Living a stress-free life isn’t practical, but it’s not all bad. The right amount of stress can challenge you to tackle your to-do list without burning you out. Your optimal stress zone is all about building resilience, finding ways to minimize the negative effects, and taking full advantage of the positive effects. If your stress level is too high, use these tips to center yourself.

Connect with yourself.

Work on your self-awareness so you can better recognize times that you’re stressed, and, even more importantly, when you’re not stressed. That way you can maximize the things that reduce your stress. Try this body scan exercise to turn your focus internally.

Connect with others.

One of the most powerful ways to reduce stress is to reach out to others who provide a positive impact in your life. Send someone a quick text, call a loved one on the phone, or do something for someone to bring a smile to their face (and yours).

Connect with nature.

It’s been scientifically proven that putting your bare feet on the earth transfers surface electrons from the earth into the body, which helps to settle the nervous system, create better blood flow, and induce a parasympathetic response.

Reframe your thinking.

Your stress response can be largely based on present context and past experiences. If you’re able to reframe your thinking and change your focus, you can change your stress response, too.

Be creative.

Our brains are wonderful tools of creation. But that doesn’t mean you need to paint the next Mona Lisa to get the benefit. It can be as simple as taking a new route on your walk or trying a new recipe.

Take care of your body and brain.

Responding better to stress can also be preventative. Eating right, hydrating often, exercising regularly, and sleeping well provide a healthy foundation for you to be in balance and better equipped to deal with stress.