Take the Pressure Off
Your air conditioner breaks on a sweltering day or someone cuts you off on the interstate. We’ve all been there, and it’s all too easy to let these situations get the best of us. We spoke with Dr. Glenn Levine, an expert with the American Heart Association (AHA), to learn a few practical tips for tackling high-pressure situations.
Notice Stress in the Early Stages
As you encounter a stressful situation, you may sense your muscles tensing, your heart pounding, and your palms sweating. Becoming aware of this physical response is key to coping with stress. “It’s easier to deal with stress when it is starting to build, than when you become overwhelmed,” says Dr. Levine (pictured).
Dr. Levine recommends focusing your mind on something besides the stress, anger, or frustration that you are feeling. Turn on your favorite song or cuddle up with your pet. Just beware endless distractions, a.k.a. procrastination, which can only compound your stress.
Understand You Have a Choice
Some research indicates that a person or event itself doesn’t cause stress—instead, it’s our reaction to that event. Dr. Levine points out that we can allow the situation to cause us stress, or we can choose not to. That knowledge alone can be empowering in helping change our perspective.
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.