Skip to content

Stress Relief Tips for a Healthier Heart

Stress Relief Tips for a Healthier Heart

Article Highlights

  • Why you should work to relieve stress

  • 4 stress relief tips to help you relax

  • Info on where to find other heart health tips

Excessive stress on the body can cause factors that can increase heart risk including increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels.[1] It's good to know how to relieve stress on a day-to-day basis, but you should also consider eliminating the stressful circumstances.

In this article, we look at the effects stress has on your body, as well as some easy ways to reduce stress levels. If you feel like you are suffering from stress, always consult your doctor first before changing your routine.

The Effects of Stress

When considering the risk factors, it’s easy to focus purely on physical health aspects such as a lack of a healthy diet, lack of exercise and engaging in unhealthy habits, such as smoking. In doing so, what often gets overlooked is the effects of mental stress on the body and how stress can cause a higher susceptibility. As it turns out, excessive stress can play a dangerous role in if it goes unnoticed and untreated.

According to the American Heart Association, more research needs to be done to reach conclusions on the direct link between stress and high blood pressure. However, the AHA also states that there can be indirect effects of stress on the heart which can lead to an increase in critical risk factors for heart disease.[2]

There are immediate consequences of stress in our personal lives; for some, a lack of physical activity and stress-eating habits may set in. Unfortunately, others still turn to the dangerous behaviors of excessive alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking in order to try and cope with their stress. Engaging in such behaviors has been shown to be critical risk factors for heart disease.

Measures that can be taken to avoid or manage stress are often also heart healthy activities. For example, one can blow off steam by exercising, which is one of the most important activities in a heart healthy lifestyle, as it can lead to weight loss and the reduction of blood pressure and cholesterol. When starting a new exercise routine, it is always best to consult your doctor. To find more information on heart health and general health, explore the Health and Wellness Blog at Schiff Vitamins. 

The following stress relief tips can help you figure out healthy ways to release tension in your life.

Reduce Workplace Stress

Is your workplace stressful? The best time to look for new job is while you're still at the old one! Are you overscheduled with activities and responsibilities? It's okay to say "No" in order to reserve downtime for yourself. Try to remove yourself from the situations that make you feel stressed out – your heart and body will thank you. In the meantime, though, here are some stress relief tips for those moments when you can feel your blood pressure creeping up.

Take a Walk

Yes, even if it's raining or cold outside. Gear up and head out for a few blocks or several miles, it's your choice. Nature is one of the best forms of stress relief. Even if you live in the middle of a busy city, getting your body moving out in the open air and elements is a great way to blow off steam or gain perspective on whatever might be bothering you.

Make Sure You Exercise

We know it can be tough to stick with an exercise regime: you make that New Year's resolution and by April your gym membership just isn't enough to get you off the couch. That's why you have to keep experimenting until you find something that you love. It could be dance classes or martial arts or yoga or weightlifting – there are so many physical activities that can get you the exercise you need to relieve stress. Find one (or more!) that you love and reap the reward of that exercise-induced endorphin rush. If you plan on starting a new exercise routine, make sure you consult your doctor first.

The Benefits of Meditation

Even if you've never tried it before this can be a quick way to deal with stress in the moment. Practice deep breathing and clearing your mind. You can be sitting in a chair, laying down or in any comfortable position for this. And today there are nifty apps that will time you and emit soothing sounds like recordings of singing bowls. Do a little research then try the meditation technique that feels best for you the next time you find yourself frazzled or upset.

Get Enough Sleep

There are a lot of reasons you might feel tired every day, but it's probably just that you're up too late. Eliminate distractions from your bedroom, including any and all screens. Get an old-fashioned alarm clock and leave your cell in the living room at night. If you have a TV in your bedroom consider removing it or implementing a strict "off at 10" policy.

If kids are keeping you up, establish an earlier bedtime for the whole family so you can get things done after they go to bed and still get to bed on time yourself.

Some people have trouble turning their brain off and going to sleep – try meditating in bed and if you still can't drop off, consult a doctor about insomnia.

These are just a few stress relief tips, what have you found that works for you? Be sure to read up on our other heart healthy articles while you're here.

**SIMOPOULIS 2011/P204/A, B (SIMOPOULIS AP MOL. NEUROBIOL. 2011/44:203-215)

† Supportive, but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. ♦The MegaRed 3X formulation uses a self microemulsifying drug delivery system (SMEDDS) technology to support high absorption. Studies show that applying the SMEDDS technology to highly concentrated fish oils dramatically improve the absorption of both EPA and DHA

[1] “Stress and Heart Health” American Heart Association, Jan 2018

[2] “Stress and Heart Health” American Heart Association, Jan 2018

BACK TO Omega 3 & Fish Oil Benefits