7 Tips on how to help your heart cope with stress
1. Deep belly breathing - This is one of the easiest and best ways to lower stress in the body. When you breathe deeply using your stomach muscles, a message is sent to your brain to calm down and relax. Give it a try the next time someone gets your blood boiling… no pun intended.
- Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
- Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose
- Let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
- Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling.
- Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out.
- Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
- Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.
2. Stretching - Just 12 weeks of passive stretching can help your heart. A recent study showed “Blood pressure was decreased, central and peripheral arterial stiffness was reduced, and vascular function was increased after 12 weeks of passive stretching training,” the authors of the study wrote.
3. Quick burst of energy - Jog in place for a minute, exhale through your mouth and inhale through your nose, shifting from foot to foot, side to side, shake your hands in the air, loosely move your head side to side. This will help you get your blood flowing and defuse tension built up in your head, neck, and through the rest of your body.
4.Turn a stressful event into something you enjoy, as crazy as the sounds - For example, if you must deal with a grueling commute, try listening to an audiobook and watch your commute to start to fly by.
5. Dark chocolate - Researchers found that eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate each day for two weeks reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the “fight-or-flight” hormones known as catecholamines in highly stressed people.
6. Aromatherapy diffuser - will help calm the mind and body.