By the LLuminari Experts

If what causes you stress is something you can avoid, then go for it! Unfortunately, most of what we find stressful is perceived that way because we can't avoid it. While you may not be able to avoid stressors, you most certainly can change how you react to them.

Try to consider that every human experience has a positive and negative aspect, depending upon your perception. Whether we judge an event as uplifting, healing, rejuvenating or depressing, enervating, or disease-promoting, depends on the spin we give it. Illnesses, emotional challenges, insults, and accidents all hold the power for change, re-evaluation, and rejuvenation, if we will only look for them.

Learning to cope with the stresses in our lives will do much to help turn them into mere bumps in the road, not roadblocks! Coping combines the emotional, mental, and physical processes of adapting to our environments. Coping helps to maintain equilibrium and protects our health. Coping does not mean defeat, or that we have become passive—rather that we have figured out how to survive in a world that often feels out of control.

A new attitude includes rethinking what we tell ourselves about a given situation. If you choose a vocabulary filled with negative words, they have a tendency to create an atmosphere that is equally negative. For instance, if everything is horrible, terrible, unfair, and rotten—you may find you are aggravated, hostile, ticked off and worried. Stress can be the result of what we are thinking, rather than what is actually happening, if we aren't careful. If you are able to step back for a moment and observe people in stressful settings, you may very well find a role model for behavior that will help you.

Most of us know someone we admire for keeping cool, or for weathering adversity in a manner that is healthy and positive. Use these people as your template when trying to figure out ways you can let go of some of your own stresses. The next time you are having "one of those days", you know the kind, you've overslept, you can't find the right shoes, the car won't start, the babysitter's late, you forgot about a project at work—whatever it is—make an attempt to just step away from it for a minute. Stresses have a way of feeding on themselves. Taking a moment to regain your emotional equilibrium works wonders, and can diffuse a stressful situation.


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