Eat a healthier diet and perform regular exercise to reduce stress
There is a growing amount of evidence that stress plays a major role in reducing heart health. Your state of mind may be just as important as your diet, level of physical activity, and conditions such as high blood pressure. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, high stress is a common cause of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. There’s no way around it—in order to optimize the health of your ticker, it is important to learn how to manage your stress level.
As people are living more hectic lifestyles than past generations, stress has become more common than ever. As a result, stress-reduction techniques such as meditation and yoga have become increasingly popular. An effective way to reduce your stress levels is to dedicate part of your day, even if it’s only 10 minutes, to deep relaxation. Unplug from your computer or iPod, and work on forgetting about the stresses of your day for a designated period of time each and every day.
The goal of such practices as meditation is to learn to deal with stress more effectively. As meditation practitioner Pema Chodron said, “In that precious moment, we start to make choices that lead to happiness and freedom rather than to unnecessary suffering.” You can begin to make dramatic changes in your stress levels by learning to reduce the amount of “unnecessary suffering” in your life.
Other factors such as eating a healthier diet and performing regular exercise are essential for reducing stress levels. For instance, excessive amounts of caffeine and sugar cause many people to suffer from major mood swings. Healthy eating that includes fresh, unprocessed foods, and regular physical activity increase mood-boosting hormones in your body. Healthier eating and exercise combine to promote heart health in many other ways in addition to reducing stress and anxiety. Taking on this comprehensive approach is the best way to optimize your cardio health.
If you have questions about eating a healthier diet to reduce stress, contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a dietitian and nutritionist.