25 Real World Ways to Lower Stress without Medication or Meditation

Lower stress: Adopt a 50-minute hour. Take a short break between meetings. Image of a clock.
  1. Show up curious. Pressure to know solutions increases stress.
  2. Adopt a 50-minute hour. Take a short break between meetings. Tip: Make back-to-back meetings illegal.
  3. Stop being such a control freak. Create a list of things you can’t control. Read it when you feel stressed. Refusing to accept reality increases stress.
  4. Design a schedule that reflects the life you aspire to enjoy. The way you use time determines the quality of your life. When your calendar frustrates you, life is dismal. (This will take lots of time.)
  5. Surround yourself with competent trustworthy people. Don’t trust incompetent people.
  6. Compliment someone you don’t like. Be sure to smile when you do.
  7. Give something on your to-do list to someone.
  8. Stroll. (Add whistling or humming for deeper effect.)
  9. Do something physical. 10 pushups. Sweep the floor. Anything will do.
  10. Say what you really think. Always speak with kindness and forward-facing vision. Backward-facing language reflects powerless thinking. You can’t change the past.
  11. Walk out of the office with empty hands.
  12. Send a thank you email. Surprise someone with a kind act.
  13. Practice saying no with kindness. Establish boundaries.
  14. Do something you’re putting off. Procrastination increases stress.
  15. Do something you dread doing. Tip: Stop thinking about things you can’t do. Go do something.
  16. Pat dogs and cats. Hug a person.
  17. Cut back on caffeine.
  18. Turn off the TV.
  19. Throw stuff away.
  20. Don’t rush to the next thing. Finish something and reward yourself.
  21. Delete all emails that are 30 days old or older. Tip: Don’t respond to emails when you’re in the CC line.
  22. Turn off email notifications. Tip: Turn off your phone for an hour and store it out of sight.
  23. Stop trying to convince people you’re right. See #4 above.
  24. Question urgencies. Will this matter in a week, month, or year?
  25. Hang with people you like.

How do you lower stress?