Research has shown that buying or selling a home can be one of life’s most stressful events — right up there with filing for bankruptcy or getting a divorce. Preparation is the key to reducing anxiety. Here are a few tips:

1. Choose your agent carefully
An experienced pro will be prepared for every twist in the road, minimizing stress for you.

2. Home buyers: List before looking
Create and prioritize a list of “wants” and “needs” of home features before you begin touring properties. Waiting to think about what you’re truly looking for in a home until the showing will put you on the spot, creating anxiety.

3. Home buyers: Get mortgage preapproval
Having your finances ready eliminates white-knuckled waiting periods, or unpleasant surprises from lenders after you’ve found your dream home.

4. Don’t take things personally
It’s not you, it’s them. Or the market. Or the lender. Try not to take it personally if buyers value your home for less than what you’re asking, or if a seller rejects what you believe is a perfectly reasonable offer.

5. Keep things in perspective
Consider the worst-case scenario. Will you have to forage for food? Will you need to sell a kidney? Probably not. Other buyers will eventually materialize. Or you’ll find another home you love just as much as the one that got away.

6. Focus on something else
Give yourself a break and indulge in an activity that requires the undivided attention of your body and mind. Yoga lessons, anyone?

7. Find a four-legged friend
Petting and playing with animals is clinically proven to lower your blood pressure. And they won’t interrupt if you need to vent.

Talking things through with your Realtor is another way to de-stress. Find a RE/MAX agent here: www.remax.com/officeagentsearch/.