By Ron Elve

Some of us are anxious and unhappy when confronted with fairly trivial situations such as road rage, but others are quite calm even when facing truly serious circumstances such as terminal cancer.

Focusing on your reaction to a stressful situation is one tool that can help you keep your calm. No matter how serious the situation, you have control over your own reaction and can choose to be rational and calm or negative and anxiety oriented.

Another tool is changing how you think about the stressful situation. The negative thought “I can’t stand it” is all too common. Really?! If we offered you $199K cash, wouldn’t you be able to change your thoughts about the situation?

Beyond focusing on your thoughts, there are many other tools for handling stress.

Some are action/body oriented such a long walk or a run. Yoga or other meditative approaches as well as positive affirmations, poetry, fiction, and theater can all help.

Turning to sympathetic friends or counselors—including clergy and spiritual oriented activities is an important tool. And in some cases an Rx from an MD could be beneficial.

Experiment with these to find the combination of tools that works best for you!

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