How to deal with stress


Life in 2013 can be stressful. You might be working long hours and not seeing much of your family. You may not be finding time to socialise and hang out with your friends. You might be worried about prospects for the future, especially in these difficult economic times.

However, there a number of things you can do to help yourself stay relaxed and resourceful in your daily life. Below are some tips on how you can deal with stress:

Take a break

This may seem obvious. However, in the midst of stressful times, sometimes something as obvious as taking breaks can seem a very hard option to see. Ideally take a peaceful holiday for at least a week. Or if this isn’t possible, take a long weekend off and go and see some new sights, hear some interesting sounds and get a feel of a place you’ve never been to before.

Practice yoga and meditation

Making attendance to a yoga class a regular occurrence will do wonders for reducing your stress levels, even if it’s just attending one class a week. By the end of the class your stress will have gone. You can also meditate every day for 10 minutes. Just focus on observing your breathing and allow your worries to arise and pass away.

Get proper sleep

Create a habit of getting to bed at a decent hour. The earlier you can the better. The more sleep you get, the better you’ll be able to function the following day. Get into a routine where you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

Cut down on the coffee

Although a cup of coffee can be great to drink during a break from work, too much coffee will not help you in reducing stress. If anything the caffeine inside will only keep you awake later in the day when you really need to sleep. If you’re not sleeping properly already, then too much coffee will actually increase your stress.

Just focus on what you have to do, not on the outcome

One way your stress levels increase is when you’re too focused on achieving the outcome of a particular task you’re undertaking. Of course, you want to succeed in whatever you’re doing. However, by getting too emotionally involved in the outcome you want, you run the risk of basing your happiness, on getting the outcome. Rather than this, just focus on what you are doing, and allow the outcome to be whatever it will be.

Plan you day

You can reduce stress simply by planning your day better. If you’re working from the office or at home, make a plan of the main activities, prioritise them and give yourself time limits for their completion.  This will help you to spend maximum time on critical tasks and spend minimum time or any at all on those activities, which are not important.  Once you have completed an activity, check it off as being done. By doing this you will have a sense of achievement before you move onto the next task.

My friends, it’s over to you:

  • What other ways can you think of to reduce stress?
  • Please share your valuable views, thoughts and experiences in the comments box below.
  • Please also share this post on your favourite social networks.
  1. Hiten,

    I liked all the points and would need a little clarification from your end on the second last point – don’t focus on the outcome.

    One school asks you to do creative visualization on what you want to achieve that. I feel books like Secret have sold millions of copies just based on this one aspect.

    What’s your thoughts on this please?

    1. Hi Rafi,

      Many thanks for your comment.

      Let me clarify what I mean about the not focusing on the outcome point. When we create goals and set objectives, I believe it is important to have a picture of what the outcome is. Indeed, when carrying out activities it is still important to have the outcome in mind. However, I believe one shouldn’t get too emotionally attached to the outcome, else in the case of things not working out, one may get dejected of depressed unnecessarily.

      Thanks for your question!

  2. Loved the post Hiten!

    Stress is a part of our lives, and I think ALL of us undergo stress in one form or the other – even babies do, which I got to know long back when I had written a post on it on my blog. So, it can start from that age on I guess 🙂

    With our busy lives – no matter what we try, stress will remain. What matters most is the way we handle our stress and learn to live with it, which you beautifully mentioned in your post here.

    I agree with all your points above, and one thing that I notice in myself is that lack of sleep really plays on my stress levels, something that I need to work on. Similarly, planning what I have to do for the rest of the day and doing it eases my mind a great deal – so does taking breaks. Ah…when we are working online and have to sit for long hours on our laptops or computers – we don’t realize the stress we are giving to our body and mind, besides the other things like the eyes, neck, arms etc – everything suffers. And most often – these stresses show up sooner or later by way of causing various health problems – some of which start showing sooner than you can imagine.

    My yoga and meditation has become a bit erratic, which I know are a must because they are great stress busters too. And I’m glad I hardly have too much of tea or coffee – so am safe there. 🙂 Another thing that I do is similar to taking a break, but doing something totally different from the usual – like if I feel stressed out sitting and working, I would just move around and cook up some dish, go for a movie or a walk – this takes your mind away from your work, and it does help me.

