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Everyone experiences stress differently and everyone handles it differently. Happy moments, like a wedding or job promotion, can induce a stress response, while unfortunate moments like family problems or an illness, can also cause tension. How you react to these situations in life can have a lasting impact on your heart health. While experiencing stress on occasion is completely normal, many people suffer from chronic stress which is unhealthy and detrimental to the heart. Unmanaged chronic stress can lead to a host of issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pain or irregular heartbeats. Today the top cardiologists of AMS Cardiology reveal how stress can affect your heart and some simple tips to manage it throughout your day. 

 

How Can Stress Affect Your Heart?

Frequent episodes of stress raise your blood sugar and pressure. These are two of the most common contributors to heart disease. People who suffer from chronic stress indulge in less than healthy coping mechanisms like unhealthy eating, smoking and laziness. All of these factors can have adverse long-term effects on your heart and cardiovascular system. If you’ve been wondering how to relieve stress naturally, continue reading our tips below. 

 

How to Relieve Stress 

Finding ways to relieve stress is critical to your overall health. Once your body is stressed it releases adrenaline, a hormone that temporarily causes your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure to rise. The rapid rise of adrenaline is known as the “fight or flight” response. Your body’s reaction to stress could be a headache, back or stomach pain or you could also feel irritable, cranky or tired. Chronic stress can last for days or weeks and cause high blood pressure which increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. Fortunately, you can manage stress in the following ways:   

 

Meditate – Mindful meditation is focused concentration and can help bring you back to the moment as you take slow, deep breaths. It can help reduce anxiety and tension and allow you to be more aware as you pay attention to what you see, hear, taste, touch and smell.

Take a walk – A simple stroll around your office or a morning walk with your dog can relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety. Walking allows you to get up and active while enjoying a change of scenery. 

Eat a well-balanced diet – Stress can lead to a poor diet. Emotional eating can have you reaching for processed sugary foods and beverages, which have no nutritional value (and can make you feel worse). Instead, try foods like eggs, avocado and walnuts which all help support a healthy lifestyle.  

Enjoy leisure activities – Indulge in your hobbies! Many people feel their lives are too busy for the leisurely activities they enjoy but it is essential to incorporate these actions into your daily routine. 

Practice positive self-talk – How you talk to yourself matters. Practice positive self-talk habits to develop a healthier outlook—mentally, emotionally and physically. 

Prioritize exercise – Physical activity can make your body and mind work and feel great. Join a gym, take a yoga class or walk your dog after dinner to get at least thirty minutes of physical activity into your day. 

Get quality sleep – Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep. Try to eliminate screen time for at least an hour before bed to help you sleep more peacefully. 

Talk to friends and family – Spending quality time with a loved one can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief. 

 

While many individuals suffer from tension and anxiety throughout their days, they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle to protect their heart health. One way to keep a watchful eye on your cardiovascular system is to schedule regular appointments with your cardiologist. If you’ve been searching for heart check-ups near me, stop your search now and connect with AMS Cardiology today.  

 

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