How To Control Stress (That You Don’t Even Know You Have)

HappyThere are a number of studies showing the impact of stress on our lives.

To sum them up – stress isn’t good. At least not too much or for too long.

In order to survive and thrive in the long run it’s required that we identify sources of stress, eliminate the ways it can creep in while also building up defenses so that when we are stressed we can cope and move on.

But what about stress that we don’t even realize we have?

Maybe there are small signs that we don’t see. Or maybe we attribute the signs to something else.

Here are a few tips for controlling stress that you may not even realize you have.

Play Controlled Defense

Some people like to go on the offensive. They attack life. They wake up in the morning thinking about opportunity.

Other people avoid offense completely. They sit back in their comfort zones. They don’t take chances. When change forces them to try something new they move slowly until they’re comfortable. Then they stay in the new status quo as long as possible.

There is a general third group. This group plays controlled defense. They keep things in the middle. They let others take on the greatest amount of stress from being too aggressive and too passive.

Imagine a basketball team that is calm and patient. They like to possess the ball as long as possible. They run their basic offense and wait for the perfect moment to shoot.

They don’t sit back and never attack. They also don’t get too aggressive. In fact, they usually take advantage of teams like that. Those that are too passive are overtaken by the offense. Those that are too aggressive usually make a mistake and give the team the perfect opportunity to shoot.

Controlled defense allows you to stay in a comfort zone, prepared to move forward without being too aggressive.

Prioritize De-Stressing Activities

The next tip is to accept that stress is a normal part of life. In some forms, stress is a requirement for growth. For example, going on walks everyday is stressful. But that stress makes you stronger. It’s not too much, but it’s also not too little.

And when you are done walking you probably have natural de-stressing activities like drinking a glass of water or breathing deeply until your body is calmed down.

That’s why walking is a great de-stressor itself. It’s probably why some of the most successful people (Steve Jobs included) were frequent walkers. It helped them de-stress both when they knew they were stressed and probably when they didn’t even know they were.

Walking, sprinting, working out, drinking tea, etc. There are a number of de-stressing activities. Identify your favorites and make them a regular part of your routine.

Build Your Immune System

When someone at work gets the flu does the entire office get the flu?

Many probably do, but there always seem to be a handful that stay healthy. The reason those few stay healthy is almost always related to the strength of their immune system.

Building your immune system is a great way to help ward off stress. Exercise like walking is a great way to help build the immune system. Getting sun is another. Perhaps the biggest, though, is nutrition.

A simple way to improve nutrition is to eat mostly vegetables, a little meat and as little as possible as everything else.


Stress is all around us. It’s good to recognize when it’s taking over your life and figuring out ways to eliminate it and avoid it in the future. But sometimes you’re placed under stress even when you don’t realize it. In that case, it’s good to have a defense plan. Use the tips above to make sure you’re ready for any and all stress so you can live and perform at your best.

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