    Thanks for sharing this with us and reminding us to take care of our stress. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      I’m so glad you liked the post!

      As you said, stress is something, which will always be there and we can help ourselves to learn and develop strategies to deal with it.

      Just like you, when I’ve not had enough sleep, it is easier for my stress levels to go up. I can totally relate to what you say about working online for longer periods. You’re right. Our eyes, neck and arms do suffer if we’re not careful. It’s important to keep our bodies active as much as we can throughout a day to counter such problems.

      I’m glad to say I’ve got back into my daily meditation after I went through a period where my practice had become a little on and off.

      Many thanks for sharing your approach when you take a break of doing something totally different to what you’re doing. This makes so much sense.

      Many thanks for leaving such a great comment, my friend. 🙂

  3. This is a needed post for me. I have several speeches/ video interviews this week (On top of my already bust schedule) and am feeling the stress from the engagements. I’m drinking extra water and taking power naps during the day to ease some of the stress. Great post and thoughts!

    1. Hi Dan,

      I’m so glad this post got to you at the right time. I love it personally when this happens to me! 🙂

      It’s great to hear your drinking extra water and I love the idea of taking power naps during the day to help relieve stress.

      I wish you all the best with your speaking engagements and video interviews. Many thanks for leaving your great comment, Dan.

  4. HI Hiten,

    Great tips here. I changed over to tea instead of coffee and I feel that it has helped me be more calm. If I miss a day, I don’t have that withdrawal feeling that I did with coffee. Planning the day is also something I continue to work on. I don’t think we can ever plan enough, especially if we are busy. it is important to prioritize to feel less stressed.

    1. Hi Cathy,

      Many thanks for dropping by and I’m so glad you liked the tips!

      I think it’s great you’ve switched over to tea from coffee. I usually drink two cups of green tea every day and it really helps to keep me calm and my mind clear. I agree with tea the withdrawal experience isn’t there. I guess it just shows how much caffeine coffee really does contain.

      You’re right; we can never plan enough in this day and age. Some type of prioritisation and time management always helps us to focus on important activities throughout the day.

      Thanks so much for leaving your comment and sharing your experiences of this area.

  5. Sleep and taking a break are super important Hiten but we usually don’t have time for either (and increase our stress level in the process). What I try to do is schedule both sleep and breaks into my daily schedule so I’m consciously trying to stress less and relax.

    Also, found yoga , meditation and prayer to help a lot in reducing stress and giving me new perspective on things.

    1. Hi Vishnu,

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your experiences of consciously scheduling in sleep and breaks into your day. This is great. We really do have to make some effort to relax, especially as we’re all so busy.

      I loved the point you made about prayer. Indeed, prayer is a great way to reduce stress, too.

      Many thanks for your awesome comment.

  6. Just go for a walk! Stress is at higher levels today, so we just need to unplug and gather our thoughts. Taking a walk is a great way to re-gain calm. In fact, taking a 10 minute walk in the morning and in the afternoon will make your work day a little less stressful. Thanks for your insights, Hiten! Jon

    1. Hi Jon,

      Indeed, walking is a great stress buster and thanks for adding this further approach to the discussion. It’s important to walk in the way you say and completely switch off when we’re doing so.

      I usually walk for 20-30 minutes in the evening.

      I’m really glad you liked the post and thanks for adding more to it, Jon!

  7. Hiten,
    Take a minimum of 15 minutes each day to “chill” … do nothing … let your thoughts roam free.
    I’m a coffee addict by the way so I will retain a certain level of “stress” but it’s good stress. Thanks for the tips.
    Be good to yourself
    Life Coach. Listener. Life Lover.

    1. Hi David,

      I loved your tip of taking a minimum of 15 minutes a day to just “chill”! This is brilliant.

      I have to confess that I do enjoy my coffee, too. However, I limit it to one cup a day around mid-morning!

      I’m really glad you liked the tips and thanks for dropping by. Cheers.

