- A Visual Guide to Heart Disease
- Medical Illustrations of the Heart Image Collection
- Take the Heart Disease Quiz!
- Find a local Cardiologist in your town
- Heart disease and stress introduction
- How Does Stress Increase the Risk for Heart Disease?
- Does Stress Affect Everyone the Same?
- What Causes Stress?
- What Are the Warning Signs of Stress?
- How Can I Cope With Stress?
- How Can I Keep a Positive Attitude?
- How Can I Reduce My Stressors?
- How Can I Learn How to Relax?
- Guidelines for Healthy Eating to Fight Stress
- What if Sleep Problems Are Contributing to my Stress
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.