Managing your stress is imperative to maintaining good health. It has been shown that individuals with high stress levels have a high incidence of heart disease. We’ve all heard stories of people who have had heart attacks due to high levels of stress.
When you’re nervous, you feel like you have ‘butterflies’ in your stomach. When you lose a friend, it actually feels like your heart is ‘heavy’… and we often say that a ‘weight has been lifted off our shoulders’ when a problem is settled.
So, what are these ‘butterflies’ and imaginary ‘weights’ that pull your heart and shoulders down?
The answer, of course, is stress. The weight and butterflies are just physiological responses to the stress. In reality, your body releases stress chemicals into your body and over prolonged periods, it can take a severe toll on your health and age you beyond your years.
Getting control of your stress is of paramount importance to having a healthy body, mind and heart. In this article, you’ll learn 7 tips that will help you to do this.
You MUST be proactive when it comes to de-stressing. Do not assume that stress will go away on its own. This is the biggest mistake people make. They live like robots and repeat the same monotonous routine daily.
Go to work, get stressed, come home, eat, sleep, wake up stressed… go to work… and as you can see, it never ends. Do not procrastinate your breaks.
Take time to laugh and have fun. Do not feel guilty. We live in a hectic and chaotic society that’s focused on material pursuits and success, while sacrificing peace of mind and health in the process.
At the end of the day, what really matters is that you are happy. Happiness is found in living and not in the chase. Focus on the little pleasures in life. Watch a comedy. Go for a movie. Swim in the beach. Ride a rollercoaster.
Do what it takes to give you a mental break from the stresses that weigh you down. When it seems like nothing you do will make you happy, that’s when you MUST do something. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, just do something that engages your mind and body so that you get that mental break.
Get at least 7 hours of sleep a day. The Dalai Lama, once said that sleep is the best meditation. Get good sleep daily.
Keeping a journal is an excellent way to relieve stress. Putting your thoughts and emotions on paper can be cathartic. It’ll help to clear your mind too. Later on, when you’ve moved past the problem, you can look back and read your journal and you’ll realize that stressing out was pointless.
Focus on the Now
Don’t worry what troubles tomorrow will bring. Just focus on dealing with today. Many stressed out people create imaginary situations and problems in their mind, and in most cases, these never come to pass.
Focus on today and let tomorrow take care of itself. Today has enough problems of its own. Don’t trouble your heart with unnecessary worries.
This is one of the hardest things to do, and yet, it’s one of the best things that you can learn to do. Do not judge people, situations, circumstances, etc. Live in this world, but not of it.
If you look at your colleague and he has a better car, you may feel stressed out that your existence is pathetic and poor. You’ve judge yourself unnecessarily. Keep your spirits up, and work towards your goals. Don’t put yourself down by judging and comparing.
This applies to your spouse, kids, job, material possessions, etc. Every single time you judge or compare, you’ll probably end up dissatisfied. Accept your life for what it is, and strive to do better. Your heart will thank you for it.
Exercise daily and take up physical activities that you love. Exercise is more than just a great stress reliever. It has a tremendous impact on your body and mind too. Your stamina gets better. Your muscles and bones get stronger. Your mind becomes clearer.
There are so many benefits of exercise that you just cannot afford to not do it. The “I have no time” excuse doesn’t carry any weight here. Exercise is just too important to ignore. People who have no time for it, often end up not having much time on earth either.
Motivate Yourself Regularly
Keep your spirits up by motivating yourself regularly. Motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar once said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
He’s absolutely right. There are thousands of motivational videos on YouTube, and they’re all free for you. Experts like Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, Les Brown and many more have tons of advice on how you can live life in a more fulfilling way.
All you need to do is watch them. These speeches will reduce your stress, raise your energy levels and give you the hope and strength to take life on and be a winner.
Observe these 7 tips and do whatever it takes to reduce your stress. One of the keys to having a healthy heart is to not sweat the small stuff. Get rid of as much stress as you can. Your heart will thank you for it.
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I’m excited to talk about this topic today because not only do I truly believe that you have the power to reverse heart disease and lower high blood pressure to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of these chronic diseases so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
As you may already know, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you improve blood pressure and reverse heart disease. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.
Tools to Improve Heart Health
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Since weight management is very important in blood pressure control, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor.
Remember, healthy lifestyle behaviors–like eating a whole-foods plant-based diet that is low in sodium, being physically active, and stress management are the best ways to prevent and control high blood pressure. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use.
Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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