Managing stress for cardiac health: 5 tips to safeguard your heart amid pressure | Health

In today’s fast-paced world, stress has become an almost constant companion for many of us and while a certain level of stress is normal, excessive and chronic stress can take a toll on our health, particularly our heart. According to the GOQii India Fit Report 22-23’s Stress and Mental Health Study, a staggering 24% of Indians are grappling with stress, primarily attributed to the current work situation and financial instability.

Managing stress for cardiac health: 5 tips to safeguard your heart amidst life’s pressures (Pixabay)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Tilak Suvarna, Senior Interventional Cardiologist at Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai, shared the good news that there are steps we can take to manage stress and protect our heart health.

1. Prioritise Self-Care: Start by taking care of yourself both mentally and physically. Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether practicing yoga, meditation, or walking in nature. Prioritising self-care helps reduce the physiological and psychological effects of stress.

2. Stay Active: Regular physical activity is a powerful stress buster and key to maintaining heart health. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming.

3. Eat Heart-Healthy Foods: A balanced diet plays a significant role in managing stress and supporting heart health. Focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid excessive consumption of processed foods, sugary snacks, and high-sodium meals.

4. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and lower the risk of heart disease. Mindful breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation can all promote relaxation and emotional well-being. These practices can also improve sleep quality, which is crucial for heart health.

5. Build a Support System: Connecting with friends and loved ones can provide emotional support during stressful times. Don’t hesitate to share your feelings and concerns with trusted individuals. Talking through problems can often lead to solutions or provide a fresh perspective.

He concluded, “Remember that stress is a normal part of life, but it should not control your life or endanger your heart health. By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you can better manage stress and protect your heart. Additionally, it’s essential to monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and overall cardiovascular health regularly. By addressing stress and adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and enjoy a happier, more fulfilling life. Your heart deserves the care and attention necessary to thrive in the face of life’s challenges.”

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