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How can I reduce my stress?

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Stress is a normal human reaction, and while the human body is designed to experience and respond to stress, it is a known factor for poor cardiac health. High and prolonged levels of stress can lead to behaviors linked to increased risk of high blood pressure and hypertension, such as:

  • unhealthy diet or overeating
  • overuse of alcohol
  • smoking
  • lack of physical activity
  • reduced sleep
  • not taking medications as prescribed

Stress Awareness Month is a great time to think about ways to reduce your stress, whether you have other risk factors or suffered a cardiac event. Even if you’re in good health, your heart is worth working toward better stress management and response strategies.

  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Reduce caffeine intake
  • Exercise on most days, even if you only have 20 minutes, helps!
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, even on weekends.
  • Focus on deep breathing and ways to help you relax.
  • Work to make your daily schedule more manageable.

Your health care provider can identify if your stress contributes to health problems and work with you to create a treatment help to reduce stress and improve your overall quality of life.

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