November 29, 2015
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Stress and Heart Disease (cont.)

How Can I Keep a Positive Attitude?

A positive attitude and self-esteem are good defenses against stress and heart disease because they help you view stress as a challenge rather than a problem. A positive attitude keeps you in control when there are inevitable changes in your life. A positive attitude means telling yourself there are things you can do to improve certain situations and admitting that sometimes there's nothing you can do. To maintain a positive attitude during a stressful situation (or to prepare yourself for a potentially stressful situation), keep these tips in mind:

  • Stay calm. Stop what you're doing. Breathe deeply. Reflect on your choices.
  • Always tell yourself you can get through the situation.
  • Try to be objective, realistic and flexible.
  • Try to keep the situation in perspective. Think about the possible solutions. Choose one that is the most acceptable and feasible.
  • Think about the outcome: Ask yourself, what is the worst possible thing that can happen? (Chances are that won't happen)
  • Tell yourself that you can learn something from every situation.

How Can I Reduce My Stressors?

While it is impossible to live your life completely stress-free, it is possible to reduce the harmful effects of certain stressors on you and your heart. Here are some suggestions:

  • First identify the stressor. What's causing you to feel stressed?
  • Avoid hassles and minor irritations if possible. If traffic jams cause you stress, try taking a different route, riding the train or bus, or car-pooling.
  • When you experience a change in your life, try to continue doing the things that you enjoyed before the change occurred.
  • Learn how to manage your time effectively, but be realistic and flexible when you plan your schedule.
  • Do one thing at a time; concentrate on each task as it comes.
  • Take a break when your stressors compile to an uncontrollable level.
  • Ask for help if you feel that you are unable to deal with stress on your own.

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