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Tips to Manage Your Stress from the American Heart Association

June 13, 2011

The American Heart Association website at Heart.org dedicates several pages to Stress Management. Among their Tools to Manage Stress is a pamphlet that you can print called How Can I Manage Stress? Here are some excerpts from it:

Exercise to relieve stressStress is your body’s response to change. It’s a very individual thing--what one person finds stressful may be enjoyable to someone else. Not all stress is bad, either. Speaking to a group or watching a close football game can be stressful, but they can be fun, too. Life would be dull without some stress. The key is to manage stress properly, because unhealthy responses to it may lead to health problems.

It’s how you react to stress that’s important. You can’t control all the outside events in your life, but you can change how you handle them emotionally and psychologically.

Here are some good ways to cope:

  • Learn to accept things you can’t change.
  • Change what you can--how you respond. Be positive, and proactive, not negative.
  • Try to avoid what may upset you. For example, spend less time with people who bother you or take extra time to drive a longer, more peaceful route.
  • Give yourself enough time to get things done at a more leisurely pace.
  • Learn to say “no.” Don’t promise too much.
  • Engage in enjoyable physical activity regularly. Letting go of the tension in your body will help you feel better.
  • Limit alcohol, don’t overeat and don’t smoke.

Learn more:

Talk to your doctor, nurse or other health care professionals.

If you have heart disease or have had a stroke, members of your family also may be at higher risk. It’s very important for them to make changes now to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease

Knowledge is power, so learn and live!