The Tao of Ferris: 10 Tips to Reduce Stress


To quote the immortal Ferris Bueller “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” No truer words have ever been spoken!


But, what about if you have a job? Own a business? Have a family? Travel a ton for work? Then what?


Well, the Tao of Ferris says “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”


So with that said, how do you that? I see busy people all week, and we talk about this from time to time to come up with ways for them to find time to enjoy their lives.


Well, you need to check your email, look on facebook/twitter/instagram/etc, have to go to work, have to eat, have to sleep, have to spend time with family/friends, have to exercise, etc. So how to do you stay on top of a good mood? It can get pretty daunting without a plan.


Here are my top 10 ways to keep stress levels down, and levels of happiness up:


1) Learn how to say “No”

I was horrible at this for a long time. Any time someone wanted my time, I always said yes. Over time that began to make my life a lot busier than I wanted it to be. Once I learned how to say no, I found more time in my schedule for the things I like to do.


Now, we all have things that pop up unexpectedly we have to take care of, but when you’ve got the chance, and it doesn’t negatively impact your day, say just say no!


2) Read your favorite book

I typically read training articles, books, blogs, etc. Sometimes I have to step back and put down the books about training the body to take some time to feed my mind. Eastern philosophy books are usually what I go  to first, then make my way back to my inner nerd with a good Star Wars or Greg Rucka Batman novel.


I’ll even fire up the DC Comics app on my iPad and pick up a few digital comics. Going to Gotham or a galaxy far far away reduces my stress and keeps me connected to what I like.


Reading to my daughter also is an awesome way to relax. If you’ve got kids, read to them a ton. You’ll spend quality time with them, and your life will slow down and you’ll have an easier time relaxing!


3) Listen to your favorite music

Everyone has music that fires them up or mellows them out. Put together your reality vacation playlist, and when life speeds up, use this to slow it down.


4) Go for a walk

This is a highly under rated form of exercise. Believe it or not, you don’t have to get pounded into oblivion every time you train. Walking not only massages the spine, but it clears the mind and reduces stress. Plus, going on a walk with your family is always pretty awesome! Seeing the wonder on my daughter’s face as she discovers her world is always an awesome way to get a little “Beginner’s Mindset 101” to help you remember what’s important.


5) Volunteer your time

This is one of the best ways to reduce stress and reconnect to what’s important. Whenever I’ve volunteered my time, I always feel great and have a blast along the way.



For most people (myself included from time to time), this is akin to not being able to breathe. There are a ton of studies that have shown how constantly being connected to the rest of the planet increases stress levels making it more difficult to relax.


Unless your first name is Doctor, and you’re on call for an emergency procedure, you can turn your phone off. I try to do it by 9pm every night (to varying degrees of success). When I do it consistently, I notice I sleep better and my stress levels go down.


7) Learn to breathe!

This is one of the best ways to do this. Full belly breaths are incredible ways to relax you and literally change your physiology. Meditation works like a charm, and is something I’ve used with a lot of success.


8) Schedule time to do NOTHING

This is brutal in the beginning, but with practice it is an effective strategy. My entire week is scheduled Mon-Fri, and when I have the luxury to have nothing to do, I don’t put anything on my schedule and it’s great!!


9) Take a break from the news

Having a journalism degree, I’m pretty familiar with why news outlets exist, and it ain’t to inform. It is to make money for advertisers.


How do you do this? You get eyeballs and ears to pay attention. How do you do that? Well, dog bites man, not newsworthy. Man bites dog? Well that’s something you can report.


The point is the world is an insane place, and you should pay attention to make informed decisions. However, you don’t need to be constantly inundated with what’s going with the planet, it will make you insane.



10) Watch funny movies/TV shows, a lot

This is an incredible way to relax, mellow out and get in some good laughs. When I need to wind down, I go to Scranton to check in with the good folks at Dunder Mifflin on “The Office,” I head to the place where everyone knows your name on “Cheers” (yes, very old school, but extremely effective!) or I check in with Kramer, George, Elaine and Jerry on “Seinfeld.” I’m sure you’ve got your favorites too.


So there you go, my top 10 reality detox methods. What do you do? What’s your favorite way to mellow out and relax? Share them in the comments below!


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