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 your attention on one word, phrase or image in your mind. Repeat this thing over and over, refocusing if your 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 options have negative effects 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.