Lower Heart-damaging Stress with Breathing

Stress takes an enormous toll on us. It is frequently easiest to see in our mood and actions. Stress can make you irritable, less focused, more indecisive and negatively impact your sleep. We know that inadequate sleep can cause us to feel unwell. But, stress itself can cause medical problems. Anxiety and depression are very real medical problems. However, stress can cause physical ailments, as well.
 
Around the holidays, stress can mount up: with gatherings of family and friends, shopping, planning and organizing. Having fun can be an awful lot of work that is as draining as it is enjoyable. Worrying about events, changing our routine, going to new places or meeting new people can all be very stressful and have negative impacts on our health. People turn to unhealthy ways of dealing with stress: alcohol, smoking, overeating and other coping mechanisms. Today, we want to take a look at some of the ways stress can harm us and some ways to mitigate it.
 
Studies have linked stress to heart attacks, and it has been shown to increase high blood pressure. Stress can also upset your heart rhythm. And because stress can cause you to overeat or skip exercising, it can cause cholesterol problems that relate to the heart. Stress makes both adrenaline and cortisol levels rise and can cause blood clots.
 
Excessive stress which is not managed properly can lead to increased blood pressure or hypertension.” Dr. Sanjay Bhat of Aster CMI Hospital, explained, “When a person is under stress, the body releases stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol subjected to these hormones over a long period of time increases an individual’s risk to develop blood clots or heart attack.”
 
Managing stress can be hard, but we wanted to go over a few ways, especially around the holidays. Exercises like yoga, Tai Chi and meditation — which all focus on your breathing — can be hugely calming and help you get through stressful situations without your body reacting physically. However, we might not have time when in anxiety-provoking moments to take a break.
 
We like going for short walks — even if it’s just to the bathroom and back, it allows you to extricate yourself physically from what is bothering you. We also like taking slow breaths and refocusing on how well we are doing. The power of positive thinking can help. When something seems insurmountable, remind yourself that you have gotten through every challenge you have faced in your life to stand where you are standing. Put your shoulders back and remind yourself that, “I’ve got this.”
 
If things become overwhelming, reach out for help. We all enjoy hosting, but if you are trying to do too many tasks at once, friends or family are only too happy to help. You can ask someone in advance or ask for help on the day. When you’re a guest, it can be even harder. If a conversation becomes awkward or a situation because uncomfortable, excuse yourself — either to help in the kitchen, to go check on the kids or with the simple phrase, “Won’t you excuse me?”    
 
Additionally, we like to remind ourselves that “this too shall pass.” Sometimes, merely admitting that you are stressed out, acknowledging it and moving on can help ease your anxiety. So, if you have problems coping with the hectic speed and changes related to the season, breathe out and remind yourself: it’s only until January.
 
Speak to your doctor about the best way for you to manage stress today!
November 11, 2019
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