When we’re stressed, we tend to become more stressed. That’s because when we’re rushed and harried, we cut corners. We don’t take the time to do the little things that, though not difficult or time-consuming themselves, can end up saving enormous amounts of time and trouble.

For example, buying stamps isn’t stressful, and buying a roll of stamps isn’t any more stressful than buying twenty stamps, but realizing that you’ve run out of stamps when you’ve waited to the last possible day to mail something is STRESSFUL.

And it seems to be a natural law that every car’s gas gauge hits “Empty” at the moment of maximum inconvenience.

As a kid, I was puzzled by the meaning of the old saying, “A stitch in time saves nine.”

Now I know what it means. And it’s a very sensible saying. It means that if you make one stitch when it’s needed, you’ll save yourself the trouble of having to make nine stitches later.

Similarly, one of the best ways to lower the stress level in your life is to discipline yourself to do the little things that will help keep stress at bay.

These tasks don’t seem particularly important, and they’re easy to skip when you’re rushed, but if neglected, they can snowball into major stress.

So, if you feel like your stress level is high, try

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