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Surprise: Tiny Action Proven to Help with Everyday Stress

My favorite way to alter my state from stressed to relaxed is to switch on my aromatherapy diffuser. Ten seconds of lavender or citrus and I’m good.

The stress is gone, time to move on!

A new study has revealed another excellent stress reducer. It’s simple, convenient and effective, according to research.

spiritualpracticeDo something to help another person.

Before you accuse me of promoting altruism as a cure-all (even though it may be), hear me out for one more sentence.

Do something tiny for someone else.

• Hold a door open
• Offer a compliment
• Let another driver merge

You know what I mean. Little stuff. It’s a huge stress fighter.

The research focused on behaviors of adults during a two-week period. They paid attention to their stress levels and social behavior.

A positive connection was clearly detected between stress level and ‘pro-social behavior.’ In other words, doing small kindnesses to help others provided an emotional buffer against stress and made participants feel happier.

Experiment: Pick a day and search for tiny opportunities to help others. Notice how you feel immediately afterward. It will take the edge off your stress!

I’m an advocate for having several channels of stress reduction – and they should all be extremely simple. Turn on the diffuser, hold the door for another person, take three deep breaths, etc…

The key is to be aware of your options and utilize them.

Surprise: Tiny Action Proven to Help with Everyday Stress

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2015). Surprise: Tiny Action Proven to Help with Everyday Stress. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 17 Dec 2015
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