Despite the devastating toll of COVID-19, heart disease remains the no. 1 cause of death in the U.S and worldwide. The American Heart Association, the leading global volunteer organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke, is addressing the continuing threat of heart disease by calling on everyone to live fierce for better well-being and health in this new year. Whether you make a bold declaration or take a quiet stand, the American Heart Association is your guide to a longer, healthier life in 2021. In these uncharted times, we have discovered wonders within ourselves and our communities. It’s time to embrace the power to take charge, to swap challenge for opportunity and claim what is possible, starting now. “The hero in each of us lives fierce, taking control of our own well-being,” says Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association.” Together with people around the country, we are channeling heartfelt intensity into advocating, motivating and educating people so they are empowered to live longer, healthier lives. “Chronic stress, anxiety and depression get in the way of heart health and well-being. Start calling the shots that improve your mental and physical well-being with resources from the American Heart Association to help you build science-backed healthy habits to help you thrive, even in stressful times:* Practice positive self-talk to stay calm. Instead of saying, “Everything is going wrong,” empower yourself with “I can handle this if I take one step at a time.”* Gratitude is a powerful tool that can reduce depression and anxiety and even improve sleep. Start by writing down five things you’re grateful for.* Incorporate mindfulness practices such as meditation into your day. Studies show meditation can reduce blood pressure, improve sleep, support the immune system and increase your ability to process information.* Exercise is a great way to keep your body healthy and release stress. Regular physical activity improves mood, gives you energy and improves quality of sleep. No one should be in doubt with the American Heart Association by their side. “When we look back on 2020, we will see past all the things that didn’t happen and shine again — mind and spirit. When we live fierce together, we are relentless, unstoppable,” says Brown.