Stress is a normal part of life. The body's stress responses are your first line of defense in life-threatening situations, and many of the effects of stress—such as increased alertness, resiliency, and adaptation—are positive and have allowed our species to survive and evolve over time. However, prolonged stress is another story.

Understanding how to identify and control your reactions to stress can lessen its negative impact. Learning to be aware of and control your stress responses takes intention, awareness, and practice over time.

Mastering stress can:

  • Improve physical health
  • Boost mood
  • Enhance relationships
  • Improve sleep