15 Great Stress Busting Tips

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How do you act under a great deal of stress?

How do you act under a great deal of stress?

Stress is something we experience every day, at some level, whether we realize it or not.
Healthy stress is called eustress, where as unhealthy is called distress.

Human beings should come with a label: CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE. Sometimes life can even be scary!

We need healthy levels of stress to survive, but when we are bombarded and overwhelmed by sudden changes or enormous amounts of hardship, our stress levels escalate. It’s this negative type of stress, that when left untreated, is referred to as “the silent killer.”
This prolonged stress, especially unchecked and uncontrolled, can lead to:

  • cardiovascular diseases
  • chronic fatigue
  • diminished immune system making you prone to more and more infection
  • high blood pressure

My reason for writing this post is to help you identify and learn the causes of your stress. I want to create a haven for you to come and get some great stress busting tips that have served me well, as well as a place for you to share your story.

I know from experience… serious stress can choke the life out of you. There were many periods in my life when I felt paralyzed by stress. I had been through “burn-out” at work more than a few times and the nature of the work had me see the backside of life on a daily basis. The stress of rotating shifts and short changeovers also added to the growing stress level.

For more than 18 of the nearly 32 years I was in the police department, 9-1-1 seemed like my home number.
My daughter Laura would even note the time when it was 9:11, AM or PM… “Daddy, its 9-1-1… 9-1-1!”
That was her being cute and did not add to my stress.

Gradually, the frequency of the worst types of calls imaginable increased when I worked… murders, stabbings, robberies. The stress was compounded by lack of available manpower and resources, such as enhanced 9-1-1. Stress is experienced from the personal perception that demands placed on you exceed your resources.

In one such case a Greek woman, who spoke no English at all, called 9-1-1 screaming. She could not be calmed down and I could not get her to tell me her address. By the time the line was traced, her 15 year old daughter had choked to death on a chicken bone.

It was a fatal shooting followed shortly thereafter by a little 3-1/2 year old girl witnessing her mother being bludgeoned to death, as I frantically had the line traced, that told me I don’t want to do this any more. Work that I once lived for!

A police officer, who survived being shot in the head, came to my home to console me.  At this time, I felt like a zombie. Devoid of feelings, I also saw my first marriage of 18 years disintegrate. From there, I was transferred to one of the local courts to do administrative tasks for the remaining years.

That’s just a little of the stress I experienced. Thankfully, all that’s in the past.

