"Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one, said endocrinologist Hans Seyle, who in the late 1930s was one of the first scientists to explore the effect of chronic stress on the body.
Turns out chronic stress leads to an impaired immune system, higher blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, arthritis, kidney disease, allergic reactions, obesity, acne and a less-than-ho-hum love life.
A new study also confirms that attitude has physical consequences. If you think your level of stress is hard on your heart, youre twice as likely to die from heart disease or have a non-fatal heart attack as folks who dont believe stress negatively affects their health.
But if thats not enough to persuade you that its time to de-stress, consider this: Unmanaged stress turns harmful genes on and good genes off and those alterations can be passed from generation to generation, setting up your offspring for unpredictable health problems.
So if you want to adopt the right attitude to manage stress, heres our four-part plan:
1. Meditate for 10 minutes two times a day; try mindfulness and progressive relaxation (at sharecare.com).
2. Get plenty of physical exercise: We say 10,000 steps a day and two to three days of strength building for 20-30 minutes.
3. Volunteer for a good cause. Generosity and caring create peaceful, loving feelings.
4. Make extra time for your family, your true love and your friends.
Bonus tip: Make more time for love-making (love is an essential component) its the No. 1 way to manage stress.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of The Dr. Oz Show, and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.