Real Estate Is Stressful. Here Are 3 Ways to Chill

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Every year the job-listing site ranks the top 10 most stressful jobs in the United States, based on 11 factors such as competition, physical demands, and work environment. Taking their rightful place at the top of the list are first responders like police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and the military. But there were two years in 2010 and 2011 that a new most stressful job appeared on the list: real estate agent. Well, clearly.

In CareerCast’s report explaining why real estate is such a stressful profession, they noted:

“Real estate agents and brokers work long, erratic hours including working most weekends and spend much of their time showing properties to clients. They must be extremely independent, and able to handle sales quotas and deadline pressures. The field is highly competitive, which can cause high levels of stress.” 

Now that’s a quote that deserves the big gray bracket treatment. For all those long hours worked — 9.5 daily on average — a real estate agent’s median pay is $40,000, though that’s not a set salary, causing more stress.

We’re all thankful to put the 2010 housing market crisis behind us, but the same job pressures remain. No job, let alone life, comes without stress. Actually, if I asked you to rate your stress level right now, you’d probably answer “5” without thinking. The American Psychological Association says that’s our overall average stress level, which crept up a notch this year over previous years. And that “5” is probably because I’m catching you reading on a good day.

So, what are you gonna do about all this stress?

Read For Pleasure

Reading can reduce your stress levels by 68 percent and it works better and faster than listening to relaxing music, taking a walk, or drinking a hot cup of tea. That’s according to a 2009 University of Sussex study that found reading silently for just six minutes a day significantly reduces individual stress.

And you know what? There are quite a few articles you can read in six minutes here on that’ll indulge your love of good homes and take your mind off things.

Try This App

The next time you find yourself stuck or stressed, try listening to Audiojack, a creative visualization app first used for the blind to help you de-stress. I came across this app during South by Southwest (SXSW) 2018 and spoke to its creator David Tobin about this audio-based experience with no words, no music and no video.

An Audiojack is not unlike Ross Geller’s wordless sound poems. They’re basically sound effects from everyday life that your mind puts together to create a story.  There’s no right or wrong answer, so your mind is free to wander as it pleases.

Begin A Journal

The business philosopher Jim Rohn often said, “When you get a good idea, don’t rely on your memory. Write it down.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t rely on my memory for just about anything. But journaling isn’t just about taking down the day’s notes. University of Texas at Austin psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker says that regular journaling not only improves your mental health, but your physical health as well.

So first step, give yourself permission to buy that supple leather journal you’ve been eyeing at Barnes & Noble. Next, buy a box of really great rollerball pens to keep with you at all times. And now it’s time to write. When you hear a great quote, a book recommendation or something that really fires you up, write it down in a journal.

That’s probably why Oscar Wilde wrote: “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.” Two birds, one stone.

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Shelby Skrhak

Shelby is Associate Editor of, where she focuses on sponsored content, estate sales, and suburbs. She's a journalist and podcaster turned full-time freelance writer based in Plano. She comes to after running digital content and social media at SUCCESS magazine. She's a Lake Highlands native and graduate of UT-Dallas.

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