Five ways to reduce stress with random weirdness

image Let’s face it: we’re all a little stressed. Especially you sir, in the back, the one giving himself a mohawk with the Epilady shaver. The consequences of living in an increasingly fast-paced society are beginning to show. And not just when we’re in the drive-thru behind someone ordering lattes for what appears to be everyone in Kanye West’s posse; it’s in our general lack of patience with everything.

Our devices.
The Bachelorette.

And while there are plenty of self-help books for finding inner peace and tranquility, they all have the same problem: Who has the time? If I could start my morning with meditation or yoga, I’d use that time for something more beneficial.

Like sleeping.

As a wise woman once said: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

So, whoever’s going to come up with an effective plan for finding patience and tranquility for our society, they need to hurry up! In the meantime, here are five weird things you can incorporate into your daily routine that should help. Or if nothing else, get you to put down that Epilady shaver:

1) Make a list of 20 things you never plan to do: This will give you a true sense of accomplishment because, once you are finished making your list, you can immediately cross everything off! For example, my list starts with: I will never be an overachiever.

2) For the entire day, refer to yourself in the third person: In addition to the obvious bonus of making co-workers uncomfortable, it will allow you to see how many of your conversations revolve around yourself. If your name doesn’t come up much, you’re either not as self-centered as you thought, or quite possibly extremely boring. Good to know in either case.

3) If you have a dog, call it by a completely random name: It will remind you of how what you say isn’t nearly as important as how you say it. Because regardless of what name you call your dog — “Spot,””Fluffy,” “Justin Bieber,” it will come running with unabashed joy as long as you say it with love. And maybe a biscuit. But mostly love. (Disclaimer: If your dog bites you for calling him Justin Bieber you had it coming…)

4) Propose marriage to a complete stranger: It’s a given that the person you ask will likely decline your offer — unless it’s one of the Kardashians. But assuming it isn’t, there is virtually no risk of any actually matrimony taking place. So why do this? It will make someone’s day no matter how much they may pretend it doesn’t.

What if you’re already married? Propose to them again — for the same reasons.

What if you’re already married to one of the Kardashians? You should’ve put that on your list of 20 things you’d never do.

And lastly,

5) Call your doctor just to tell them you’re feeling GREAT! Not only will this make it easier should you, at some point, ask for a Medical Marijuana prescription, more importantly it will give you a sense of empowerment knowing you were able to make your own diagnosis even without a fancy schmancy degree.

Come to think of it, getting that marijuana prescription may be a good enough reason for some of you.



(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation and a member of the writing team at Long Awkward Pause. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, or Barnes & Noble. Disclaimer: Even if you choose Ned’s book for summer reading, you should still use sunscreen.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

82 thoughts on “Five ways to reduce stress with random weirdness”

  1. I like to just watch people at Starbucks and make up Dickensian biographies for them in my mind…

  2. Hi! Loved reading your posts, I’m new to WP do you think you could check out my blog and leave a comment. I’d love some help from someone more experienced as you! Keep it up!

  3. Great advice! Should I find a need to have something to fill my day… I will refer to your list. I especially like #1! Sometimes I need to remind myself what I HAVE done! *snort*
    I don’t think my dogs will come to a random name…why? Because I can’t get them to come to the REAL ones! LOL! And I will try referring to myself in the third person for one day if… for no other reason.. to see how other people will react! 😀

  4. I love this rational thinking. My pinboard needs a list of stuff I will not do. I already refer to myself as “we” at work – it’s so that I can look as if I’m part of a team, rather than being the one who has to do everything. Unfortunately this can lead to an alternative list of Stuff We Said We Would Do But Didn’t Because We Went Home Instead.

    1. It sounds like you’re off to a good start in finding tranquility. On another note, your comment made me ponder a deep question. If you are part of a set of triplets, does referring to yourself in the third person still count?

      Thoughts like that are what keep Ned from getting much done…

      1. That’s funny, cos I hear angels whenever I’m around Ned, too.
        I think it’s actually the sound of him running the vacuum cleaner.

      1. When cats are being obnoxious shitheads they’re still cute. When the Biebs does it it’s a totally different story. Those are facepalm moments that make you wonder how the hell the douche became popular in the first place.

  5. Excuse me, but that WOMAN behind the fence had every right to open a can of whup-ass on that “peace keeper” because he stole my…er, her, Epilady shaver.

  6. The dog suggestion cracked me up because my Husband could call our dog Sam anything with all the love in the world in his voice, but all it would take is for me to look at that dog and he would come to me instead hahaha he is a total Mumma’s Boy.
    However our other dog Molly always goes to my Husband which in some ways feels like a betrayal because I rescued her 3 years before he even came into our lives 🙂 Females can be so fickle hahaha.
    However hide a schmacko in your pocket and you win ALL THE DOGS!

    1. Lol! I have to wonder if it’s the same look that caught your husband’s fancy? My wife has a look that can draw males of any species. As for my “look,” I’m just lucky she wears glasses…

  7. Ned, you are a mind reader! How did you know I need advice about de-stressing?
    Can I link to this post on my blog?
    (Can I? I don’t know, never tried to do such a thing before, I’ll give it my best attempt though)

  8. “3) If you have a dog, call it by a completely random name:”

    I did that until Scooter “gave me the look”. I have been given the look by bosses, by teens, by my wife – but no human can give “the look” as withering as a dog.

  9. To add to your list:

    Watch photo’s of Kim Kardashian on her Instagram account. This will allow you to understand that some rich people have no class. You will appreciate your own poverty because even if you kick puppies you are still a better human being than that ….whatever she is.

  10. I read this the other day and am back to report.
    #1, 2, 3, and 5 worked out great! I’m still waiting on a call-back from Mike Moustakis on #3 (Royals third baseman….grrrowl!)

    1. That’s great, Michelle! I hope you’ll introduce me when I accept my Nobel Peace Prize!

      And as for Mike, I’m sure his cell phone is just in a dead zone right now.

No one is watching, I swear...

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