Monday, June 10, 2013


Stress-busting tips for better health

Woman’s Day magazine recently published a feature article entitled, “ 75 Easy Stress Busters.”  It was a compilation of tips gathered from columns on stress published over the past 75 years.   I thought some of them were pretty good. 

Number 5, printed in the April 2010 issue, advises us to “Sit up straight. When your shoulders are back, you open up your chest and breathe more freely.”  How many times have mothers of every generation admonished us to sit up straight?

Number 37 is “Clean out your medicine cabinet, purse or desk drawer. This will boost your sense of control, which alleviates stress.”  I did this one, and now I believe I have the cleanest medicine cabinet, purse, and desk drawers in the country — but need to do more than this to de-stress  these days. 

Number 34 was printed in the March 1990 issue: “Try thinking worst-case-scenario to see how unrealistic overreacting is. If you're in a traffic jam, take the thought, ‘I'm going to be late,’ to a ludicrous point, ‘I'm going to be fired,’ to an even more ludicrous point, ‘I'm going to have to sell pencils on the street!’ Feel your anxiety deflate.”  This one sounds a little foolish, but I tried it, and couldn’t help laughing. Studies do indicate that laughter decreases stress, so maybe this tip isn’t so foolish after all.

Excellent advice is number 49, a good reminder for all of us who are constantly multi-tasking. “Ask for help. Remember that you don't have to do everything by yourself.” Interestingly, this was printed in the May 1984 issue, and still holds true today. 

My personal favorite is number 60: “Go out to dinner just to have someone wait on you” published in the April 1971 issue.

Another oldie but goodie is number 70, printed in April 1956. “Connect with nature every day. Look at the sky as you open the blinds and forget yourself for one minute.”

In the January 1949 issue number 75 offers perhaps the best advice for 2013: “For five minutes each day, forget your plans and worries and live in the present, enjoying what's around you.”

To read all 75 stress-buster tips, visit Pick a few tips that pertain to you, and start the campaign to manage your stress today.

Alice Facente is a community education nurse for the Backus Health System. To comment on this column or others, visit the Healthy Living blog at or e-mail Ms. Facente or any of the Healthy Living columnists at

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