Work out a plan with attainable goals and a time line for reaching those goals. Additionally, many stressful situations are avoidable. If you prepare ahead of time for important events and make contingency plans, you may not have to cope with as much stress later. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Is the source of stress in the past, present, or future? You can't change the past, but you can respond to the present and prepare for the future.