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Heart Health: Limiting Stress

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 27 Feb 2013 | comments*Discuss
Stress Heart Adrenalin Cortisol

When in moderation, stress can have a very positive affect on our lives and can motivate us and help us achieve our goals, but it has also been well researched and documented in recent years as a contributing factor in cardiac problems.Today’s busy lifestyles and financial and emotional pressures can all cause stress to affect our lives.

How Does Stress Affect Health?

If we are exposed to high levels of stress on a permanent basis, it can cause blood pressure to rise, which when constant, causes the heart to work harder and puts unnecessary exertion on the cardiac muscle. It also can subject us to continued high levels of exposure to the stress hormones called adrenalin and cortisol.

Along with this, busy lifestyles may cause us to reduce the amount of time for under taking regular physical activity and also to consume a diet high in fat because of the easiness of consuming fast food or pre packaged meals, which are often high in unhealthy ingredients.

How Can I Reduce Stress?

Reducing stress is something that most individuals will benefit from.It is important to try and find a way of resting and relaxing without worrying about other aspects of our lives. Yoga and meditation are both excellent ways of relaxing and allowing the muscles to return to a relaxed state, but only if mental stress is avoided also. Worrying about work and family whilst trying to relax will not help gain the best result.

Many people have huge financial pressures, so where possible find ways of managing your budget more effectively. Speak to a financial adviser, if necessary, to help discover ways of limiting this type of stress.

Many parents worry about their children as they are now finding that two incomes are necessary. Where possible, flexible working hours are now being encouraged and it is advised that staff who feel they are not managing to find a healthy work/life balance speak to their employer or human resource department to try and establish a working pattern or change in hours that is more beneficial to their life.

Many people think they can relieve their stress by smoking or drinking alcohol, but these activities do not help reduce physical stress and can in fact cause more stress on the body, in particular the heart and circulatory systems.

Tips For Reducing Stress

Follow these tips to help reduce daily stress:
  • Try cooking healthy meals that can be easily frozen and defrosted so that the pressure of providing a healthy diet for your family is made easier through the week when most people have to work a full day.
  • Speak to other local parents and find out if school runs and after school clubs can be more easily organised locally to relieve the pressures on individuals.
  • Try and find time to participate in a regular exercise regime. Plan this into your diary well in advance so that work and family life can be more easily arranged.
  • If you are experiencing high levels of stress due to emotional reasons, counselling can help you to off load your problems and gain some insight into how to deal with this stress more proactively.
  • Set yourself realistic goals in life, no one can achieve absolutely everything, so be realistic remembering what are the most important factors in your life, and give these the most attention.
Stress is a normal part of life, but if experienced in high volumes, can have a negative effect on health. It is important to discover the roots of the stress and learn how to manage these issues sensibly and beneficially.

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