Our expectations can definitely add stress. When you expect something to go a certain way and it doesn't, you almost immediately feel stress. Or maybe you have high expectations for your actions in a given situation that causes you stress.

With my new job last year, came a longer commute: At first I was OK with the commute because I was excited about my new job. Then all of a sudden, I started watching the clock and if it took me even one extra minute to drive to work I was becoming stressed out. Red lights meant an additional delay. Even though I had budgeted 10 extra minutes for traffic, I was trying to play "beat the clock." My expectation of getting to work in a certain amount of time caused me stress.

What expectations do you have that cause you stress?

Is it possible to change the expectation? I have now changed my expectation of getting to work in 30 minutes to getting there in 35 minutes. I also focus on enjoying the ride by listening to my favorite radio station.

Is it possible to change or remove the situation? I can't change the location of my job, but since I get home later at night and I still want to eat healthy lunches, I spend time on Sundays making a week's worth of lunches to save some time (and stress) on weeknights.

Think of just one expectation you have for which you could either change your expectation, or change the situation.