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Behaviors to Cope With Stress

UPMC Content 2

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.

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For more information about UPMC's Healthy Lifestyle Program, call 800-533-8762.

Or, e-mail Dr. Bruce RabinDirector, Healthy Lifestyle Program, at

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.