Manage Stress the Healthy Way

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When the phone is ringing, the house is a mess and everyone in the family needs something right away, it may seem impossible to slow down. Stress is a normal part of life that everyone experiences, but it doesn’t have to be negative. Don’t just cope with stress — learn to embrace it!

Learn how to de-stress

Stress can set off a chain reaction of events. It can lower your immune system, induce poor eating habits and weight gain, increase heart rate, increase blood pressure and in turn damage the artery walls. But you can fight stress the healthy way with these tips:

Talking with your family and friends.
Your family and friends are there to help support you. Talk with them about your life, your goals and your feelings as a way to de-stress and add a little love to your life.

Exercise daily.
Physical activity is a great way to relieve physical and mental tension. When you go for a walk or engage in other vigorous exercise, you’re building muscle, de-stressing and having fun!

Laugh it off.
Laughter is one of the best ways to boost your mood and change your attitude. If something is funny, laugh! Laugh out loud and often.

Slow down.
Take it slow and take a moment for yourself. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Repeat a few times to help you de-stress.

Use positive self-talk.
Your words have power. Tell yourself that you can and will accomplish anything you set your mind to.

How stress can motivate you

Stress can be a great motivator in your life. When you’re stressed, you have the power to change your situation for the better. Turn your stress around by:

  • Getting organized. Add a little organization to your life by keeping to-do lists up to date and crossing off items when you’re done. When you focus on one task at a time, you’re keeping your stress under control.
  • Giving up bad habits. When you know what causes your stress, you know what you need to change. Too much caffeine, alcohol or smoking can increase your stress levels. Now is the perfect time to limit your caffeine and alcohol intake and stop smoking.
  • Giving back. Volunteering is an easy way to help others while feeling good about yourself. Make dinner for a friend during a rough time, donate healthy food to a local food bank or help clean up a community park.

Take a few minutes to create your own Stress Reduction Action Plan and find more resources on stress and your health at heart.org.

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