  8. I suffer from stress without even knowing what I’m stressed about. This can be quite confusing because if you don’t know the cause, you can’t fix it.

    I think that in addition to taking a break, one can do something enjoyable – like a hobby or meeting up with friends. This is a very good way of taking your mind off your worries and putting it on things that bring you pleasure instead.

    1. Hi Anne,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences around stress. Indeed, I can appreciate the confusion you would feel if you’re unsure of what the cause is.

      I totally agree with what you said about doing something fun like a hobby or spending time with friends. Indeed, when I spend time with my friends, like magic, all the worries seem to disappear.

  9. Hi Hiten,

    Nice tips to come out from stress specially sleep and break.
    when i m stressed just do one thing forget everything and go on walk with friends and make goship. I totally divert my mind from stress into fun.

    1. Hi Rupali,

      I’m so glad you liked the tips and good resonate in particular, with sleeping properly and taking breaks.

      I loved the approach you use when you’re feeling stressed, of going on a walk with friends and having a nice chat! This is great and many thanks for sharing this. Indeed, walking and spending time with friends can do wonders for our wellbeing.

  10. Hello Hiten — some very solid advice here, particularly the part about focusing more on actions than outcomes. Would love to see you explore that theme in more depth in a future post. Also, I gave up caffeine 14 years ago, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If you’re sensitive to it like I am, it can make your life a mess!

    1. Hi Stephen,

      It’s really great to see you and I’m so glad you appreciated the advice in this post.

      Indeed, focusing more on actions rather than outcomes is a technique I’ve learnt from my spiritual practices. It can be a challenge to do, but is something that with effort can be done. It helps take away a lot of stress.

      It’s brilliant how you gave up caffeine. Coffee is an interesting one. Have it in moderation then one is fine. Have too much of it and it can make one feel really awful.

      Many thanks for leaving your comment and adding your experiences to the discussion, Stephen.

    1. Hi Farouk,

      I’m glad you liked the tips and many thanks for commenting! 🙂

  11. HI Hiten,

    Great post!

    I think stress is a part of life and we have to live with it, how to deal with the stress without getting stressed out is really the key.

    I’ve started prioritizing the things which has really helped me a lot, I try to remain off from the social media(Facebook) when I’m working, as the priority is to complete the task in hand.I’ve started working as a single processor, one task at a time.

    I’ve been doing Yoga and regular walk with my friends in my society, for the last 1 yr or so and could see the results and it has really helped me a lot, it has made me to focus more on the current task.

    I’m least bothered about the outcome, but I’m more passionate about the work – it should be done in a best possible way.

    Thanks for this great share.


  12. Hi Hiten,

    I believe stress is always, we can’t fully eliminate it but we can control it’s effect to us. It’s how we handle it and always remember that we can manage its impact to our daily lives.

    When I am stressed, I exercise through learning new dance steps. I rewire my brain from being pressured to happiness. And when I am back to solve the obstacles, I can quickly come up with a solution because I get rid off the worries and negative thoughts blocking my creative juices.

    Thanks for this inspirational post!

    1. Hi Patricia,

      Indeed, as you said, stress is always there in some form or another. I think being lay people with daily lives, families, work etc. means we will always go through stressful periods. As you stated, we can learn to control the impact it was on us.

      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with dealing with stress. You are so right. Dancing is a wonderful way to de-stress! It also sounds like you’ve developed a great strategy to quickly overcome pressure and worry, and switch back to creativity when you’re doing your work. This is brilliant!

      Many thanks for sharing your experiences, Patricia and for adding so much more to this post. I really appreciate it.

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  14. Hi Hiten

    Loved your blog! Now some people when they come across these blogs, it may all seem very obvious at first but then it’s only later we realize when we start doing these small things, that actually all of us can handle stress effectively. I also practice aromatherapy during my yoga/meditation sessions helps me take my mind off of the stress and tensions for which I buy products from www. and I have found I’m in better control when it comes to stress and pressure. Many thanks for inspiring all of us with this beautiful post Hiten! Keep up the good work! 🙂

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