Please listen to a short passage carefully and prepare to answer some questions.
Listen to the tape again. Then answer the following questions with your own experiences.
1) What causes stress?
2) What are the NICE factors? Why are they important?
3) How do we follow Ben Franklin's example?
Lighten Your Load and Save Your Life
If you often feel angry and overwhelmed, like the stress in your life is spinning out of control, then you may be hurting your heart.
If you don't want to break your own heart, you need to learn to take charge of your life where you can — and recognize there are many things beyond your control.
So says Dr. Robert S. Eliot, author of a new book titled From Stress to Strength: How to Lighten Your Load and Save Your Life. He's a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Nebraska.
Eliot says there are people in this world whom he calls "hot reactors". For these people, being tense may cause tremendous and rapid increases in their blood pressure.
Eliot says researchers have found that stressed people have higher cholesterol levels, among other things. "We've done years of work in showing that excess alarm or stress chemicals can literally burst heart muscle fibers. When that happens it happens very quickly, within five minutes. It creates many short circuits, and that causes crazy heart rhythms. The heart beats like a bag of worms instead of a pump. And when that happens, we can't live."
Eliot, 64, suffered a heart attack at age 44. He attributes some of the cause to stress. For years he was a "hot reactor". On the exterior, he was cool, calm and collected but on the interior, stress was killing him. He's now doing very well.
The main predictors of destructive levels of stress are the FUD factors — fear, uncertainty and doubt — together with perceived lack of control, he says.
For many people, the root of their stress is anger, and the trick is to find out where the anger is coming from. "Does the anger come from a feeling that everything must be perfect?" Eliot asks.
"That's very common in professional women. They feel they have to be all things to all people and do it all perfectly. They think, 'I should, I must, I have to.' Good enough is never good enough. Perfectionists cannot delegate. They get angry that they have to carry it all, and they blow their tops. Then they feel guilty and they start the whole cycle over again."
"Others are angry because they have no compass in life. And they give the same emphasis to a traffic jam that they give a family argument," he says. "If you own anger for more than five minutes — if you stir in your own juice with no safety outlet — you have to find out where it's coming from."
"What happens is that the hotter people get, physiologically, with mental stress, the more likely they are to blow apart with some heart problem."
One step to calming down is recognizing you have this tendency. Learn to be less hostile by changing some of your attitudes and negative thinking.
Eliot recommends taking charge of your life. "If there is one word that should be substituted for stress, it's control. Instead of the FUD factors, what you want is the NICE factors — new, interesting, challenging experiences."
"You have to decide what parts of your life you can control", he says. "Stop where you are on your trail and say, 'I'm going to get my compass out and find out what I need to do.'"
He suggests that people write down the six things in their lives that they feel are the most important things they'd like to achieve. Ben Franklin did it at age 32. "He wrote down things like being a better father, being a better husband, being financially independent, being stimulated intellectually and remaining even-tempered — he wasn't good at that."
Eliot says you can first make a list of 12 things, then cut it down to 6 and set your priorities. "Don't give yourself impossible things, but things that will affect your identity, control and self-worth."
"Put them on a note card and take it with you and look at it when you need to. Since we can't create a 26-hour day we have to decide what things we're going to do."
Keep in mind that over time these priorities are going to change. "The kids grow up, the dog dies and you change your priorities."
From Eliot's viewpoint, the other key to controlling stress is to "realize that there are other troublesome parts of your life over which you can have little or no control — like the economy and politicians".
You have to realize that sometimes with things like traffic jams, deadlines and unpleasant bosses, "You can't fight. You can't flee. You have to learn how to flow."
