Christmas comes and besides a few days of rest and the joy of small and familiars meetings also can bring a double dose of stress. Stress has been linked to a wide range of health issues including mood, sleep, appetite problems and even heart disease.
Stress may affect heart disease subtly, because it causes some people to act in a way that increases their risk of heart disease. For example, when a person is stressed often eat foods that are not healthy and have no energy or time to exercise. Stress can also lead to other heart-damaging behaviors such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol.
There are several tips that can help combat stress and control unhealthy habits:
- Stay positive – it is found that laugh lowers levels of stress hormones, reduces inflammation in the arteries and increases levels of good cholesterol.
- Meditate – this practice of self-focusing and deep breathing reduces risk factors for heart disease such as hypertension. The yoga and prayer, close to meditation, can also relax the mind and body.
- Make exercise – whenever you are physically active, either taking a walk or playing tennis, the body releases chemicals that promote good spirits called endorphins. Exercises relieve stress, protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure, strengthening the heart muscle and help maintain a healthy weight.
- Disconnection – it is impossible to escape the stress when you are online everywhere. Avoid emails and television news. Take a moment each day, even if they are only 10 or 15 minutes to escape the world.
- Discover your own way – simple things like a warm bath, listen to music or spend time doing a hobby can give you that much needed break to overcome the most stressful aspects of everyday life.
Less stress – lower blood pressure
When blood pressure is high – overworked heart pumps blood throughout the body. This extra work may lead to a weakening of the heart muscle and possible organ damage with the time. The arteries also suffer when blood pressure is high. The incessant pounding of blood makes the artery walls harden and narrow, preparing them to potential stroke, kidney failure and cardiovascular disease.
A healthy lifestyle when there is no smoke, the extra weight is lost, foods are rich in nutrients and regular exercise is done is the basis for preventing and treating hypertension. Managing stress is another important change in lifestyle that can help reduce blood pressure. Blood pressure decreases when the relaxation response is practiced even during simply deep breathe for several minutes to calm the body. Regular practice of the relaxation response could help reap more benefits in the long run.