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Categories > Mental and Emotional Health > Self-improvement

Give me ‘strength’

Have you caught yourself uttering that expression lately? Usually, it’s in a moment of exasperation, when you feel as if you couldn’t possibly endure one more trial—another bill, say, or a blinking engine light. If you are coping with a major trauma, such as a serious illness or a family upheaval, a misplaced pen may be enough to set you off.

Yet maintaining control is the key to successful coping. Here are a few “strengthening” tips:

Think positive! Many scientists believe modern stress results from the way we perceive and react to a situation rather than from the situation itself. For example, if you believe a problem is insurmountable, chances are it will be. The result? Mounting tension, a racing heart and very bad stomachache! But if you greet a problem as a challenge, map out a solution and determine what help you need, you’ll have a good shot at success.

Stockpile solutions. As you watch the news or discuss issues with friends, take note of resources that could come in handy someday.

When necessary, let go. Understanding which aspects of a problem are out of your control is as important as using strategies within your control.

Simplify. Keep your to-do list as short as possible. Don’t say yes to a request without thinking about it first. Delegate tasks. Give yourself a break: Enjoy a day out with a friend. And don’t feel guilty about having a good time!

Stay active, eat healthy and get regular checkups. Taking care of yourself is the best way to enjoy physical and mental well-being and develop the strength to help you bounce back from hardship.