Helping Your Heart this February

Reducing Your Stress During American Heart Month

       Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Half of all Americans are considered “at risk” for heart disease. Due to the high number of people with heart disease, February is American Heart Month, to raise awareness about heart disease prevention. One of the things you can do to prevent heart disease is manage your stress levels. While there are several risk factors that contribute to heart disease that you can’t control, like your genetics, there are many things you can do to maintain your heart health. One of those things is to reduce your stress. Having too much stress for too long is bad for your heart. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, which can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Some people may handle their stress with poor health, such as smoking, eating unhealthy foods and drinking alcohol. It’s important to find healthy ways to manage your stress. Managing stress is good for your health and well being. Here are some tips on how: 

  •  Simplify your schedule – If you’re feeling rushed or too busy, prioritize essential items on your calendar and to-do lists.
  • Practice relaxation techniques – Try listening to calming music to help relax you, or take a few deep breaths. You can also look into stress management and relaxation classes
  • Get enough sleep – Adults should strive for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night. 
  • Exercise regularly – Movement can get your blood and endorphins flowing, relieving stress, tension, anxiety and depression. 
  • Maintain social connections – It’s important to make time for friends and family and talk with people you trust
       If you are having a hard time managing stress, and the stresses become more than you can bear, you can always reach out to a professional. Many people go through hard times and have gone to seek professional help. You are not alone.