Stress has been linked with heart disease, cancer, lung ailment, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide.

A dictionary describes stress as a mental or emotional tention or strain characterised by feelings of anxiety, fear etc.It does not take much for stress to rear its ugly head.If worries and preassures have been building up, sometimes it just takes an innocent question like "what's for dinner?" to make you explode.

When you feel stress building up, your head pounding, your shoulers tight and you just want to run away from everything, stop and slowly take deep breaths or count to ten.Often that will take the edge off the explosive feelings.

Stress becomes negative, resulting in strain, if the individual is not able to deal (cope) with it well and restore stability shortly.Prolonged instability or intense and extreme instability is likely to produce grave results.

It is important to recognise sources of your stress and learn to deal with them as best as you can. Coping successfully with stress is the key to avoiding burnout.Here are some ways to combat stress.

1.Know when to take charge and when to let go.Sometimes, we worry about things that we have no control over.Save your srength for dealing with things you can control.

2.Seek solution to problems.Ask for help when it is needed.

3.View mistakes as opportunites to learn and failures as another chance for evaluation.

4.Avoid isolation.Feeling to others can reduce stress.

5.Give yourself credit for the good things that happen.Stop blaming yourself for the problems brought on you by others.

6.Learn to delegate tasks at home, at work and with friends.You are not the only one who can do it 'right'.

7.Learn to pace yourself.Determine what is needed in your life and then begin to balance work with love, pleasure and relaxation.

8.Take care of yourself nutritionally and get plenty of rest.

9.Depend on God and His unchanging promises.

10.Keep a sense of humour.A gloomy look will drag down your spirit.Find chances to laugh.

11.Train yourself to see the positive side of life.

12.Make exercise a regular part of your day. Find some ways to integrate exercise into your daily routine.

13.Plan for lunch with people whose company you enjoy.

14.Make an effort to be pleasant at work and learn to ignore or make light of any unpleasant personalities.

15.Find hobbies or interests that satisfy you during your personal time.