Managing stress is vital to your heart health. And the best way to begin to manage stress is to realize you are in control of many aspects of your life.
While some things are out of your control - for example, there’s never enough time in the day and money doesn’t grow on trees - you still have choices. You are in control of your thoughts, feelings, schedule, and attitude. You alone choose how you react to stressful situations. SecondsCount can help you learn how to become a more positive, organized and relaxed person who can better handle life’s stress. Choose to get started today!
Physical Activity & a Healthy Diet
There are many ways to combat stress. Start by maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle. Physical activity is often recommended to manage stress. That’s because it helps lower blood pressure, releases hormones that contribute to happiness (called endorphins), and provides an outlet for relieving tension and taking your mind off your problems. Healthy eating is also important. Fueling your body with wholesome foods gives you longer-lasting energy that you need to tackle a day’s worth of challenges.
Stress Management Strategies: “StressBusters”
Beyond healthful food and physical activity, you can manage stress with any technique that helps you relax, regroup and redirect yourself in a positive way, mentally and physically. In general, effective stress management techniques often include:
- Muscular relaxation (such as stretching, yoga or Pilates)
- A quiet environment (such as going for a walk, or listening to soft, soothing music)
- A passive attitude (easy going and positive, not quick to anger)
- Deep breathing, sometimes with the repetition of a word or phrase and
- Skills training to identify and reduce stress.
Of course, sometimes you may fall into a pattern of attempting to manage stress in unhealthy ways. These include overeating or under eating, smoking, drinking alcohol excessively, withdrawing from friends, or even using illicit drugs, to name a few. These behaviors are unhealthy and, more importantly—they do not help you manage stress. Rather, they may create more problems and challenges and continue the cycle of stress.
Break the Stress Cycle
Breaking the cycle of stress is not easy, but it is possible. It is an ongoing process and best taken one step at a time. Click here to learn the steps and how to tackle them.