Althera Steenes, who is at risk of diabetes and heart disease, is working hard to prevent both. Setting higher expectations for yourself doesn't create stressit actually provides a release valve for stress. A 2006 study found that people who set goals were less anxious, felt better about themselves, and found more meaning in their lives than did their free-floating counterparts. "Setting goals boosts mood by increasing the likelihood of success, which results in better feelings about yourself and life in general," says Jennifer S. Cheavens, Ph.D., the study's lead author and an assistant professor at Ohio State.
Chicago Tribune photo by E. Jason Wambsgans
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