The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

- Socrates

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Coping with stress

1. Accept that stress is a part of life.

While some people have unhelpful thoughts such as "I shouldn't have to deal with this," mentally healthy people know that setbacks, problems, and hardships are inevitable. When stressful situations arise, they apply their efforts into doing what they can to move forward. Even when they can't change the circumstances, they know they can always take steps to improve their lives.

2. Keep problems in perspective.

Rather than think that a flat tyre has the power to ruin their whole day, mentally healthy people keep inconveniences in proper perspective. Rather than catastrophizing a minor event — such as thinking one argument could ruin their relationship, instead, they reframe their inner dialogue, and refuse to allow a pessimistic inner voice to take hold.

3. Take care of your physical health.

It is important to keep your body fit, strong and healthy.  Make time for regular exercise, get plenty of sleep, and maintain a healthy diet.

4. Choose healthy coping skills.

Avoid turning to alcohol, junk food, or other unhealthy choices to escape stress. Instead, learn to cope with discomfort in a productive manner by allowing yourself to feel your uncomfortable emotions like anxiety, fear or sadness. Choose healthy activities, like going for a walk or participating in a hobby, talking to a trusted friend, or try mindfulness meditation to cope with emotional pain.

5. Balance social activity with solitude.

Sometimes, in an attempt to avoid facing problems, people fill their schedules with social activities. Others deal with stress by withdrawing from friends and family. Mentally healthy people strike a balance: They maintain a healthy social life even when they're stressed, but they also reserve time to be alone with their thoughts.

6. Acknowledge your choices.

Stress can cause people to feel like victims of bad circumstances. Mentally healthy people recognise that everything they do, throughout the day, is a choice. They're prepared to say no to things they don't want to do and they accept responsibility for their behaviour.

7. Look for the silver lining.

Mentally healthy people don't necessarily see the world through rose-tinted glasses—they have a realistic outlook—but they do look for the silver lining in tough circumstances. They understand that good things can come from stressful situations. Rather than allowing hardship to turn to a sense of helplessness, they choose to use stressful situations to become stronger.