THE BLOG
05/31/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Tips From Real, Live, Breathing, Non-Professional People on Dealing With Stress

You've seen them -- the lists, tips, tricks, tools telling you how to make your life better. Some are great. They're fun. And sometimes useful. And sometimes, not so much.

They're especially prevalent in the context of mental health newsletters and websites, which is understandable. After all, those of us who suffer from mental illness often seek advice on how to make it through each day. I'm certainly open to any suggestions about how to grapple with my bipolar disorder -- because no matter how fabulous your meds are, it's still going to be rocky now and then.

But a lot of these lists, well -- they suck. I mean, don't you already know you should exercise? Eat right? Get enough sleep? I could write this stuff in the sleep I don't even get enough of. So I put out a call to fellow sufferers who read my blog to come up with better tips for dealing with stress -- tips you haven't heard before. I present them to you, in no particular order. I urge you to add more of your own in the comments.

1. Squeeze your dog's snout while singing, "snoutie snoutie snoutie." (No dog is harmed during this procedure. Also works with cats and guinea pigs.)
2. Have sex. If you don't have a partner, take things into your own hands, so to speak.
3. Forgo pat, soothing music and listen to heavy metal instead.
4. Question authority.
5. Put your own air mask on first, then help others put theirs on.
6. Let the poop and piss out of your system.
7. Wear soft, luscious clothing that makes you feel like a cloud when it's next to your skin.
8. Sing out loud to your favorite music in the car. When others stare, smile and wave.
9. Yell "Poop!" anytime you're frustrated/depressed or feel dread due to anxiety.
10. Eat cheese, and lots of it.

And here are Seven Steps to Bliss:

1. Buy new socks (nice thick expensive kind).
2. Throw on radiator.
3. Get good book (short stories of Bernard Malamud or maybe Paul Bowles).
4. Unplug communication devices.
5. Put toasty new socks on cold feet.
6. Drink champagne.
7. Ease (or leap) into bliss.

What else, guys?