15 Great Stress Busting Tips

  1. CALM COUNT. Words cannot be taken back once you’ve let them out, therefore, keep calm. Before you say something regrettable, count out a few deep breaths, count to 10, or practice a small number of affirmations.
  2. DEAR DIARY. Keeping a daily diary or a journal is great because you give yourself permission to explore your thoughts and feelings surrounding the day’s events. You’ll quickly identify what things stressed you and then you can write about them in detail for future reference. Be sure to include your happiest moments of the day and future plans, too. Otherwise, your diary will simply become a record of negativity which will add to your stress.
  3. ENERGETIC EXERCISE. This is a great way to burn off stress. Maintain your physical agility with moderate amounts, but not to exhaustion. Every lunch hour at work for over 3 years, I would play badminton in the gymnasium. This made me feel great!
  4. ESTHETIC ENVIRONMENT. Partaking of nature is spiritually refreshing, heightens your creativity and helps you keep a sense of the beautiful when life appears to be ugly. When you feel stressed, try going for a walk in the woods, visit a lake, or go birdwatching.
  5. LEARN LIMITATIONS. Clearly define and know what your limitations are. Saying “yes” to everyone just to be a people pleaser is the purchase of a one-way ticket to Stress City. Say “no” when you need to.
  6. MEDITATION MUSIC. While upbeat music may give you more energy — meditative, relaxing music is great for soothing jangled nerves. It has the ability to transport you to another place and calm you down. It is this shift in focus and attention that changes your demeanor. When you’re feeling especially nervous, put on some quiet music that allows you to meditate. This is great background for writing in your DAILY DIARY.
  7. MOOD MANAGEMENT. When you’re feeling stressed, pay particular attention to how your mood changes. Keeping yourself in a positive frame of mind helps you to fight the stress you’re feeling, whereas, allowing yourself to be in a foul mood only makes it worse.
  8. PERSONAL PRAYER. The best advice I’ve found on this comes from the Bible… “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” Philippians 4:6
  9. PROVIDE PERSPECTIVE. Everyone has the ability to make molehills out of mountains. Get a piece of paper and divide in down the middle. On one side write the things you may be able to change, and on the other, write down things that stress you that you have no control over. Change what you can and stop worrying about the rest!
  10. REGULAR REST. Getting the rest you need is imperative. Sleep refreshes and restores your frame of mind which gets bent out of shape by stress. You simply can’t function properly without getting the amount you need; you get brain drain.
  11. SELF SPEECH. Be careful what you say to yourself. Berating yourself, belittling your talents or otherwise bad mouthing yourself only adds to your stress level. Be patient and gentle with yourself and speak words that affirm your inner strength and beauty. Keeping your feelings bottled up only creates more inner turmoil. Talk things out, but do so using only POSITIVE words. Eliminate all negative self-talk.
  12. STAY SERENE. This assumes that you are serene in the first place. Find what gets you to your happy place and stay there awhile. Remember this: You are NOT your circumstances. Keep a healthy outlook on life by controlling your perceptions.
  13. TAILORED THOUGHTS. No different than taking your clothing to a tailor for alterations, you can do this with your thoughts. Some thoughts you carry around with you no longer fit with your lifestyle and need to be trimmed from your mindset. Take yourself in for an attitude adjustment. Change your mindset and keep the change!
  14. TAKE TIME. Not only take time out from what is stressing you, but also take time to process your feelings, to meditate and to pray. Taking time out for yourself gives you a “breather.” You deserve it, right?
  15. VANQUISH VICTIMIZATION. When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, it doesn’t mean life is all downhill. Don’t add misery to your stress by having a pity party or loudly voicing, “Why does this always happen to me?”

May your STRESS be… Strength To Resolve Every Scary Situation

Have your Say…

What stressful experiences have you had? What stresses you out, and what do you do about it?
I invite you to share your story here or in the comments below. Thank you kindly!

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About Bill Butler
William A. Butler is a John C.Maxwell certified coach. He loves to add value to others and aspiring to be a great humanitarian, lives by four words: BE LOVE TO OTHERS. William often goes by "Bill" and is a poet, a songwriter and has an upcoming novel.

17 thoughts on “15 Great Stress Busting Tips

  1. Hi Bill,

    I can only imagine the amount of stress 911 operators have to go through on a daily basis.
    Well, speaking of techniques of reducing stress, how about clenching fist technique?

    I thought it was such an awesome technique you can’t miss? Was it on purpose?

    Kumar Gauraw recently posted…10 Proven Strategies To Build Credibility And Trust OnlineMy Profile

  2. Hi Kumar,

    I omitted that technique because I was keeping with the tips being double letters. Clenched Fist didn’t fit. Giving it more thought, I shall call it RELAXATION RESPONSE.

    Clench the fist of your dominant hand. Squeeze as hard as you can. Keep squeezing until you can’t squeeze any more. Hold it as long as possible, so that you are painfully aware of the tension you are holding in. Now, gradually and slowly open your hand. As you slowly release, notice the difference between being totally tense and really relaxed.

    Kind Regards,
    William Butler recently posted…15 Great Stress Busting TipsMy Profile

  3. Hello Mr. Bill

    This is definitely a subject that has affected everyone of us.

    I cannot imagine what it was being in law enforcement, and the amount of stress you had to endure.
    What comes to mind for me was dealing with my patients, especially the burn unit. My emotions were like a roller coaster every time I had to visit the unit. It created stress, because my heart was hurting for the patients, especially the children.
    At night I would still hear the screams of the children due to the pain they had to endure. We lost many children in the burn unit due to infections and complications.
    Personally I practice many of your stress busters. They DO work.
    Prayer, meditation and long walks are the ones that help me a lot.

    Thank you for this timely post.
    Gladys posted..The importance of Self Reflection

    • Hello Gladys,

      Thank you for relating your experiences. I don’t like to see anyone suffer, and I certainly empathize with how you must have felt.
      There are many times, while stressed and exhausted, that we can come to believe we have no outlet for it. May this post serve as a reminder
      that there are always options. We simply need to remain open to them.


