STEP 1 4 Use Coping Strategies Attending a place of worship is one of several different coping strategies that can help keep stress from overpowering you. Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, experiencing stress can be good when it’s manageable. Challenge can be motivating and inspiring. Stress may inspire us to wake in the morning, and it can motivate us to take care of our responsibilities. The stress of hard work is a good thing as long as you get satisfaction from it. When stress becomes overwhelming, however, it can be destructive. To avoid the frustration and depression that can come from destructive stress, you need tools to maintain your emotional strength and resilience. What are the best tools? Attend a place of worship. Have a positive attitude. Know your limits. Express your feelings to understanding friends and family members. Stay active in your community. Care for a child, or adopt a pet. These are all-important coping tools. Reaching out to others is another important strategy for coping. When you reach out, you feel good about yourself and may help others as well. There are many ways to reach out. You might volunteer in the community, or care for a friend or family member. Maybe you listen attentively to others’ concerns. You might tutor a school child, help your neighbor with a home repair, or visit someone who is ill. Learn CPR and how to take an accurate blood pressure measurement so you can help others maintain their health. You can also reach out to a pet. Studies show that people who own a pet have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels than those without pets. Owning a dog might help motivate you to get out and walk more often. Caring for a pet can also strengthen self-esteem and help decrease feelings Making faith an important part of your life can make a huge difference in your physical and emotional health. Many people who have lived to be 100 years old say that their strong religious faith is what brought them so far. Be Spiritually Active & Reduce Stress Attend a Place of Worship Studies have shown that African Americans who attend places of worship regularly may live longer than African Americans who do not. In addition to living longer, they tend to have happier, healthier lives. While faith requires some effort, it brings rich rewards. So, find time in your life to meditate or attend a place of worship. The more spiritually active you are, the more you may benefit. From communities that provide spiritual and social support to gospel music that uplifts the soul, spirituality is an integral part of African-American culture. Being spiritually active helps bring meaning to life. It encourages you to use coping strategies for life’s inevitable challenges, and it provides opportunities to reach out to others. These emotional dimensions of health go hand-in-hand with your physical well-being.
P750-A 7 Steps to a Healthy Heart
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