Use this plan created by preventative cardiologist Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum to fix chronic stress issues.
1. Assess Your Stress
Use this checklist to identify your stressors. Once you've done that, rank them in order from smallest stressor to largest. This is crucial, as it will help you realize you can't spend your life sweating the small stuff. You don't want to have the same physical responses to small stressors as you do to larger ones. Ranking your stressors will help you shrug the small stuff off.
2. Practice Alternate Nostril Breathing
When a stressful situation does pop up, this technique will help you calm down. Hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, and then exhale through the right nostril. Continue the pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb and exhaling through the left nostril. Breathing out and in through one nostril at a time helps dilate your arteries, decreases blood pressure and slows down your heart rate and allows your heart to pump more blood with less effort.
3. Harness Your Worry
Don't let yourself fall asleep with thoughts racing through your head. At least two hours before bed, sit down for 30 minutes and write your to-do list for the next. Put it in a place you can't easily get to and if you forgot something, add it in the morning. Avoid leaving sticky notes and pens around the bedroom to jot down last-minute thoughts.