Managing stress is important for your overall health. While more research is needed to determine the effect of stress on heart disease, we do know that stress can affect your behaviors that increase your risk for developing heart health problems.
Stress can lead you to over-eat or eat poorly, prevent you from exercising, and zap you of your energy. So, it’s important for your health to learn to better manage stress.
Ways to Decrease Stress
The following ideas may help you release tension and decrease stress:
- Go for a walk or do other exercises
- Practice a few minutes of deep breathing
- Pray or meditate
- Buy gadgets to help you reduce anxiety at night such as a weighted blanket.
- Practice a craft, such as crochet, knitting, beading, needlework, painting, or coloring
- Listen to relaxing music
- Read a book
- Watch a funny movie or television show
- Write down your thoughts or worries in a journal
- Do something nice for yourself
The key is to take yourself out of stressful moments or situations. You don’t have to physically leave the space – you can simply distract yourself or practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing.
If you feel that stress is overwhelming and unmanageable, talk to your healthcare provider. You may need medication to help with anxiety, or you may need a referral to a therapist who can help you develop ways to cope with the stress.