Thursday, July 19, 2012

how to stress less: worst vs. best.

I think the made-up word "stressy" has been used to describe me a time or two. In fact, I sometimes use it to describe myself. Feeling stressed is no fun (at all!) and can lead to a lot of unhappiness and some major meltdowns. Fortunately, I've learned and found some strategies that have helped me feel less stressed. 

I've decided to start a new series: "How to Stress Less." Every once in a while, I'll post a tip or trick in hopes of helping you stress less and feel happier.

A couple of summers ago, I had the pleasure of working with a remarkable woman named Marlene. She quickly became a role model to me, someone I looked up to. I felt comfortable talking to her about almost anything and she was able to offer me a lot of helpful advice.

She also seemed to understand me, my childhood, and the way I thought. She didn't seem to judge me, and she was almost always able to make me think more clearly.

When I was stressing about something, whether it was related to family, school, or a guy I liked, she'd say, "Think of the worst possible outcome; follow it through to the end."

She would have me walk through it, vocalizing what could happen.

Then she would say, "Now think of the best possible outcome; follow it through."

Comparing the worst to the best made me realize a few things:

1. The worst is unlikely to happen.

2. The best could happen, so why not take a chance?

3. Usually, what will happen falls somewhere in the middle of the worst and best, and you're worrying for no reason.

So, the next time you feel yourself getting stressed about a situation, think of the worst possible outcome and then the best possible outcome. Chances are, everything will turn out okay. And why not take a chance for the best?

If you have a strategy that helps you stress less, I'd love to hear it! Please feel free to share in the comments or e-mail me if you'd like to write a guest post.


  1. This is brilliant! I love it. I will be emailing you.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday and leaving your comment!

  2. Hey Sweet Pea ! My biggest de-stresser tip is breathing - as soon as I feel stressed or anxious I either breath very shallowly or worse, I hold my breath.

    Breathing in through the mouth on a long, slow count of 4. Hold in another slow count of 4 and out through the nose again count of 4. Do that 10- 20 times & Bon Jour ! feelin' way calmer. Plus it's very healing for your body.

    xo Susan


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