“Hormones always respond to mindset”, says health psychologist Kelly McGonigal. The balance of stress-producers and stress-relievers can be managed if we learn to recognize indicators and use them to our advantage. If we master stress, we can actually make it work for us to increase our efficiency instead of depleting it.

According to Rick Hecht, Research Director at UCSF’s Osher Center for Integrated Medicine, there is no instant solution to stress, but learning basic tackling-techniques can harness and transform it into productivity. He suggests that we need to break down that overwhelming to-do list into discrete smaller steps, and give ourselves a pat on the back each time we accomplish one step. This will provide us with the incentive to move further and release positive hormones into the brain. We must constantly remind ourselves that a challenge can bring out the best in us and believe in ourselves.

Yoga and meditation can also help in developing skills to handle stress. You can train your mind to acknowledge stressors rather than let them creep up on you. With mind-focusing exercises, you begin to observe things around you and deal with the problem in the here and now, rather than anticipating trouble in the future and worrying about it.

“Stress is paradoxical,” says Alia Crum, research scholar at Columbia Business School. She thinks our belief system is the game changer. Different people react differently to stressful situations, but it’s crucial to anticipate in advance and remember that crisis is not a permanent state.

Debra Nelson, management professor at Oklahoma State University, believes it helps to determine and eliminate known predictors of negative strain. Since stress can lead to changes in blood pressure, sleep disorders, digestion problems and impaired immunity, we must fight to keep this killer away by recognizing the signs of it taking over our lives and circumventing it with healthy thinking and healthier living.