The Very Simple Guide to Chilling Out

“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.”

George F. Burns

One good life skill is to be able to chill out. To be calm in negative situations and not overreact about all kinds of things. Or invent big, big problems in your mind – or create them in your world as you drag other people in through arguments – by making mountains out of molehills.

By being able to chill out when needed to you will:

  • Have a lot less stress, worry and pointless conflicts with other people.
  • Waste less of your time on things that aren’t really that useful.
  • Attract what you are. To be able to draw people who are more relaxed and positive about life into your life then you have to be that person yourself. People like to hang out with people who are like them (because it’s comfortable, because it brings more fun and success, because people have 24 hours in a day and so choices need to be made). Being someone that can be cool and relaxed about things is a positive and attractive social quality for any kind of relationship.

So how do you do it?

Well, here are four good tips:


1. Ask yourself if this even really matters.

By asking yourself the wrong questions you can make any little thing into a huge problem. By asking yourself better questions you can see things from a more helpful perspective.

  • Who cares? Very simple. Asking yourself this makes you realize that no, this isn’t a big deal to fuss or worry about.
  • Will this matter 5 years from now? If you ask yourself this question you will discover that if you put something into a more healthy perspective then few things matter that much.

2. Get a life.


If you find yourself sitting around too much and not having enough to do then it’s very easy to get stuck in thought loops and go into a downward spiral. Simply by filling your life with more fun activities and people you can become a lot more relaxed and less prone to overreacting about the little things.

So spend less time analyzing life and more time living and exploring it in whatever way you’d like. By doing so you are also often confronted with having to expand your comfort zones and perhaps face a fear. This leads to better self confidence and less fretting about if you can handle things that may come up.

3. What would someone else do?

This is a good way to find a new and more useful perspective. You simply ask yourself what someone else would do in your situation.

Maybe you ask yourself:

  • What would Winnie the Pooh  do?
  • What would James Bond do?
  • What would mom or dad do?

The point is to play around and find a new perspective and drag yourself out of your current negative, stressed and confused headspace and see things in another light. Just doing that can often help you to calm down, realize that this isn’t a huge deal and help you to find a solution that you can apply.

4. Remember to keep things extremely simple.

At the very top of the whiteboard on my wall I have written down: “Keep things extremely simple”. This is a very useful thing to remind yourself of throughout any day. Whenever I feel I am making a thing bigger or more complicated than it is or I simply become confused or negative in some way I can look at the wall (or remember that sentence if I’m not at home) to help guide my thoughts back into a constructive and calm place.

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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehacker, HuffPost and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Great post. I specially like #3. I think it is related in a way with the psychological technique of role playing, which is very good to heal traumas and relations. But besides, it is playful! I think sometimes it is we ourselves who block the way to the solutions, by taking things too seriously. Next time I feel anxious, I’ll ask to myself: “what would Yogi bear do?”

  • Raj


    keeping yourself occupied is important, An empty mind is satan’s best friend :)

    i completely agree that less time should be spent thinking and more time must be spent in actually doing the stuff that really matters

  • Hey Henrik, these are some really useful points that have a real impact on the feeling of our life. When I was younger a very mellow friend used to tell me, “you just need to let it go.” My response was usually “let go of what?” It took years to figure it out. This information could really shorten the learning curve for anyone needing to chill. Thanks!

  • legolas

    Hi Henrik,

    Thank you so much for this very wonderful post. Really liked your idea about “Keep Things Extremely Simple”.

    Thank you once again..!!!

  • Thanks for all the great comments and insights! :)

  • Humans are amazing! We can turn the tiniest thing into a big issue just by talking it up bigger and bigger. I observe these conversations in the beauty shop as the operators and customers complain about things such as a detour that’s been set up while the city improves the streets. Instead of being grateful that we live in a beautiful area where our streets, traffic signals, and landscaping are well maintained, they waste precious time and breath turning it into a negative.

    You have shared in this post the secrets to happiness. They are not secrets because they are unknown, but because they are under-utilized. Thanks once again for reminding us of what is so easily accessible.

  • Lindsey Petersen

    YES! Avoid stress. That does not mean not to take chances or to do things of importance, it means not to take yourself too seriously. One can live an eventful life relatively stress free. A happy life!
    Lindsey Petersen

  • I agree with everything here. Especially “keep things simple”, that would have to be one of the harder aspects. Keeping things uncluttered and clear around the home is a HUGE difference in staying chilled out as well. Nothing better to start your day with than waking up and the place is clean. Helps to start the day in the right, stress free frame of mind.

  • Thank you so much for this very wonderful post. We get so trapped up at times in the whole lot that is happening around us. Knowing what is occurring around us is not almost as vital as what we believe.
    Christopher Duncan