De-Stressing Techniques

De-stressing Tools

It’s not All Bad!!!

There is Good Stress, also known as Eu-Stress, in the form of Excitement/Passion/Victory/Physical Energy/Goal-Directedness, etc.  We do NOT want to get rid of that;  in fact, we want to get more of that!

What we want to decrease [or change into some type of Eu-Stress] is the Bad stuff, known as Di-Stress [“Too much stress” or Distress].  This is the Heavy stuff, that feels “overwhelming”/”too much to bear”/”wearing me down”, etc.

It’s like when a heavy person sits on a chair that has a crack in one leg:  that’s the leg that will collapse.  In a similar manner, Distress will affect different people, plants, animals and objects, in different ways.  Some people will suffer physical ailments or proneness to accidents under distress, while others may suffer emotional ailments like panic or depressed mood.

And, of course, we also try to compensate for the debilitating effects of distress by different defensive mechanisms [also known as survival mechanisms, or coping skills, and include compulsive behaviours, aggression, over-niceness, ever-busyness, intellectualism, addictions, etc] that are intended to keep us from collapsing, to ward off perceived impending harm, or make us feel better in the moment, but inclined to cause further damage a few minutes, days, or years later.

So, what are some healthy ways to reduce di-stress?

1] The GIGO effect: “Garbage In, Garbage Out” was coined in computer programming to caution us to be very careful what we type into our computer/brain, because wrong programming leads to wrong results.  If we keep focussing on negative memories, physical sensations, expectations, or on negative behaviours modelled by other people or characters [like those in soap operas], we will experience negative/di-stressing chemicals in our bodies and translate them to negative feelings.
Instead, we need to focus on positive expectations, memories, characters, events, possibilities, skills, and positive aspects of our bodies [“I’m so grateful that my right index finger is feeling fine/that my taste buds are working/that I’ve got fewer wrinkles than a Shar Pei”, etc].  We need to watch positive tv programs, read positive and empowering books and articles, surround ourselves with beauty, peace, harmony…. Which means, for instance, tidy your office, your car, your handbag and your Inbox:  Peace doesn’t usually feel welcome in  Chaos.
Dr Wayne Dyer suggests we choose and repeat a list of about five words to create the feeling state we desire, instead of the one resulting from previous GIGO activities.  Try “serenity, peace, calm, tranquility, safe” to avoid feeling upset or anxious;  or try “energy, passion, vibrant, enthusiasm, exhileration” to combat depressed or tired feelings.  Or how about “love, kinship, team, unified strength, congeniality” to diminish destructive anger attacks?

2] Focus on gratitude for anything you have or can experience that is positive:  even a lame or blind person can be grateful s/he is able to smell a rose/food/fire/loved one’s perfume…  The Hope Heart Foundation of Seattle recommend that we count the fifty things that go right instead of counting the one thing that goes wrong, fifty times!

3] Lead a balanced life.  Say “No” to anything that’s putting a heavier stress on your system than the expected results warrant.  Dr Phillip McGraw recommends that we “never invest more than we can afford to lose” – and that includes benevolence, money accommodation of others, or calories!  Make time every day for peace and enjoyment, selfgrowth, physical movement just for fun [like dancing or skipping or racing against a horse or kite!], as well as work and family commitments.

4] Do something FUN regularly – including colouring in, cooking a special meal, playing golf in a harlequin outfit, dancing to any music, or talking to a parrot.

5] Use all five sense every hour, for a few minutes, really to observe the immediate world around you.  Breathe deeply.  Imagine listening to an ant sing opera on a sand dune…

6] Make a list of things, animals, people,or events that you love or admire, and carry it with you.  Meditate on the importance of that charactert or event in your life, say a heartfelt Thank You to it/them, even if it/they no longer exist on earth. Find a child and send him/her good vibrational energy and unconditional love/positive regard.

7] Remind yourself of good things you’ve done, including thanking a waiter or brushing your teeth last night!

8] Pay a compliment or a good deed to a perfect stranger every day.

9] Ask “What did/can I learn from this?” instead of focussing on what you did not manage to get right yet.   Ask “What other wonderful things might be possible?” instead of focussing on a blocked route to a goal you had chosen.  Ann Taylor always ends her prayer requests for her clients with the phrase “this and/or something even better”:  What can be more exciting than that!

10] “Two men sat behind prison bars;  one saw mud; the other stars”:  Be very careful where you focus your energy for it will become your future.  Mike Dooley reminds us “Thoughts become Things.  Choose the GOOD ones!” [His web site, will give you daily positive and fun food for Feel-Good growth!]

Practise, Practise, Practise!!!  If you want to become an olympic champion of Feeling Good, you’d better be disciplined enough to train like one!  Lynn Grabhorn’s NY Times bestseller book Excuse me, your Life is Waiting – The astonishing Power of Positive Feelings is one of the quickest ways you can help yourself become and stay chilled and positive.

Never give up!  Resilience is the best predictor of long-term success.

To your continual magnificent growth and well-being,
Warm regards,


Our next workshop will be on Saturday 30 June 2012, from 09:30 to abt 12:30, at the Milnerton Playhouse [behind the Milnerton Library off Pienaar Rd, Milnerton, Cape Town, South Africa].

The topic is How to Feel Good No Matter What.

Book early as there are limited places: .
Cost is R300 per person for the whole morning.


We will soon send you info about these wonderful distance training events:  Watch your Inbox for notices!


To make an appointment for Counselling or Executive Life Coaching sessions via SKYPE, please phone Reinette at 002721 5554248 or email to:

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