A Realistic Approach to Stress Management that doesn’t cause more Stress

I hate the expression, ‘stress management’. I get stressed when people tell me to relax. Thick books about managing stress make my belly hurt.

The individuality of stress aggravates me. Stressors that bother me don’t bother you. Now I’m stressed that you think I’m weak because the things that stress me don’t stress you.

Stressed person with tongue out.

I get stressed when people tell me to relax.


People are the biggest stressors in life. Well, maybe health issues that could kill you, but usually people are terribly inconvenient when it comes to stress.

Words that begin with ‘in’ are stressors.

  1. Insecurity.
  2. Inferiority.
  3. Incompetence.
  4. Inexperience.
  5. Investigations.
  6. Incompatibility.
  7. Inflexibility.
  8. Inconveniences.
  9. Inadequacy.
  10. Interference.

‘In’ words are so dangerous they should be removed from the dictionary. But that seems infeasible.

Solving stress:

#1. Forget, “Fake it till you make it.”

You can’t lie to yourself and get away with it for long.

“Fake it till you make it,” when it comes to stress, is a ticking timebomb.

Pretending ends up causing stress and your brain knows you’re lying.

#2. Don’t tell yourself to relax.

It’s futile to tell yourself to stop feeling something you’re feeling. It only exacerbates negative emotion when you tell yourself to get over it or not to feel it.

#3. Accept stress as part of life.

The other word for stress-free is boring.

Fighting stress is stressful. Stress is less stressful when you appreciate eustress.

Healthy stress:

  1. Keeps you on your toes.
  2. Reflects an appreciation for reality.
  3. Motivates preparation.
  4. Brings out your best.

Stress is like salt. A pinch enhances flavor, but a fistful ruins the soup.

#4. Stress reflects your relationship with control.

Stress goes up when you try to control the weather.

I’ve read a list of 50 things you can control. They all boil down to two things – attitude and actions. Frankly, I’ve got my hands full managing those two items.

What causes stress?

How might people ‘solve’ stress?