Do you feel like you are worried and stressed out each day more than you are feeling happy? This is something you need to take care of now. Anger, stress, and worry release a cascade of stress hormones that increase your blood pressure and blood sugar, depress immunity, slow digestion, and make you feel downright mean. Nature intended stress to be a short-lived fight-or-flight response to a threat. But modern life can lead to chronic stress- and to far-reaching impacts on your health.
Studies at the University of California, San Francisco, show that excess cortisol – an important stress hormone – prompts your body to store extra fat around your abdomen and to overeat high-fat sugary foods. Both raise your odds for heart disease and diabetes. Meanwhile, stress hormones make cells throughout your body less sensitive to insulin, leading to higher blood sugar levels. And in a three-year Harvard Medical School study of 516 people with coronary artery disease , those with the highest anxiety levels were 6 percent more likely to have a heart attack or die than people who said they felt peaceful most of the time.
In a Duke University study of 127 healthy men and women, those who scored highest on test of anger an hostility had levels of c-Reactive Protein (CRP) – a marker of heart-threatening inflammation – two or three times higher than calmer study volunteers. The more negative their moods, the higher their CRP levels, and the greater their risk for future heart disease and stroke.
So, as you can see it is very important that if anger and worry is a big part of your life now, it is time to take some action to turn things around. Here are some things you can do right away.
Train yourself to stop getting stressed so easily. You’ve heard it often: Stress isn’t created by people or situations; it’s entirely caused by how you react to them. You can let an obnoxious child, boss, or sales clerk get to you, or you can take a deep breath and decide not to let yourself react strongly or emotionally. So next time you feel a stressful situation emerging, work hard at managing it and staying cool. In time, you’ll succeed wonderfully!
Learn a formal stress-relief process. Among the most proven are yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. Consider these essential tools for health, no unlike aspirin for a headache.
Try progressive relaxation. Close your eyes, breathe calmly, and release tension in each part of your body beginning with your feet and working up into your neck and head.
Rediscover your Optimism. No one is born a pessimist; it is a learned behavior. Regaining your sense of hope a go a long way toward stifling stress or regaining a sense of happiness.
If stress is taking a significant toll on your attitude and health, talk to a cognitive therapist. You’ll learn how to see yourself and your thought process in a new, more objective light.
Eat healthy and exercise. A healthy lifestyle does wonders for your ability to manage stressful situations.
Enjoy a relaxing hobby. Knitting, building model airplanes, making pottery… whatever you love and that can immerse yourself in will calm you down.
Rediscover silliness. One of the secrets of achieving happiness is to acknowledge that in every grown man resides a young boy, and in every mature woman, a young girl. Our bodies may age, but our spirits needn’t, and on some matters, shouldn’t! So don’t suppress your sense of fun and silliness. At any age, it’s perfectly appropriate to laugh at comedians, have a pillow fight, make silly faces at each other, and get a little saucy with your intimates. If you have lost your sense of humor, you need to do what it takes to bring it back, even if it’s just renting goofy movies. Treat it as a doctor’s prescription for your health!
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