Simple Ways to Avoid Stress in Your Life That Worked for Me

Updated on June 9, 2019
Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok writes about personal growth and emotional well-being that he learned from his studies of social behavior and from experience.

1. Live by Your Value System

What’s the power of a value system? It helps you answer these questions:

  • What governs your life?
  • What causes your selection of goals?
  • What leads you to achieve your dreams?

Every choice you make in life is related to your value system. You already have values you wish to live by. You may have done this by your own choosing, or it may have been taught by your parents or enlightened by other mentors.

If you have consciously chosen values to follow that are important to you, then they are your own and are most important to you. Values you acquired by other means may or may not be who you really are. That may cause confusion in your thinking, planning, and goal setting.

If your values are clearly chosen by you, and you own them, respect them, and appreciate them, they will empower you to live the life you want to have.

2. Wake Up Each Day With a Positive Attitude

If you ever feel stuck with some task that is giving you difficulty, always remember that tomorrow is another day. Sometimes it helps to take a step back and give yourself a break. Get a good night’s sleep. Then wake up with a positive attitude with the next day ahead.

You can do this by remembering the positive experiences you’ve had in your life. When you wake up, think about those things.

That will help create self-confidence and set the tone for a wonderful new day.


3. Learn From Your Lessons and Let Others Learn From Theirs

As I go through life, I consider each failure a lesson for improvement. It can be applied for the advancement of our being, or ignored to the detriment of our future.

You can learn from your own lessons. People can grow by recognizing their own faults just as well as when they are guided by mentors. So put your energy into your own advancement and let others learn from their mistakes.

I’ve had many experiences where friends asked for advice, but never took it. In some cases, I wasted my time because they really just wanted someone to justify the reason for their failure rather than point them in the right direction. The effort is better spent on your own matters.

4. Consider the Long-Term Effect of Every Decision

Don’t make decisions in haste, especially those that may have a life-changing effect on your future.

Everything we do changes the outcome. We do have control over our destiny. The career we choose, the friends we socialize with, even the books we read, all affect where we are headed.1


5. Seek the Truth, but Don’t Ignore the Lies

People are not always trustworthy. We all know that. Always consider that which is not obvious. It will help you see through the lies.

The truth is so easy to tell. It never changes. However, when people tell lies, they need to remember the lie or else they might inadvertently tell it in a different way the next time.

You will eventually catch them in a lie when you pay attention to detail. Seek the truth, especially when it concerns your welfare.

6. Think About the Purpose You Serve

What purpose do you serve in life? Why are you here? Do you ever think about that? Well, maybe that’s getting a little spiritual, but it’s a good thing to contemplate. It can enlighten you and help you avoid wasting time with things that don’t fit with your value system.

Ben Franklin wrote an essay in one of his newspapers, the Pennsylvania Gazette, on the value of one's life.2

He mathematically calculated that over one’s life they have sacrificed tens of thousands of livestock, poultry, and fish for their own survival. Then he asked if one had given back to society anything equal to that. He discussed how one might just live for pleasure and never serve any purpose.

Heavy stuff to think about, isn’t it?


7. Read Between the Lines

There's usually hidden meaning in what people do and say. Paying close attention to the difference between what people tell you and how they behave will enlighten you to what they might be up to, or what’s really important to them.

This is what’s meant by the term “read between the lines.” Try to do that whenever things just don’t make sense. You might find the hidden meaning in people’s actions.

8. Always Be Dependable

One of the traits that I feel is most important is to show everyone that you are a dependable person. When I make a promise, I keep it. My friends will always know that when I say something is going to happen, it does.

Life is full of uncertainties, and keeping a promise can be difficult when conflicts arise. However, true friends who know you are always dependable will understand and appreciate the reason for breaking a promise when you have no choice.

A strong friendship is obvious when one can say "no" as easily as saying "yes". A true friend will respect the reason why someone can’t join them in an activity due to conflicting schedules.

All this becomes easy when you are known to be a dependable person in general.

9. Follow Your Own Rules, but Appreciate Those of Others

It’s essential that we obey the rules of the land as well as our own. They have been created to ensure the integrity of the entire social spectrum.

Your own personal rules that are based on your value system are just as crucial. They help maintain a strict attitude towards your own life and live based on what’s important to you.

Keep in mind that others have their own value system rules for the same reason and they should be respected too.

10. Review Your Decisions

Sure, you always make decisions. However, how often do you forget about them? You had a plan, but other things got in the way and you totally forgot about something important that you wanted to do.

The best thing to do is to write in a notebook the decisions you make for your plans and your goals. Review it from time to time just to be sure you’re not overlooking the things that are most important to you.

The ideas I discussed above are meant to give you something to reflect on. Just think of it as your value system.


  1. How to Make Powerfully Effective Wise Choices in Life |
  2. Benjamin Franklin. On The Waste of Time.Pennsylvania Gazette (Nov 18, 1736)

© 2018 Glenn Stok


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    • Larry Slawson profile image

      Larry Slawson 

      10 months ago from North Carolina

      Thank you for sharing! Very helpful and meaningful list here.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      12 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Tessa - Everyone has their own method that works for them. The only thing that’s important is to know what the method is.

    • TessSchlesinger profile image

      Tessa Schlesinger 

      12 months ago from South Africa

      I would agree with them all except that I don't see the need to wake up positive. There was some research the other day that in order to accomplish things, extroverts need to be happy whereas introverts carry on regardless of mood.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      12 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Interesting point Heidi. Many things that seem simple are not always easy to maintain on an ongoing basis.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      12 months ago from Chicago Area

      It seems so simple, yet we often struggle with living this way. Thanks for the great reminders!

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      12 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Good point Venkatachari. These rules can actually help bring success in life if used properly.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      12 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very useful and instructive advice on one's self-development that can bring success in life. Thanks for sharing the tips.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      12 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Thanks Dora. The fifth point is an important one for me too. I’ve saved myself from being taken advantage of many times, by noticing when people can’t keep their story straight. It’s especially useful when talking with salespeople who are trying to sell you something.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      12 months ago from The Caribbean

      Helpful and practical counsel. Number 5 sticks out as the one never to forget, but they're all important. Thank you.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      12 months ago from Long Island, NY

      That’s the most important one for me too, John. And you’re right, unforeseen circumstances can always get in the way. Short of that, I only agree to do something if I am mostly sure (okay - 99%) that I can keep my promise.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      12 months ago from Queensland Australia

      You have listed a commendable set of rules for living life here Glenn. I have my own similar set of rules/values. For instance, like you, I never promise anything unless I am 99% sure I can deliver (no one can be 100% certain because unforeseen situations sometimes occur.) Good job.


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