Stress Relief That Works, Actually, For Real

If you want to be One Percent your biggest toxic threat is stress.

We assume you are willing to out-work 99% of the competition smartly which will place enormous stress on your body & mind:

  1. Dealing with constant failure
  2. Dealing with other people’s opinions
  3. Working two full-time jobs and a side hustle
  4. Managing relationships at the same time
  5. Plus making ends meet, and all the rest that the 99% deal with already

Note that the healthy habits we discussed previously are basically sure-fire ‘cures’ for the ailments below.

Here are the top stressors you must avoid:

  • Anger

  • Anxiety

  • Sleeping too little

  • Eating junk food

  • Loneliness

  • Depression*

  • Bad air quality

  • Environmental toxins

  • Noise pollution

*Cheap depression cure: lifting heavy weights. (source)



Most of us are under constant stress, and so doing wrecks your physical health and makes it almost impossible to get things done (such as new healthy habits).

So here is the latest research on which stress relief activities actually work, and which ones we find attractive, but which actually make stress worse.


  • Exercise*

  • Reading

  • Going for a walk

  • Listening to music

  • Getting a massage

  • Spending time with friends or family

  • Praying or attending religious services

  • Meditating

  • Yoga

  • Spending time in a rewarding hobby

*WANT A MAGIC PILL? Quoting Kelly McGonigal: “Exercise turns out to be the closest thing to a wonder drug that self-control scientists have discovered, the willpower effects are immediate.”  Even 15 minutes on a treadmill reduces cravings and long-term, exercise is as powerful an antidepressant as Prozac: “Physical exercise — like meditation — makes your brain bigger.” Plus, it’s cheaper than Prozac and liberates you from Big Pharma. (source: The Willpower Instinct)

 Here are the methods of stress relief that we often turn to, but that fail us over and over:


The non-working strategies release the neurochemical dopamine, which keeps you “chasing the high.”

The effective strategies release neurochemicals serotonin, GABA and oxytocin, which bring calm & pleasure.

When we’re stressed, our brain consistently mis-predicts what will make us happy, so we often believe we’ll get more stress relief from the second, when in fact, a massage would feel much better (and calm us down more) than another hit of Reddit or YouTube.

Keep this in mind, and pre-plan to use a more adaptive strategy next time you feel stressed.

Mush on player.


7 thoughts on “Stress Relief That Works, Actually, For Real

  1. Exercise is always a great thing to relieve stress. It helps you clean the body of toxins as well as release those feel good chemicals that the body releases. I make it a point to read everyday since its one of the few things other than exercise I really enjoy. So every morning before I go to work I read my favorite blogs lik this one and learn something new it helps me to broaden my horizons. Keep up the good work!

    • Jose, great comments about reading. I read at least 60 min per day. Non-fiction is great for learning, continually expanding your mind, & finding inspiration across disciplines, and fiction is great for putting your mind on ‘reset’ right before bed (it helps you go to sleep faster.) My gf got me a Kindle but it just caused me to spend more money, so I went back to the library. (You can also “check out” Kindle books from Amazon for free.) Play on playa!

  2. Pingback: How to Play Life on “God Mode” | EPIC HUSTLE

  3. The book ‘Spark’ by John Ratey is a great read and explains why exercises changes the actual biology of the brain to help it cope with stress, depression, ADHD, Bipolar disorder etc.

    • Great catch Matt. I have read ‘Spark’ and recommend it to anyone who wonders. Kids in school who take 20 minutes of exercise do better on all sorts of academic performance tests. The effect is much the same throughout one’s life. Thanks for the comment.

    • Glad it is helpful Mike. That is our mission, to help others along the path. We can all help each other get there faster. Please email us or tweet us if you want to see other types of content or have problems you’d like help with.

What do YOU think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s