Psychology teacher’s inspiring list of 101 ways to cope with stress

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LIFE can be stressful and sometimes we all need a little help to get through the day.

So that’s why psychology teacher Brett Phillips has devised an incredible list of 101 ways to cope with stress.

Teacher Brett Phillips has devised an incredible list of 101 ways to cope with stress
Teacher Brett Phillips has devised an incredible list of 101 ways to cope with stress

He has handed this out to his class of pupils every year for the past decade.

But after the must-read list was shared on Facebook by one of his students, thousands have been inspired by the simple advice.

Some of the advice is practical, offering suggestions such as: get to work early, clean out one closet, exercise every day, get enough sleep and make duplicate keys.

Other guidance is more light-hearted – with petting a friendly dog, tickling a baby, dancing a jig and smiling more all on the agenda.

NO STRESS 101 ways to cope with stress

1. Get up 15 minutes earlier

2. Prepare for the morning the night before

3. Avoid tight-fitting clothes

4. Avoid relying on chemical aids

5. Set appointments ahead

6. Don’t rely on your memory… write it down

7. Practice preventative maintenance

8. Make duplicate keys

9. Say “no” more often

10. Set priorities in your life

11. Avoid negative people

12. Use time wisely

13. Simplify meal times

14. Always make copies of important papers

15. Anticipate your needs

16. Repair anything that doesn’t work properly

17. Ask for help with the jobs you dislike

18. Break large tasks into bite-size portions

19. Look at problems as challenges

20. Look at challenges differently

21. Unclutter your life

22. Smile

23. Be prepared for rain

24. Tickle a baby

25. Pet a friendly dog/cat

26.Don’t know all the answers

27. Look for a silver lining

28. Say something nice to someone

29. Teach a kid to fly a kite

30. Walk in the rain

31. Schedule play time into every day

32. Take a bubble bath

33. Be aware of the decisions you make

34. Believe in yourself

35. Stop saying negative things to yourself

36. Visualize yourself winning

37. Develop your sense of humor

38. Stop thinking tomorrow will be a better day

39. Have goals for yourself

40. Dance a jig

41. Say “hello” to a stranger

42. Ask a friend for a hug

43. Look up at the stars

44. Practice breathing slowly

45. Learn to whistle a tune

46. Read a poem

47. Listen to a symphony

48. Watch a ballet

49. Read a story curled up in bed

50. Do a brand new thing

51. Stop a bad habit

52. Buy yourself a flower

53. Take time to smell the flowers

54. Find support from others

55. Ask someone to be your “vent-partner”

56. Do it today

57. Work at being cheerful and optimistic

58. Put safety first

59. Do everything in moderation

60. Pay attention to your appearance

61. Strive for excellence NOT perfection

62. Stretch your limits a little each day

63. Look at a work of art

64. Hum a jingle

65. Maintain your weight

66. Plant a tree

67. Feed the birds

68. Practice grace under pressure

69. Strand up and stretch

70. Always have a plan “B”

71. Learn a new doodle

72. Memorize a joke

73. Be responsible for your feelings

74. Learn to meet your own needs

75. Become a better listener

76. Know our own limitations and let others know them, too

77. Tell someone to have a good day in pig Latin

78. Throw a paper airplane

79. Exercise every day

80. Learn the words to a new song

81. Get to work early

82. Clean out one closet

83. Play patty cake with a toddler

84. Go on a picnic

85. Take a different route to work

86. Leave work early (with permission)

87. Put air freshener in your car

88. Watch a move and eat popcorn

89. Write a note to a faraway friend

90. Go to a ball game and scream

91. Cook a meal and eat it by candlelight

92. Recognize the importance of unconditional love

93. Remember that stress is an attitude

94. Keep a journal

95. Practice a monster smile

96. Remember you always have options

97. Have a support network of people, places and things

98. Quit trying to fix other people

99. Get enough sleep

100. Talk less and listen more

101. Freely praise other people

The list encourages people to help one another out through difficult times, asking them to “freely praise other people” and “listen more” to those around them.

Cultural activities such as reading a poem, listening to a symphony and watching a ballet are also deemed to be helpful in combating stress.

Alina Ramirez, one of Mr Phillips’ pupils at a school in California, shared the list online and it has since been shared thousands of times.

She wrote: “My psychology teacher gave us this paper on how to cope with stress and I thought I’d share it.”

The post has also attracted thousands of grateful comments from social media users.

“I really needed this,” wrote one. “Thank you so much.”

Another added: “This is incredibly helpful – I will be using this myself.”

Mr Phillips does not take credit for authoring the list, compiling the advice from “various textbooks I’ve read, articles, and just thinking of things that most people could do to live a less stressful life.”

He told Buzzfeed: “I give students the list and then I have them pick five things that they need to start doing to lower their stress levels.”


Phillips added that he does a “lot of the things on the list” himself, just in a bid to help him enjoy life a little more.

He added firmly: “Life’s short — too much stress will make it even shorter!”

The full list of 101 ways to deal with stress and anxiety can be read below:

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