If you are like me and the other nearly 325,000,000 trillion people in the U.S., you have experienced stress. From raising kids, dealing with your boss or handling a health issue, you can feel overwhelmed. But there's good news! Learn how to create peace and take control of your life. Determining the Type of Stress Most people do not realize stress, a response to stimuli comes in two varieties which is good stress and bad stress. Bad stress or distress happens when your perception of an event is threatening. According to Stress Management Society, "Through the release of hormones, such as adrenaline, cortisol...the caveman gained a rush of energy...". This onset of biological and emotional reactions resulted in the need to fight or flight. Good stress or positive stress is the opposite response. It is marked by feelings of happiness and a sense of confidence. Your thoughts are focused and the energy is motivating. Four Paths to Calm Now that you know more about stress, you can start to manage it. Try these tips to make stress ignite your creativity and passion. Make stress work for you. 1. Keep It in Perspective So, how do you transform your bad stress into good stress? Change your perception. If your job causes you to relocate, consider it a career opportunity. If the throbbing in one of your molars means you need a root canal, don't panic. Consider it an investment in your health. 2. Calm the Monkey Your mind races with thousands of thoughts all day. Anxiety builds as you obsess about future concerns. What if this happens, what if that happens? Stop! Just breathe. As you mindfully count from 1 - 10, inhale and exhale slowly. Feel your heart rate decrease. The Buddhists used this breathing method for quiet meditation to conquer the Monkey Mind or frenzied mental condition. In Mindfulness: Taming the Monkey Mind by Mitchell Wagner, the author states, "It is not possible for the mind to be open...when it is consumed by anxiety." 3. Choose the Right Foods What do yogurt, pistachios, and spinach have to do with relaxation? They contain key ingredients which affect your mood. Pistachios According to Organic Facts, pistachios have "6 grams of protein per ounce...". Protein contains an amino acid which produces serotonin, a regulator of hunger. Spinach & Avocado The folate found in this green leafy vegetable produces dopamine, a chemical producing feelings of pleasure. Folic acid improves memory in adults experiencing stress. Avocados are also high in folate and vitamin E. Yogurt This comfort-inducing snack is filled with probiotics. It delivers healthful live bacteria in the gut linked to good mental health. Strawberries, Raspberries, & Blueberries These fruits are high in vitamin C which helps fight stress. 4. Become a Yogi Yoga is a tradition dating back 300 years ago. Yoga is low impact and is a synergy of mind, body, and soul. The International Journal of Yoga published "Exploring the Therapeutic Effects of Yoga and its ability to Increase the Quality of Life" and found "Yogic practices enhance muscular strength...reduce stress, anxiety...". Bikram, Hatha, and Kundalini are some of the best forms of yoga for beginners. Invest in Stress Management Consult with your doctor. Read books and attend local exercise classes. Stay up-to-date about trends. Stress is a part of life. Learn stress management. Anticipate the unexpected and choose a strategy challenging you to do your best. Then, sit back and relax.