Health Library

Categories > Mental and Emotional Health > Stress management

Managing stress

Nothing or no one has the power to make us feel stressed. Rather, it’s our internal reaction to external events that generates stress. That’s why some of us seem to handle most things in stride while others tend to “lose it” frequently. If you’re among the latter group, adopting a new attitude may help you cope with life’s little surprises in a more relaxed way. These steps may help:

  1. Prioritize. Use a calendar or a notebook to figure out what needs doing—and what doesn’t. Make your to-do lists realistic, giving yourself ample time to accomplish each task.
  2. Just say no. If you’re responsible for nurturing others, you may be prompted by guilt and love to always say yes. Remember, you don’t need an excuse to say no graciously.
  3. Relax. That might mean lying down with a good book, jogging, getting a manicure or meditating. Devote at least 20 minutes a day to relaxation.
  4. Get an emergency plan. Keep doctors’ numbers posted and insurance information handy. Make car-pool provisions for when your auto is sidelined.
  5. Accept life. Take action when you can, but more important, let go when a situation is out of your control.