7 Positive Ways to Reduce Stress

7 Positive Ways to Reduce StressFantastic opportunities always come my way.

Every choice holds limitless possibilities.

Everybody is in my corner. Nothing and no one is against me.

How would your life be different if you actually believed this?  How would these beliefs impact your decisions?  Your relationships?  Especially during times of stress?

“Your life is carefully designed by you,” said Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  “You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness.”

Covey added, “Just remember that every moment, every situation, provides a new choice.  And in doing so, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.”

Managing stress is all about perspective.  Stress can be a massive warning sign that forces you to fight, hide, or run away (and there are times when those actions are appropriate).  Stress can also be a directional arrow that empowers you with new skills and tools needed for bigger opportunities.

Travis Bradbury, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and contributing writer at Forbes, explained that stress (and the anxiety that comes with it) is “an absolutely essential emotion.  Stress can be an invitation to do routine things in new ways.”

Bradbury identified 7 paramount beliefs held by successful individuals:

Appreciate What You Have. – Gratitude affects mood because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California showed that those who practiced an attitude of gratitude experienced greater optimism, energy, and physical well-being.

Stay Positive. – Positive thoughts shift your attention. During stress-filled moments, take a moment to think about something that is positive. You may recall a lesson learned, a new relationship formed, an upcoming event, or a good joke. We are more successful and more productive when we feel happier and hopeful.

Disconnect. – Allow time during the day to turn off your phone or take an email break. Studies have shown that something as simple as a break during the day lowers stress levels.

Create a Regular Sleep Routine. – When you sleep, your brain recharges. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels. Demanding projects may make you feel as if you have no time to sleep, but lack of a regular sleep routine is often the one thing that prevents you from greater productivity.

Develop Positive Self-Talk – The more you focus on negative thoughts, the more power you give them.  Facts are not feelings.  When you listen to negative pessimistic criticism from your inner voice, your confidence diminishes.

You have the power to replace negative thought with positive affirmations, such as:

  • Rewarding opportunities come easily and effortlessly to me.
  • Obstacles disappear.  I am destined for greatness.
  • Extraordinary ideas flow to me in a river of abundance.

Positive affirmations quiet negative thought patterns and discipline your mind to focus on the unlimited power within you.

Affirmations reframe your perspective.  Stress and worry are often fueled by your own skewed perception of events.  It’s easy to blame unrealistic deadlines, unforgiving bosses, and out-of-control traffic for our actions and reactions.  You may not be able to control circumstances surrounding you, but you can control how you respond to them.  Take time to put stressful situations into perspective.  The only things you can truly control are your words, your actions, your decisions, and your behavior.

Affirmations allow you to breathe. The practice of being in the moment with your breathing will train your brain to focus solely on the task at hand and the present moment.  Breathing invites calm, allows openness to new solutions, and provides ways to let go of distracting thoughts.

Dr. Michelle Robin, author of Wellness on a Shoestring, adds that clearing the clutter around you and your space also reduces stress.

“Clutter has a way of creeping up on us. Take a look around your surroundings on a regular basis,” explains Dr. Robin.  “Try and make it your goal to reduce clutter, eliminate piles and create systems.  This will allow you to create a relaxing, inviting environment – whether at work or at home – and will go a long way toward reducing stress.”

7 Ways to Reduce StressWilliam James once said, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”  If you believe you live in an abundant universe, you must intentionally, purposely embrace the belief that good things happen and positive outcomes constantly flow into your life.

And, if you don’t feel particularly positive and stress-free today, stop what you’re doing.  Breathe. 

You can start your day over at any time.  You don’t have to wait until tomorrow.

Believe good things can happen.

Fantastic opportunities always come your way.

Every choice holds limitless possibilities.

Everybody is in your corner. Nothing and no one is against you.

Close your eyes and focus on one positive thought.

How can you reduce stress in your life?


Create your own positive affirmations with these tips from Put the Positive in Your Affirmation.

Transform your perspective from lack to abundance and Escape the Scarcity Mentality Jungle.

Having trouble creating positive self-talk? Learn to Replace Old Tapes with New Messages.

Rock your positive attitude with these suggestions from 8 Ways to Feel More Positive.


6 Responses to 7 Positive Ways to Reduce Stress
  1. Hi Julie – once again … thank you for another brilliant and insightful article. I love the way you tell a story from your own experience to highlight the principle you are describing.

    If you had said no more than give us the superb quote by Stephen Covey, we would have enough to inwardly digest for the rest of the month. Thought-provoking indeed:

    “Your life is carefully designed by you,…. ”You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness. You choose ambivalence…. Just remember that every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. And in doing so, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.”

    • Words have power. We choose our own perception, our attitude, and how we choose to interpret the events and circumstances around us. We possess much more power than we give ourselves credit for!
      Many thanks for sharing, Merv.

  2. I’m glad that the first stress reducer listed is “They Appreciate What They Have” – Gratitude affects mood because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%.

    I think Cicero got it right when he said, ‘Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.`

    I just `stumbled` on a fascinating TED talk called “Gratitude”
    Nature’s beauty can be easily missed — but not through Louie Schwartzberg’s lens. His stunning time-lapse photography, accompanied by powerful words from Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast, serves as a meditation on being grateful for every day.


  3. If we wanted to add an eighth tip to reduce stress this TED video could help …

    “How to make stress your friend” – by Kelly McGonigal

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