- The evidence is piling up that stress is bad for your ticker.
- There are also studies showing that managing stress is sufficient to avoid heart diseases.
- Some experts recommend seven ways to fight stress and protect your heart.
Stress can affect your overall health. Experts consider it as one of the risk factors for certain diseases, including heart diseases.
According to Kathi Heffner, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, studies are showing that stress co-equals poor diet, lack of exercise and hypertension as significant risk factors for heart diseases.
Below are some expert-recommended ways on how to manage stress to help your heart.
Aerobic exercises like walking, running, dancing and swimming are all proven activities to make your heart stronger, reduce your risk for diabetes and improve your well-being.
Studies have shown that physical activities allow continuous pumping of the heart and movement of blood throughout the body.
Heffner also shares that yoga, tai chi and meditation proves to be an effective technique to lower stress and strengthen immunity as shown by studies.
John Simmons Jr., MD, assistant professor of family medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center of Medicine, adds that setting aside a particular time of the day to focus on yourself can be very helpful.
Have enough rest.
The quality of sleep not only how long you sleep are the essential factors.
If your sleep is interrupted every night, you cannot complete the required sleep cycles, which is needed by the body as a time to lower blood pressure and hormone levels. This interruption can result in hypertension and heart diseases.
Follow a healthy diet.
There are many benefits of following a balanced diet, including keeping your weight in check and maintaining a healthy heart.
Consuming more foods such as vegetables and fruits, fish, poultry and whole grains can also keep blood sugar stable and result in prevention or delay of diabetes onset. Diabetes can contribute to heart problems.
Minimize caffeine and alcohol intake.
Dr. Simmons explains that caffeine can elevate levels of stress hormones in the body. This elevation can cause inflammation. Inflammation is becoming one of the leading causes of chronic conditions, including heart problems.
Too much alcohol can increase triglycerides and blood pressure and can lead to heart failure. On the other hand, moderate drinking can help make the heart healthy, and Dr. Simmons approves a glass of wine to be perfectly fine.
Maintain a positive outlook in life.
Heffner recommends that you manage your anger and not be hostile towards others. According to research, hostility can contribute to heart problems more than being overweight and having elevated blood pressure.
It is also better for your heart to forgive rather than hold grudges.
Laughing a lot can burn calories, and fewer calories mean maintaining a healthy weight which is good for the heart.
So be kind, forgive and laugh a lot to have a healthy heart
Spend time with friends.
Socializing can be helpful to your heart and mental health.
One study has shown that women who were recovering from a heart attack are more likely to have chest pains if they have no support from their social group.
Consult a doctor if you experience depression.
People who suffer from depression may increase their risk of heart diseases. So if you experience depression, visit your doctor so he can recommend the right medication and therapy for you.