The #1 Way to Beat Negative Stress

The #1 Way to Beat Negative Stress

© 2016 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.

anxiety word cloud

When unpleasant things happen, negative stress strikes! When you’re having challenges or conflicts, do you find any of this happening?

  1. Your back muscles tighten up
  2. Your shoulder tops hurt
  3. Your stomach is “in knots”
  4. Your head starts to ache
  5. Your brain becomes foggy
  6. You have to nearly bite your own tongue off to keep from snapping at people

If so, you would not be alone. And even if you dislike something or someone you normally enjoy, this is also a normal reaction to negative stress. If you have long-term negative stress, you can develop chronic head and back pain, a stiff neck, sore jaws and teeth, odd sensations in your hands and/or feet, lines in your face, a chronic sore throat, and many other conditions. Not good!

However, there is a strange secret that is the #1 way to beat negative stress: add positive stress! So what is positive stress? It’s anything that makes you feel good, joyful, and positive, and anything that gives you energy. And what those things are will vary from person to person. So right now, take a piece of paper or the notes section of your iPhone/iPad/equivalent, and make two columns. I’ll give you a minute.

Ready? Label the first column NEGATIVE and the second one POSITIVE. And now, without thinking about it, start listing things that make you feel negative or positive. Some may be names of people, particular classes or activities, places to go, sports, hobbies, bill-paying, cleaning, sorting, refinishing furniture, taking showers, watching certain shows or movies, sitting on the porch, creating artwork, creating a recipe, writing, having yard sales, going to the gym, going to church, gardening, visiting grandma… the potential items are endless. It may surprise you, but over the years in my workshops, I have found that shopping will be in the NEGATIVE column for some and in the POSITIVE column for others. Spend about 10 minutes on this chart right now. And what is your result?

You have just created a basic stress management plan for yourself! When you have negative stress, add positives from the second column to balance things out. The first column may include items that are necessary but depleting, like “go to work” and “deal with the boss.” But your day and your week can include things from the second column that are “unnecessary” but revitalizing. Anything that causes you joy also lifts your DHEA, your master hormone, literally building you up and giving you vitality. And we all need the revitalizing.

Live with a balance of negative stress and positive stress, and you’ll be happier, healthier, and more fun to be around. You’ll enjoy your life and relationships more. Keep your two-column list in a handy place, so you can update it whenever you think of something to add. Now you’re in Upbeat Livingsm!

Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert and author of the award-winning book, Kebba booksDiscover the Secret Energized You, as well as the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition
. Her newest book, Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, is available through her office. Just email for more info. Like this article? Buy Kebba’s books by clicking the links! Reach the writer at For an appointment or to ask Kebba to speak for your group:

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2 Responses to The #1 Way to Beat Negative Stress

  1. Marcie Brock says:

    Great advice, Kebba! With the health crisis our family is facing right now, my negative stress is pretty high. I’m doing fairly well managing it – but on Sunday, I told my husband that we had to go out and do something fun – ANYTHING fun – because I just needed to lift my vibration to a happier place. We went to the Street Eats Food Truck Festival in Scottsdale. It was fine and we ate some good food, but I wouldn’t say it was exactly uplifting. UNTIL we were on our way out and wandered past a musician – an 18- or 19-year-old guitarist who was singing Green Day’s “Time of Your Life.” He finished that and did “Brown-Eyed Girl.” We danced and laughed and tipped him – and it made the whole outing worthwhile. I like the idea of a having a back-pocket plan for the next time I need a pick-me-up!


  2. Loved this post, and I enjoyed reading “Marcie’s” way of dealing with her stress. Music is also what gives me positive vibes, every single day. And when I’m singing with my barbershop quartet, Lilac Crazy, “I’m on the top of the world, looking down on creation!”


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