Joe Piscatella, Heart Attack Survivor
Institute for Health & Fitness
I believe stress management to be every bit as important to living a healthy lifestyle as diet and exercise. The fact is, living with chronic stress in a world with too much to do and not enough time often destroys healthy lifestyle habits. We know about the rules for healthy eating, but when under stress, M&M’s can quickly become lunch. We know about the importance of regular exercise, but when under stress we’re more inclined to skip the gym.
While stress unfortunately cannot be eliminated, it can be managed. Stress reduction is not a reasonable goal, but managing the stress in your life more effectively is.
Some of the things you can do to manage stress include:
- Regular exercise. This causes our brains to produce endorphins that give us a sense of control over stressors.
- Meditate. Take some quiet time every day to meditate, pray or just be without external stimulus.
- Have a sense of perspective. Everything that happens in life is essentially neutral. It is how we see the event and talk to ourselves about it that causes it to be stressful…or not.
- Live true to your goals and values. A good way to see if you are living true to your values is to take the Tombstone Test. It goes like this: If you were to die today, based on the way you are living today, what goes on the tombstone? If it says “super salesman” instead of “great husband” or “wonderful mother,” maybe you need to analyze how you are living and make some changes. Living with your goals and values in mind helps to manage your stress.
Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about stress. To find a doctor visit renown.org/findadoc.
Joe Piscatella knows the science of healthy living and, more importantly, understands the practical application of that science. He underwent coronary bypass surgery at age 32 and has successfully managed heart disease for more than 35 years. Joe brings a practical perspective to his heart healthy advice.
He is also the author of 13 best-selling books including “Positive Mind, Healthy Heart!” and “The Healthy Heart Cookbook.” He is a frequent guest on television and radio programs that include CNN, the “Today” show, “Fox News” and “Good Morning America,” and is a “guest expert” on WebMD.