vt. 1. cover (sth./sb.) completely or cause to feel sudden strong feeling 使不知所措，（感情上）使（某人）受不了
2. defeat 胜过，击败
v. 1. (cause to) move round and round quickly （使）迅速地旋转
2. make (thread) by twisting (cotton, etc.) 纺线，纺纱，纺织
n. [C, U] the action of turning or spinning movement 旋转
vt. give a name to (a book, an article, etc.) 给（书、文章等）取名
n. 1. [C] a name of a book, picture, etc. 名称，题目
2. [C] a word which is used before sb.'s name 称呼，头衔
vi. 1. behave differently or change as a result of sth. 作出反应，回应
2. (against) respond to sb./sth. with hostility 反对，反抗
n. [C] 原子反应堆，核反应堆
a. 1. unable to relax 紧张的
2. stretched tight 拉紧的，绷紧的
v. (cause sb./sth. to) become tense （使）紧张，（使）绷直
n. [U] 胆固醇
a. extra or additional 额外的，附加的
n. an amount which is more than acceptable, expected or reasonable 无节制，过量
n. [C, U] 纤维，纤维物质
n. 1. [C] a closed connection of wires through which electricity can flow 电路
2. [C] sth. shaped like a circle 环道，环形道
n. [C] 虫，蠕虫
n. [C] a machine or device for forcing water, gas or air into, out of or through sth. 泵
vt. cause air, gas, water, etc. to move in a specified direction by using a pump （用泵）抽吸（或运送）
vt. (used in the phrase: ～ sth. to sb./sth.) regard sth. as belonging to; caused by or produced by sb./sth. 把……归因于；把……归咎于
n. [C] a quality regarded as a natural part of sb./sth. 特性，属性
n. [C] external appearance, outside 外部，外面，外表
a. on or coming from the outside 外部的，外面的，外表的
n. [C] inner part; inside 内部
a. in or coming from the inside 内部的
a. causing serious damage 破坏的
n. [U] state of being perfect 完美，十全十美，尽善尽美
n. [C] a person who is not satisfied with anything less than perfection 力求完美者，完美主义者，凡事求全者
delegatevt. 1. give (duties or rights, etc.) to sb. in a lower position or grade 授权，委托权限
2. choose or send sb. as a representative 选派……为代表
n. [C] a person chosen or elected by a group to speak, vote, etc. for them, esp. at a meeting 代表
n. 1. [C] a series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order 循环，周期
2. [C] a bicycle, motorcycle, etc. 自行车（脚踏车），摩托车
vi. ride a bicycle 骑自行车
n. [U, C] (placing of) special meaning, value or importance (on sth.) 强调
jamn. 1. [C] crowding together of people, things, etc. so that movement is difficult or impossible 堵塞
2. [U] 果酱
vt. thrust sth. into a space 把……塞入，挤入
vi. be unable to move 卡住
n. 1. [C] a quarrel 争论，争吵
2. [C] a reason or reasons put forward 论据，论点，理由
v. 1. move (sth.) in a round motion through a liquid or mixture 搅和，搅拌，拌匀
2. excite (a person or his feelings, etc.) 使激动，惹起，激起
n. 1. [C] the action of stirring 搅和，搅拌
2. [U] excitement; fuss 激动；骚乱，动乱
n. 1. [C] means of setting free (energy, strong feelings, etc.) 发泄（精力、感情）的方法
2. [C] way out 出口
vt. 1. suggest; advise 建议，劝告
2. praise sb. as suitable for a purpose or for a post 推荐，举荐
a. concerning money 财政的，金融的
a. 1. not dependent (on other people or things); not controlled (by other people or things) 独立的，自主的，自立的
2. not unfairly influenced by the people 无偏见的，中立的
vt. make sb./sth. more active 刺激，激励，激发
n. 1. [C] state of the mind as regards anger or calmness 心情，情绪
2. the usual state of your feelings which makes you become angry easily or stay calm 性情，脾气
vt. soften the effects of sth. 使缓和，调和
having a calm good temper; not easily made angry 性情平和的；不易激动的
n. 1. [C] the thing that is (regarded as) more important than others 优先处理的事
2. [U] the state or right of coming before others in position or time 居先，优先（权）
n. [C] a point of view 观点，看法
a. giving trouble; causing pain 令人烦恼的，麻烦的，使人痛苦的
n. 1. [C] a person who is skilled at handling people or situations, or at getting people to do what he wants 政客
2. [C] a person actively concerned with political affairs 政治家
n. [C] a point in time by which sth. must be done 最后期限
v. run or hurry away; escape 逃跑，逃避，逃逸
PHRASES AND EXPRESSIONS
be out of control
become no longer manageable 失去控制，不听约束
blow one's top
lose one's temper 大发雷霆
stir in one's own juice
suffer from unpleasant feelings 受煎熬
break by an explosion 爆炸
on one's trail
on one's way 在……路上
reduce the amount or quantity of sth. 减少……的数量
keep sth. in mind
remember sth. 记住
Robert S. Eliot