How to Beat Stress, in 59 Seconds

This is taken from 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman, a book that wants to make your life better – in 59 seconds or less. It is all based on scientific research. If you like that sort of thing.

Focus on the Positive

Think about the positive aspects of the stressful event. Did you:

  • Grow stronger or become aware of personal strengths that you didn’t realise you had?
  • Appreciate aspects of your life more than before?
  • Become a wiser person or strengthen important relationships?
  • Become more skilled at communicating your feelings, more confident or encourage you to end a bad relationship?
  • Develop into a more compassionate or forgiving person?
  • Strengthen your relationship with a person who hurt you?

Write down how you have benefited from the experience and how your life is better as a result of what happened. Do not withhold anything and be honest.

Quick Tips to Beat Stress

  • Pray for other people.
  • Listen to Pachelbel or Vivaldi.
  • Spend 30 minutes outside in the sunshine (but don’t stay trapped indoors on a sunny day).
  • Laugh for 15 minutes a day.
  • Don’t shout and scream to vent anger – it will only make you more angry.
  • Get a dog. Owning a dog relieves stress. In part, this is because it promotes social contact, but even watching a video of a dog works!
  • The placebo effect works to help you lose weight and this weight loss reduces stress. All you have to do is convince yourself that you are doing more exercise in your daily routine than you thought!

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David Charles is co-writer of BBC radio sitcom Foiled. He also writes for The Bike Project, Thighs of Steel, and the Elevate Festival. He blogs at

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