Constant stress at work and home can have a cumulative effect. Stress increases blood pressure and heart rate. It increases levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can negatively affect health. Most things that cause stress today, however, are not as dangerous to our physical well-being as the stress itself.
Find somebody to talk to if you are feeling stressed. Seek out a trusted friend, speak with a therapist, or take advantage of our support groups at the Heart Center. You may also turn to mindful relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga.
A 2012 study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes found that just a few minutes of meditation could lower blood pressure and risk of a heart attack or stroke – even if you already have heart disease. The study, which followed 201 African-American participants for more than five years, found that those who meditated regularly were almost half as likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or die from heart-related issues.
Almost any type of quiet contemplation can help you relax and relieve stress. Tai chi, sometimes known as moving meditation, is low-impact and requires full concentration to maintain balance while performing a series of gentle movements. Yoga too may help reduce stress levels. It can lower blood pressure and the stretching can increase flexibility, which may even help prevent injury as you introduce moderate to vigorous intensity workouts into your lifestyle.
The Heart Vascular & Leg treats the whole person, not just the illness. That is why in addition to the diagnostic services and cardiovascular treatments we provide, we also offer risk factor assessments and management, counseling, support groups, and patient education. We believe in heart health through prevention, maintenance, and dedicated treatment. To schedule a medical consultation, call us today at 661-324-4100.