Stress isn’t all bad. Think about how satisfying it is to meet a challenging goal or to accomplish something you worked hard for. The truth is, things that are meaningful, that reflect your values, and that require mastery often go hand in hand with stress. In fact, research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that some stress is good for us. It boosts memory and cognitive ability. Problems arise when stress is nonstop. I advise my patients to dissect their stress—to think about what they can control and what is beyond their control. For example, while you may not be able to control how many e-mails you receive in a given day, you can designate specific times during the day to check your account. Taking personal control over seemingly minor sources of stress is fortifying and resilience-building.
This article originally appeared on Marie Claire