Everyone encounters stress. Some of us encounter it more than others, but it’s simply a routine part of life. However, chronic stress can lead to psychological and even physical problems. To ensure that you’re as happy and as healthy as possible, try some of these tips on avoiding stress.

1. Pause and take a deep breath

This might seem like cliche advice, but it’s really helpful for some people. When everything seems to be happening all at once, just take a minute to yourself and breathe deeply for a bit. Getting caught up in everything will only make things worse. By only breathing for a few moments, you get a chance to clear your head and look at things rationally.

2. Exercise

Exercise has been shown to reduce stress. Next time you feel stressed out, work up a sweat and you’re more likely to feel calm about the situation.

3. Eat right

Stress can get worse when you’re not properly nourishing your body. While sometimes it can be hard to eat well when you’re super busy, it’s vital to your mental and physical health. If you know you have a busy week ahead, pre-make some lunches or dinners in order to save time while continuing to eat healthily.

4. Avoid caffeine

Many people enjoy caffeine and rely on it to give them energy. However, too much caffeine can lead to stress and anxiety. If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, try to avoid drinking these beverages in the afternoons and evenings.

5. Seek help

This doesn’t necessarily need to be from a professional, though that is always an option. Friends, family members, and support groups are all good alternatives. Sometimes, it’s important to get things off your chest and get guidance and advice from other perspectives.