Merriam-Webster defines anxiety as a “painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill.” This normal reaction to stress can be helpful in certain situations. But when the agonizing feelings anxiety can produce become excessive and hard to control, we may begin to feel crazed and overwhelmed.

The good news is that simply being anxious doesn’t mean you now have a mental disorder requiring treatment. But who wants, or needs, to become paralyzed with terror because of anxieties that sap your energy and stoke your fears?

And here’s more good news: There are ways to cope with anxiety. Four key ways, according to mental health experts, entail easy changes that can help you deal with anxiety-producing incidents. This boils down to either changing the situation or reacting in more positive ways to what’s happening.

Here are four key steps to handling anxious moments: Avoid stressors; alter what happens that makes you anxious; adapt instead of reacting to stress; and simply accept what you can’t change.

These guidelines have been proven to actually help you eliminate much of the stress in your life. Also, these easy steps can help you regain control when you feel totally overwhelmed, and they help you understand that some things in life aren’t under your control.

Hope you feel better now.