• Fatima Learn

The Sardine Solution: 7 Ways To Live Better


The problems that come with stress interferes with the quality of life we desire. In fact, stress can cause a multitude of health issues, disorders, and is proven to shorten life spans. Many articles and books about reducing mental and physical stress suggest solutions that can be achieved by eating oily fish. Stress relief can be experienced by improving your heart health but there is a lot more to it then eating sardines or taking Omega-3 supplements. The bottom line is that there is no single, magical solution and I say this from experience of growing up in a sardine/fish eating household.


The mechanical definition of the term “stress-relief” is defined to be a technique which usually involves removing stresses from a material. A proven technique is heating the material to a temperature at which it can change form easily. Do you see similarities of how external conditions can affect a material’s “structure” as it would a persons well-being? Pardon for the odd analogy but it is the result of being an artist married to a mechanical engineer for over 20 years. The question is how do we improve the conditions for a better result?


How to Shrink Stress


I would like to share with you actions that will help you move away from stress and closer to a lifestyle of well-being. You might ask - There are lists all over the internet about “stress management” what makes yours different? - These are personal experiences. It wasn’t until the death of my husband that I realized stress is something that can be deflated.

  1. Use your money on experiences. Don’t spend all your money on material shit. You might not have it for something you want to do.

  2. Try to just enjoy and be in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. The experience is more memorable when you enjoy the moment instead of recording it or taking a picture!

  3. Try to be just a “listener” sometimes. You see how fragile, precious and unpredictable life can be when you listen to others. Don’t always feel like you need to commiserate or offer advice but become an attentive audience instead.

  4. Vocalize your thoughts about things that are bothering you — it gets what's troubling you out of your head so you can stop dwelling and start moving forward. Make a date with a friend and talk about it.

  5. Learn to walk away from people and situations that threaten your peace of mind, self-respect, values and morals. It keeps you from being successful in what you want to do.

  6. Work to live, don’t live to work. Seriously, do what makes your heart feel happy or at least work towards that. That is wealth beyond any measure.

  7. Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.


Only you can manage the stress in your life and have control over the choices you make to reduce it. One aspect of stress is that it takes a toll on your face and shoulders. Next time you look in the mirror, see if you notice signs of stress because it is important to learn how to identify it. If you learn how stress works, then you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself from it’s effects.




Top Image - “Frozen Sardines” by Fatima Learn. Acrylic Painting Paper with a linen finish.

Second Image - Family vacation at Universal Studios in Florida