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5 Ways to Reduce Stress with a Blast-From-Your-Past

5 Ways to Reduce Stress with a Blast From Your Past!

I have the perfect combination for you! Doctors have been telling us for years how stress can cause all sorts of bad stuff – health issues, emotional issues, psychological issues. Finding ways to diffuse stress is a million-dollar business (squeezy ball anybody?). But worth it, right? Because less stress equals a happier, healthier us. But you don’t have to spend big bucks to get big relief from too much stress. Studies show that thinking about positive memories can have the stress-reducing effect that many of us are in need of. So here’s that perfect combo I  promised you: take a little a stress-reducing trip down memory lane with one of these nostalgic stress busters. Bonus: each one costs under five dollars!

  1. Bubbles. Blow your irritations away. The act of dipping a wand into soapy suds and waving it through the air, leaving a trail of delightful bubbles is sure to put a smile on your face. The 5 Ways to Reduce Stress With a Blast-From-Your-Pastdrifting bubbles soothe as they glide around you. Try naming a few of the bigger ones: Guilt Trip, Rude Person (you get the idea) and watch them pop into oblivion! (Under $2)

2. Silly Putty. Yes – it’s still around! Remember how it works? We used to press it on to comics, then roll it off and the comic image would transfer to the putty – just waiting to be stretched and distorted. Newspaper ink doesn’t lift like it used to, but pencil lead still does. Grab a pencil and make a list of those stress-inducing aggravations. Roll your putty over them. Then stretch them until they are unrecognizable and do a final blot-out by squishing the mass into a ball. Now smooth out your not-so-silly-putty and return it to its egg until it’s time to take on the next stresser! (Under $2)5 Ways to Reduce Stress With a Blast-From-Your-Past

3. Jacks. The perfect rhythm-building distraction. For a more authentic youthful experience, sit on the floor, legs crossed in the universal kid-sit way. For those of us who might never be able to get back up from such a position, a desk top works just fine for the bounce, scoop, bounce, scoop-more stress-busting activity! (Under $5 for the metal ones – even less for plastic)5 Ways to Reduce Stress With a Blast-From-Your-Past

4. Paper airplane. Fly your worries away! Write down those irksome issues that are causing you anxiety on a nice cool piece of paper. Take a trip back in time and fold up your paper, creating a calming rhythm as you smooth your creases, creating your paper-problem-navigator. Once you have that nose nice and pointy, 5 Ways to Reduce Stress With a Blast-From-Your-Pastsail your problems into the closest wall for a satisfying crunch. For the grand finale? Sail your plane into a bucket or sink full of water and watch the problems literally breakdown. Now, doesn’t that feel good? (Free!)

5. Play-Doh. Craft some shapes that represent your time-wasting worries. Got them all lined up and ready for destruction? Now aggressively flatten each one with a hand, rolling pin, or (remember Mr. Bill?) your car. When those Play-Doh stressers see you coming at them, full speed ahead, they’ll say:









  1. I loved Silly Putty, but I haven’t seen it in years. Working a jigsaw puzzle is a great way for me to relieve stress. Great list!

    1. I didn’t realize it was still around until I looked. And then I realized it might not work the way it used to, so had to check that, first. IT still works, but our ink processing is different, so the magic combo is gone! I agree with your about puzzles – a mini escape that can slow down a brain that’s working on overtime!

      1. Thanks a lot for mentioning silly putty, when I was a child in South Africa I used to see the silly putty ads in comic books and desperately wanted some but we couldn’t get it here. Now that whole stressed out feeling is back. Sigh. You’re 100% right about happy memories being a stress reliever though – works like a dream.

        1. Big stress might call for bigger bubbles, Gail – maybe one of those bubble wands that make huge bubbles when you swing your arm. Give that big bubble the name of what’s stressing you out, then make it disappear with a big pop!! Big bubble + big pop = big smile 🙂

  2. Great list! A friend recently gave me a small tin of Aaron’s Thinking Putty. It’s supposed to foster creative thinking, but I find it calming as well. Surprising how it does both at the same time! And I discovered an added bonus. It’s consistency is slightly denser than Silly Putty, so it provides great therapy for arthritic fingers!

  3. Silly Putty, playing jacks…and racing Slinkies down stairs (I compete with myself, using one metal-color Slinkie and one pink Slinkie at the same time). Those are my three favorites to reduce stress. The first makes me be creative, rolling putty over newsprint and then reading it; the jacks make me focus, and the slinkies make me laugh.

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