud while doing something playful (e.g., jump on one foot three times and then twirl around) or illogical (talk about it with your mouth full of water). Adding a playful element to any charged situation helps counteract stress.
  6. Shout a positive motto during your most stress-filled moments (This may work best when you’re alone.) For instance, you’re in your car, stuck in traffic, and you have an appointment in 10 minutes. Rather than blame the drivers around you for everything wrong in your day, shout, “I’m so happy” or “I’m really in love with life”.
  7. Pull out the props: Breathe your stress into a balloon, write it on a piece of paper and burn it, wear a clown nose, transfer your negativity to a plant (it will know how to recycle it).

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