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Behaviors to Cope With Stress

How to Minimize the Negative Effects of Stress on Your Health

Coping skills, or stress-coping behaviors, minimize the activation of the stress-reactive areas of the brain. People who incorporate coping skills into their lives have less stressor-induced alteration of their health compared to those who do not.

Just think of the word RELAX to remember the stress-coping behaviors that help reduce the negative effects of stress on physical and mental health:



  • Participate in spiritual or religious activities.
  • Take time to reflect on the things that add meaning, purpose, and joy to your life.



  • Be optimistic.
  • See the glass as half full rather than half empty.



  • Have a sense of humor.
  • Laugh at some of the things you do.



  • Be socially active.
  • Spend time with people you enjoy.



  • Be physically active.
  • Spend less time watching television or playing computer games.
  • Walk as often as you can.

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Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

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