The Pareto Principle, commonly referred to as the 80/20 rule, was named after Italian economist Vifredo Pareto, who noticed that 20% of the Italian population owned a staggering 80% of the wealth. This principle highlights a simple yet profound inequality in various aspects of life, including stress relief. According to Pareto, the minority of any input produces the majority of any output.

How to Use the 80/20 Principle to Reduce Stress

When it comes to wellness, 20% of the lifestyle choices you make will contribute to 80% of your health problems. For instance, smoking is a seemingly insignificant habit that causes numerous health issues for many people. Similarly, stress triggers can be small but have significant impacts on some individuals.

For example, a passing comment about your appearance may seem like a harmless joke, but if taken to heart, it can weigh heavily on your mind. You may try to alleviate the negative thoughts by having a drink at a pub, but this may lead to spending money meant for bills and subsequent lying, causing a domino effect of stress. In most cases, low self-esteem is the root cause of depression, which can quickly diminish 80% of your quality of life. Focusing on building your confidence can be the 20% effort you need to avoid stress.

In today’s society, individuals with depression or ADHD may resort to medication to manage their conditions. However, following the 80/20 principle means making lifestyle changes such as adjusting your diet, working out, and changing your outlook on life, which can be a simpler and more effective solution.

To reduce stress during the festive season, create two columns of things that cause you stress and those that bring you joy. If shopping causes you a lot of anxiety, delegate the task to someone else and focus on activities that bring you happiness. Trying to impress others is a common reason why people feel rejected, unwanted, and dejected. To protect the 80% of your happiness and well-being, cultivate positive thoughts and embrace simple solutions to seemingly big problems, in line with Pareto’s principle.


The 80/20 principle, also known as the Pareto Principle, can be used to reduce stress by identifying the 20% of daily tasks, activities, and interactions that are creating 80% of the stress[1][2]. Once these tasks are identified, they can be minimized or removed to reduce stress levels. The Pareto Principle states that for many events, roughly 80% of results can be achieved through 20% of efforts[2][3]. By focusing on the most important tasks and prioritizing them, it is possible to reduce workload and stress levels. This principle can also be applied during holidays to reduce holiday stress[4]. The Pareto Principle helps manage time better and optimize well-being by focusing on the most important tasks[5].

How to Use the 80/20 Principle to Reduce Stress

Quotes to help reduce stress:

  1. “You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.” – Timber Hawkeye
  2. “Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose.” – Maureen Killoran
  3. “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James
  4. “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” – Amit Ray
  5. “In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” – Fred Rogers

Remember, stress is a natural part of life, but it’s important to manage it effectively. By cultivating positive thoughts, practicing self-care, and seeking support when needed, you can reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.

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