Stress can be debilitating. Sometime stress becomes so intense that you can barely focus on your daily chores. Thoughts can run by quickly and it may seem impossible to handle all the responsibilities we are faced with. When we stress out, we are usually worrying over our past mistakes or anticipating possible negative outcomes. All of this focusing on the past and future disrupts, and can even ruin, your present. Since we live in the present, if you allow stress to affect you deeply, you will have a life filled with anxiety. That certainly is not something you want. And you know what? You deserve better.

You are the only person who can eliminate your stress.This is because stress is not directly caused by external forces, but it is instead how we react to the external forces. Stress, therefore, is caused by your thought process. You may be in a terrible situation but if you have the right frame of mind, you can see yourself through it. We have all heard heroic and inspiring tales where people have demonstrated grace under pressure. These people had the right frame of mind to conquer their challenges. This isn’t to say that they didn’t experience stress. But, they also managed their reaction to it. If you are looking to reduce or eliminate the overall stress in your life, look to change your mindset first and foremost.

Sometimes you are ahead and sometimes you are behind but with the right outlook, you can persevere through the difficult times. Here are five things you can do to reduce and deal with stress in your life.

5. Eat well
Before we address the mental issues behind stress, let’s deal with the physical. You’ve heard the expression “you are what you eat.” In many ways this is true. Your appearance is often an outward manifestation of your health. If you treat your body better by supplying it with proper nutrients, you will notice great improvements in your overall happiness. Leafy greens, lean meats, fish, oatmeal and fruit have all been proven to give your body more of the stuff it needs. A proper diet can go a long way in soothing a troubled mind.

4. Exercise
You can create calm in your life through exercise. Throughout the day, little nuisances can build up and create a lot of negative energy. In polite society, thankfully, we cannot act upon our negative emotions. However, this can be a problem when pent-up-aggression turns inward. Physical activity such as boxing, martial arts, football, basketball or running can prove helpful outlets for aggressive behavior. Yoga is celebrated for its health benefits, and stress reduction is one of yoga’s most powerful and appealing features. Through quiet and relaxing movements or difficult poses, yoga can refocus your energy on the here and now. Its wisdom and breathing methods can transport you into a calm and relaxing state.

3. Accept things beyond your control
When people blame themselves for failings and refuse to take credit for their successes, they are on a surefire track to anxiety, stress and possibly depression. Although you should enjoy your achievements and learn from your mistakes, understand that not everything is within your control. Very often things are far beyond our control and we cannot be held accountable one way or another for them. We should work hard to control the things we can and come to peace with the fact that many factors will allude us.

2. Forgive others
When you feel bitterness you only hurt one person: You. When you resent someone else because of their success, you do not hurt that person, you hurt yourself. Hate and anger are baggage. It is unattractive to other people and drains your mind of energy that you could use productively elsewhere. Don’t let bitterness consume you. You need to have the class and strength to forgive others for their transgressions because no one is perfect.

1. Forgive yourself
And that phrase—no one is perfect—applies to you as well. A lot of stress comes from our own inner sense of inadequacy. You might carry around a huge burden of guilt for something you didn’t even do. You might, likewise, carry around guilt for something you did that was less than desirable. You should learn from your actions. If there is anything you can do to make amends, by all means, do so. But after a certain point, your guilt and anxiety over your mistakes will hurt no one but yourself. Also, no one is impressed or happy that you feel stressed. Just as you learned to forgive other people, learn to forgive yourself. Let go of the past. Let go of your shortcomings.