Psychology Teacher’s List of 101 Ways to Cope with Stress
Mar 29, 2018

Gilbert Hodges
Core Spirit member since Dec 24, 2020
Reading time 3 min.

Stress can affect anyone, at any time – and, while a little bit can help push you to do something new or difficult, a lot of stress can take its toll on your health.

And that’s why psychology teacher Brett Phillips has devised a list of coping mechanisms for his students, which he hands out to them during one of their first classes of the year.

Alina Ramirez, one of his pupils at the high school in California, decided to share the list online – and even highlighted some of her favourite tips.

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

Her post has since been retweeted almost 25,000 times, and liked 29,000 times.

And it’s generated 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.”

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

  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

Phillips revealed that this is the 10th year he has given his students the now-famous list.

He added that he 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.”

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

The list includes tips spanning the everyday to the existential, reminding students to spend time on themselves as well as on their studies.

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

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!”

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