Simple stress-busters

A stressed woman
Try employing the WISMO Technique to de-stress

Stress is an unfortunate but all-too-present part of daily life - but there are strategies you can put in place to try and tackle your anxiety.

Happiness expert and founder of, Andrew Stead, who recently led a web-chat with us on the topic of tackling low mood, has observed that people 'often require a template to look at their lives holistically, and then take carefully thought out steps to do better in each of the key areas of life.'

These are two of his top techniques for managing stress.

The WISMO Technique
As part of his work leading sessions and group seminars, Andrew has developed a popular exercise that he recommends you employ when things are getting too much.

The WISMO Technique - an acronym for 'What is Stressing Me Out?' - is 'a great exercise for when you're feeling stressed out, anxious, or there's just too much stuff in the swirling mess in your head,' he explains. 'It's really easy, yet one of my favourites among workshop participants.' Here's how you do it:

  1. Write down all your concerns on one piece of paper
  2. Group them together under relevant headings
  3. Grade the degree of stress out of 10 for each worry
  4. Check how you feel now that you’ve got it all written down

Andrew maintains that writing down your worries is the key to figuring out how to tackle them. He assures, 'You'll identify what's bothering you and start doing something about it.' Andrew adds, 'Do this exercise regularly and you'll find you're getting quicker at prioritizing the important things in life.'

The Tombstone Technique
Another of Andrew's recommended ways to tackle stress and help you to re-prioritize is via the Tombstone Technique.

'What would you like to have written on your tombstone when you die?' he asks. Deploying the Tombstone Technique when you're feeling unsure or anxious enables you to really assess what is important to you.

'It focuses the mind,' Andrew says. 'Then putting that focus into practice will make life far more fulfilling. Give it a go!'

Read the full web chat with Andrew for more advice