Reducing Stress Can Improve Cardiovascular Health

Health Topics

    Taking on an extra project at work, getting frustrated by other drivers during your daily commute, and arguing frequently with a loved one are all ways you can easily get your heart rate up.

    While a direct link has not yet been found between stress and cardiovascular disease, it is believed that living a stressful life can cause health issues that could lead to heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. Stress has been linked to high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. 

    Being stressed also has been tied to an increase in poor lifestyle choices including smoking, lack of physical activity, and overeating.

    Additionally, living with stress can change the way your body works, according to the World Heart Federation reports. Changes in blood flow, the nervous system and an increase in the likelihood of blood clotting all can have negative effects on heart health.

    By managing stress instead of letting it be in control, your risk of cardiovascular disease is reduced, and your overall health improves.

    The Harvard School of Public Healthrecommends the following ways to manage stress:

    • Exercise. Whether you walk, play tennis, or visit a gym, exercising helps boost your mood and reduce stress
    • Get personal. Know yourself and what helps you relax – maybe reading a book, taking a bubble bath, or listening to  music – and find time to work it into a daily routine.
    • Meditate. Cut down on stress by using deep breathing and inward-focused thinking. Taking a few minutes in a quiet place to relax the mind and body with yoga or prayer can work the same way,
    • Think positive. Choosing to see “the glass half full” and have a positive attitude can make a big difference to stress levels and overall health.
    • Unplug. Deciding to escape from the stresses around you can sometimes be as easy as stepping away from the TV, phone, and computer devices for even just 10 or 15 minutes,

    Making behavioral changes to ease stress can help reduce health problems that can lead to cardiovascular disease and can improve your overall health.

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