Whether it was Neil Young, Def Leppard, Kurt Cobain, Oasis or anyone else who got us singing: “It’s better to burn out than to fade away”—it’s a thought worth contemplating.

When we were younger, the words likely had one meaning; now that we’re older, possibly another.

Today, burnout is more likely associated with excess stress. Stress isn’t necessarily negative. Positive mental and physical benefits come from exercise that stresses our muscles, respiration and circulation. High blood pressure, accelerated heart rate, abnormal increase or loss of appetite, excessive sweating, dilated pupils, lumps in the throat or in the pit of our stomachs, skin outbreaks, reduced immunity and tightness in our chests indicate the negative effects of stress.

Whether the stress in our lives is positive or negative, our bodies react the same. The crucial factor is how much demand is placed on our bodies and minds to adjust.

There are basically only two ways to deal with stress: 1) Remove ourselves from the stressor (which can be complicated) or 2) Build our resistance to stress by improving our diet, exercising regularly and getting adequate rest and relaxation.

Here are basic, easy things you can do, starting right now, to cope better with stress:

Drink more water. Not sipping, drinking whole glasses of H2O starting the minute you wake up. Walk more—whenever, wherever you can.

Eat your veggies: Steamed or in salads without drowning them in globs of commercial dressings. Try your salads undressed or make an olive oil, vinegar and mustard blend. Add one, two or more pieces of fruit a day to your daily diet, eating it in the late afternoon and evenings when you’re tired and craving junk.  Go to bed before midnight whenever possible. Stop and take deep breaths throughout the day.

And remember: It’s not stress that kills us; it’s our reaction to it.

I’m @DianGriesel aka @SilverDisobedience