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In fact, 79 percent of Americans are concerned about the level of stress in their daily lives.
There are countless techniques for managing stress. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and exercise are just a few examples of stress-relieving activities that work wonders. In these situations, you need something more immediate and accessible. One of the speediest and most reliable ways to stamp out stress is to engage one or more of your senses—sight, sound, taste, smell, touch—or through movement. You can stay calm, productive, and focused when you know how to quickly relieve stress. Talking face-to-face with a relaxed and caring listener can help you quickly calm down and release tension.
Harvard Health Ad Watch: Aches, pains, and muscle cramps — do well-advertised remedies actually work? American Heart Association issues statement on cardiovascular side effects from hormonal therapy for prostate cancer. Constant stress — whether from a traffic-choked daily commute, unhappy marriage, or heavy workload — can have real physical effects on the body.
It has been linked to a wide range of health issues, including mood, sleep, and appetite problems — and yes, even heart disease. Doctors don't know exactly how chronic stress affects the heart. Most likely, stress triggers inflammation, a known instigator of heart disease, but that hasn't been proven.
Slideshow: 10 ways to stop stress now
Yet stress may influence heart disease in more subtle ways. Bhatt says. For example, when stressed, people often eat unhealthy food and don't have the energy or time to exercise.
Stress can also lead us into other heart-damaging behaviors, such as smoking and drinking too much alcohol. Breaking the connection requires both learning to deal with stress and managing unhealthy habits. These five simple tips can help you do just that.
Stress doesn't have to ruin your life or your health. To learn more about how stress affects your heart, health and well-being, and what to do about it, read Stress Managementa Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content.
Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
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Heart Health 5 ways to de-stress and help your heart July 29, Managing unhealthy habits and destressing is key to change Constant stress — whether from a traffic-choked daily commute, unhappy marriage, or heavy workload — can have real physical effects on the body. Stay positive.
Laughter has been found to lower levels of stress hormones, reduce inflammation in the arteries, and increase "good" HDL cholesterol. This practice of inward-focused thought and deep breathing has been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure.
5 ways to de-stress and help your heart
Meditation's close relatives, yoga and prayer, can also relax the mind and body. Every time you are physically active, whether you take a walk or play tennis, your body releases mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins. Exercising not only helps you destress, it also protects against heart disease by lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your heart muscle, and helping you maintain a healthy weight. It's impossible to escape stress when it follows you everywhere.
Cut the cord. Avoid s and TV news. Take time each day — even if it's for just 10 or 15 minutes — to escape from the world. Find ways to destress.
Simple things, like a warm bath, listening to music, or spending time on a favorite hobby, can give you a much-needed break from the stressors in your life. Image: Bigstock. Print This Click to Print.