February is Heart Month, sponsored by the American heart Association. This month, focus on reducing your stress, which can improve your heart health and lower your risk of heart disease. Did you know that the heart and brain have a significant impact on each other in your body? Due to this, mental health can have a dramatic effect on heart health, and vice versa.
When you experience stress, which is a response in your brain, the body responds by increasing:
- Blood Pressure
- Respiratory Rate
- Heart Rate
- Oxygen Consumption
- Blood Flow to Skeletal Muscles
If you experience frequent stress, you are putting your body at an increased risk for heart disease.
How do you combat stress? There are many strategies and techniques for reducing stress in your life:
- Meditate. Try sitting down in a quiet, comfortable room and focusing you attention on one word, phrase or image in your mind. Repeat this thing over and over and refocus if you mind wanders.
- Read a book or listen to calming music
- Exercise. Getting your blood pumping is an excellent way to relieve stress and is also great for your heart.
- Eat nutritiously – don’t turn to junk food, alcohol or tobacco. Healthy food will energize you while other option have a negative effect on your body.
- Confide in a loved one.
- When feeling overwhelmed plan and prioritize instead of trying to tackle everything at once. Also, try taking a break from the situation.