Sometimes we overlook just how much our mental health plays into our overall wellness, especially when it comes to heart health.
The heart and brain greatly influence the functions of one another, and communication is always happening between the two. This is especially true when we’re stressed.
Short-term stress can actually be good for us, but long-term and chronic stress can have a very negative effect on your heart health. Fortunately, there are numerous things that you can do to reduce your stress and help prevent heart disease:
- Swap out bad habits for healthy ones. Smoking, drinking, overeating and being inactive – these are all things that can increase your risk of heart disease. By eliminating these bad habits and choosing healthy ones, like going for a walk, getting a good night’s sleep and eating a well-balanced diet, you can greatly reduce your stress and improve your heart health.
- Try breathing exercises or meditating. Being able to focus on your breathing when you are feeling overwhelmed is a great way to reduce the feelings of stress. Slowing your breath and identifying the flow of air can bring your body back to a state of relaxation.
- Keep your mind in check. Don’t allow your mind to dwell on negative thoughts. Give yourself some positive affirmations, look for pleasures in your day-to-day life and allow yourself to check out for a couple of minutes whenever you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Ask for help. Sometimes being under continuous amounts of stress can be very intimidating and hard to handle alone. Try talking to a friend or asking a manager if you can lighten your workload to help decrease stress at work.