Stress is a part of everyday life. It’s difficult to avoid, but it can be miserable to live with. It can affect our mental and emotional well-being, as well as our physical health. How we handle (or don’t handle) stress can also affect our relationships with those around us.

How can we learn to handle stress? Like any other skill, it takes practice! This week’s video discusses some unconventional, yet effective, ways to handle stress in the short term and the long term.

One of the key points is to focus on activities that cause you minor stress – for example, watching sports, playing a video game, or even driving. Use these situations to purposely cause yourself to get stressed out – and then practice calming techniques (deep breathing, talking to yourself out loud, etc.) until you are able to calm down. As you keep practicing, you should find yourself becoming able to calm yourself more quickly. Over time, you will learn how to automatically be more calm and in-control, even when presented with unexpected stressful situations, such as a fender bender, dinner with the in-laws, or a tense meeting at work.

Learning to effectively handle stress is a crucial skill for navigating life. Mastering the art of staying calm can have an amazing effect on careers, interpersonal relationships, and many other aspects of daily life.

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