How do you deal with stress?

It’s very difficult to live life entirely without stress. No matter how calm and peaceful one wishes to be, there will always be events in one’s life that test the limits of psychological endurance.

I experience stress on a daily basis, and perhaps much more so this month. As for my methods of dealing with stress, I enjoy music, knowledge, and technology.

Music

Classical and soundtrack music are especially enjoyable for me. I find that they contribute to a calmer emotional state, especially with beautiful orchestral pieces. (See what kind of music I like at Music to Hear.) Listening to the Brandenburg Concertos by Bach, for instance, Ennio Morricone film score, Planet Earth incidental music, or Hans Zimmer’s remarkable compositions, or Karajan’s amazing interpretations, probably bring my mood from stressed out at 8/10 to 3/10. This is one of the reasons that I listen to music while I’m doing work.

Take a look at a video of one of my favourite pieces, conducted by the composer Ennio Morricone at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Learning

TED videos are really inspiring to watch. Whether it’s Al Gore or someone talking about the importance of bread, I find TED to be an absolutely amazing source of inspiration.

Developing knowledge helps to take my mind off pressing matters, at least temporarily. And that’s one of the reasons that I like reading news, reading design blogs and so on.

Humour

FAIL Blog, NotAlwaysRight and FMyLife are all amazing sources of humour. Laughing is probably the easiest way to enjoy oneself for a while.

Today, I got a cross-country job promotion. I decided to plan my Going-Away-Forever party, and bought a pack of 100 invitations. After mailing them out to all my friends, I have 92 left. FML (source)

This keeps me amused, but is by no means as effective as music — after all, I can listen to music while working, and this humour stuff takes away from time I could be putting towards resolving causes of stress.

Et vous?

What do you do to keep your stress at an acceptable level? (You can select multiple answers. Choose any item if it has a soothing / stress-relieving effect for you.)

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