Virtually everything your physiology and psychology does while you experience internal stress is bad for your cardiac health. Any time you get angry, fearful, anxious, or excited, your nervous system stimulates your adrenal glands to secrete three hormones: adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol.
These hormones get to work raising your heart rate, constricting your blood vessels, increasing your blood pressure, raising your blood glucose levels, and increasing the secretion of - you guessed it - cholesterol.
But even if it weren't bad for your health, you would still want to know how to lower your stress levels, for the simple reason that stress doesn't feel good.
We could write a whole book on learning how to relax and maintain your own inner peace no matter what is going on around you. But that won't be necessary.
Your local bookstore probably has a shelf full of them already. There are many techniques, all well documented, and many programs that have proven their effectiveness and worth.
It almost doesn't matter which relaxation technique you choose, as long as it's one you like and that makes sense for you. What does matter is knowing the secret for making these techniques really work for you. And the secret is simply this:
The secret of inner peace is simply a matter of priorities. "Priority" simply means what we do prior to other things. Our priority is what we do first. When a stressful external situation occurs, our automatic response is our automatic priority.
So, make it your priority now to learn a new, peaceful automatic response. Just pick a technique and learn it. Today. Because it's your new priority.
Meanwhile, until your new, peaceful response does become automatic, make it your priority to interrupt your old, habitual stress response with your new relaxation technique.
And don't waste time stressing about how persistent your stress response habit seems to be. Just replace it as quickly as you can. Over time you will find that your relaxed feeling returns more and more quickly. And you will be amazed at how soon it does become automatic to keep your sense of humor and stay fairly relaxed.
We discuss stress relief in more detail in The Program for Heart Health. Download it now and take a nice, relaxed look at Chapter 8 today.
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