  4. Thank you very much for your efforts. Nowadays I have very big troubles in my personal life and in balancing my business. Your thoughts and your essays are my only healers. Again thanks.

  5. Hi William,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I can only imaging how stressful it is to be a 911 agent. I simply couldn’t do it. One must have a tough skin to do such thing.

    I know that stress gave high blood pressure to my mother, because when she started losing her mind to Alzheimer disease, the blood pressure totally disappeared. When that happened I knew that her high blood pressure was 100% related to stress. And stressed she was.

    To release stress I do breathing exercises, walking, running, playing tennis, listen to holosync or binaural beats. Iove to enjoy nature and my kitty which are also stress reliever

    Thank you for those great tips too.

    • Hi Sylviane,
      Thank you for sharing about your mother. I like your list of stress relievers.I agree with all of them, although I resonate with nature and animals as great stress relievers. Meditative music is also something I play regularly.

      You’re very welcome. Have a terrific weekend!

  6. Hi Bill,

    Oh My! Thanks for sharing your story. Talk about Stress…you had high levels of it. The good thing is that you came out of it and learned how to de-stress.

    Sometimes we need to hit that breaking point to understand how stress can effect our lives. Yes, stress can be a killer! My mom had a heart attack a year back, but it was her high blood pressure and tons of stress that probably caused it.

    I took her to Acupuncture where she learned how to lie there for an hour and get healed. Then she joined yoga and even meditation groups. Now if an 82 year old woman can turn her life around, so can anyone!

    We need to acknowledge stress and how it can tear us down.

    I had my share Bill. I undergone many therapies, but what works best for me when I’m in a stressful situation is to ask God to get me through.

    Donna Merrill recently posted…10 Ways To Get Out Of Your Box On Social MediaMy Profile

    • Hi Donna,

      You’re very welcome. Thank you for stopping by again. Yes, my life is certainly a whole lot different now than it was.
      You’re right about your Mom… if she can do it, anyone can. What an inspiration!

      I agree with you in turning to God for strength. I know you’re stressed right now and I’m praying for you and your dog.

      ~ Bill

  7. Great, great, great tips! And so important in this day and age to stay healthy, particularly for those of us who are getting older.

    I appreciate the extra info on how to stay calm. It is something we all struggle with daily in our stress filled lives.

    Thanks for providing as much because sometimes one thing or another that we’re trying may not work and a good combination may be the magic bullet.

    Thanks. Love this.
    Barbara Charles recently posted…Is Content King? Really?My Profile

    • Hi Barbara,
      I trust you are well. Glad you enjoy the tips. I included another in my reply to Kumar about noticing the
      difference between stress and relaxation.

      You’re very welcome. One really effective combination is meditative music with a calm count.
      I sometimes affirm “Relax” on the inhale and “Calm” on the exhale.

      Kind Regards,

  8. Bill, I’m stressed today and reading this made me realize the only one I really have trouble with is #14 big time! I do manage to stay calm most of the time but I do get stressed when I have a lot going on and much to be done. I set myself up with too many things to do 🙂 Thanks for sharing these tips and reminders Bill – have a great weekend.

    • Lisa, you’re very welcome! I’m sorry to hear you’re stressed. I find that scheduling my time helps in not being overloaded.
      It allows you to take a break when you need one and still maintain being on-purpose and accomplishing.
      Scheduling your time also keeps you in control, not allowing factors and circumstances to dictate your outcomes.

      Wishing you every success. 🙂
      Have a great weekend as well!

  9. “Stress is experienced from the personal perception that demands placed on you exceed your resources.” – Bill Butler

    Positively regulating and changing one’s perception to the prevailing situation can invariably ameliorate the stressful condition!

    • Very true Ime. Redirecting one’s focus always helps and it is always an option that is open to us, for at any moment,
      we have the ability to change our mind.

      As you note, it is positive regulation. Thank you for your insights.


  10. […] HEARTY HUMOR. LAUGHTER is still the best medicine. It’s an excellent stress reliever. […]

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