The Stress Buster Learning Journey

Poor Ash’s Almanack > Learning Journeys

Stress is tough – I get it.  I’ve dealt with a lot of it in my life.  Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take that will meaningfully reduce your stress.

Feel free to go in any order – read the models first, then the books, or vice versa, or switch back and forth.

The models we’ll be working with are:



cognition / intuition / habit / stress


contrast bias

margin of safety

structural problem solving

marginal utility


sleep / chronotypes

Here’s your reading list of books.  You don’t have to read all of them – just pick and choose the ones that sound interesting.

Nudge ( Ndge review + notes)

10% Happier ( 10H review + notes)

Cognitive Behavior Therapy ( CBT review + notes).

The Up Side of Down ( UpD review + notes).

Before Happiness ( BH review + notes).

The Happiness Advantage ( THA review + notes).

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ( 7H review + notes).

Now for the questions and action items to ponder:

– think about contrast bias and framing.  how could you find a new “contrast” against which to frame your life or stressors in a way that gives them meaning, as Achor suggests?

– what are your biggest sources of stress?  what are the easiest ones to solve via structural problem solving or margin of safety?  what’s the venn diagram overlap between the two?

– are there any vicious feedback cycles in your life?  how could you escape them?