10 Ways to Beat Stress and Find Perfect Calm


Mike George gives you 10 helpful ways to relieve stress in our everyday lives

1. Create a personal affirmation and declare it twenty times to yourself each morning. Affirmations are simple, positive ‘I am…’ statements (such as ‘I am at peace’, ‘I am a tower of strength’) that build self-esteem and a strong sense of self. They counter the negative messages that we often give ourselves by reminding us of our intrinsic value. In your affirmation include those qualities that you readily recognise in yourself, as well as those you are prospecting for. If you are having difficulty recognising your strengths, ask a friend what positive qualities they see in you. Include these in your affirmations.
2. Depose King Time. Fighting against the relentless onward march of time is a common source of anxiety. At weekends, and during time off work, remove your watch to give you some respite from time’s tyranny.
3. Cross the bridge from problem to solution. In your mind, visualize the vivid embodiment of your problem situated on the bank of a river. Now begin to construct a bridge across the river to reach the other side. The bridge has five piers, each of which represents a quality that you will bring to the situation: identify these qualities. Now see yourself walking across the bridge. On reaching the other side, you discover an object. This represents a solution. What does it look like? What does it mean?
4. Look up at the rooflines as you walk to work – often there are many wonderful features high above your head, especially in the older cities where different architectural periods and styles jostle together.
5. Give encouragement to a friend as they begin a new project or embark on a major task. To fill someone’s heart with courage or resolve is to refresh your own in the process.
6. Make time for laughter – an instant energiser that stimulates the chakras of the solar plexus and the sacrum. The solar plexus is associated with intimacy and creativity; the sacrum connects us to the energy of the sun, providing the impetus for all our actions.
7. Make a quilt of love– a patchwork quilt using patches of fabric that hold special meaning for you, such as a square of your father’s checked shirt, a cushion cover from your first marital home, and so on. This project combines the relaxing activity of sewing, the magpie pleasures of improvised assembly, and the celebratory instinct. Once the quilt is completed, you’ll be able to wrap yourself in happy memories every night.
8. Write a ‘have done’ list. This is a valuable antidote to ever-increasing ‘to-do’ lists, which can trigger anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed. By making a note of each task you’ve completed, you’ll see how productively you’ve spent your time, and your self-esteem with grow accordingly.
9. Write a letter to a friend in a freestyle manner, just letting your thoughts flow naturally and sincerely. You might make interesting self-discoveries in the process.
10. Imagine a robber has visited you in the night and made off with all your past experiences and ingrained habits, but you have a magic spell that brings back everything you assent to. You are, for the moment, free of any burden you choose not to accept. Today, whatever happens, you have the awareness to select an appropriate response, rather than reacting automatically.

See what it feels like – for a while – to be the person you wish to be. 


Practical exercises for calmer lifeMike George’s new book You Can Find Inner Peace is a simple, easy-to-use guide designed to help you achieve a more balanced way of living. The book contains 25 specifically devised mental, physical and emotional exercises that will help you create a calmer life.

Discover how you can Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life



Vicky Hartley is the Marketing Director and Head of Digital for Watkins Publishing Limited (including Duncan Baird Publishers)