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updated 11/21/2012 10:20:51 AM ET 2012-11-21T15:20:51

Getting rid of stress may be easier than you think. Try one of the following solutions or employ all six to enjoy stress-free, or at least less-stressed, living.

1. Don't take things so personally. Part of what creates stress is thinking that what other people do is something that is being done to us, or is a reflection of us or our actions.

2. Change your expectations. If you expect a co-worker to always be nice and they continue to be cranky, you'll be disappointed. You are choosing to be disappointed when you expect others to do something even when you have evidence to suggest that the behavior is highly unlikely.

3. Express your needs. Deciding to take responsibility for meeting your own needs is liberating. Without this decision, you lose time and energy waiting for others to figure out what you need and how, expecting them to deliver. If you need to hear compliments, say so. If you need to have more explanation, say so. It's up to you to get your own needs met and no one will know what they are better than you.

4. Don't make assumptions. Often we make assumptions about what others are thinking. Catch your assumptions before they become beliefs. Catch them before you take action on something you've assumed, but not verified. You'll be better off learning you were wrong than fixing the wrong action you took as a result of your assumption.

Related: How to Eat Your Way to a Less Stressful Day

5. Face your feelings. A favorite workplace mantra is "check your emotions at the door." The problem it creates is many never open the door to face their emotions even when they get home. Feelings that are stuffed create a ticking time bomb of emotions likely to come out at the most inopportune moment. Find a steam valve for early expression so you don't have to find time off to recover from a later explosion.

6. Use restraint. If you respond to a customer's rude comment with a defensive attitude, you'll escalate the stress of the situation for both of you. Try to use restraint in your response to difficult clients and customers.

You can't control the actions of others, but by keeping your cool, you avoid contributing to continued stressful conversations. It takes two to argue and if you're not the one who starts it and you refuse to finish it, you'll likely have much less of it to experience. Remove your part in what creates stressful situations and those who have stress to share will have to go elsewhere.

Related: 7 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Now

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