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Is stress making you crazy? You may feel that there’s nothing you can do about fighting stress. According to the Rochester Center for Mind-Body Research, stress can hurt your heart, and it can cause our body to respond in a negative way such as coming down with a headache, body aches, high blood pressure, hypertension and depression.
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The bills won’t stop coming. Work and family responsibilities seems demanding. We hear you! Whether it’s a crazy deadline, cranky boss or daily traffic jam, here’s 10 great ways to help you fight stress, chill out and let it go.
#1 Connect with friends
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If you spend too much time on your own, it can affect not only your mental health but your heart health too. So, get out and make sure you’re connecting with true friends. There is nothing more calming to your nervous system than communicating with another human being who makes you feel safe and understood. Social engagement is one of the quickest and most efficient way to calm you down and avoid overreacting to events that you perceive as threatening.
#2 Get moving
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Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing effects of stress. Just about any form of physical activity can help relieve stress and burn away anger, frustration and tension. Exercise is a good way to release endorphins that boost your mood and make you feel good. It can also serve as a valuable distraction to your daily anxieties.
Study after study has shown the benefits of physical activity, even active housework or gardening can pump your heart, moving blood all around the body. This is a good way to elevate your heart rate and make you break into a sweat that helps to relieve stress and give you more energy and optimism.
#3 Eat right
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Eating a balanced diet, with low in red meat and processed foods, high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and poultry – will not only keep your weight down but also have a more direct effect on your heart. It keeps your blood sugar stable throughout the day so you can avoid destructive peaks and mood swings. Healthy eating can also prevent a major risk factor, diabetes.
#4 Cut down on caffeine
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Caffeine is a common ingredient found in a wide variety of beverages and foods for its effect on alertness and energy. Scientist have debated on the safety and benefits of caffeine for years, however it is clear that excessive caffeine can be a problem. Caffeine can also quickly raise your fight-or-flight response and stress hormones, contributing to the risk of inflammation and heart disease.
When too much caffeine has been consumed, you might feel jittery, shaky and irritable, leading to heart racing or nausea. Cutting down on your coffee, tea or even diet soda habit can reduce unpleasant symptoms of stress, fatigue and exhaustion.
#5 Don’t hold grudges
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Nursing a grudge isn’t going to help you relieve stress. Research shows that people who experience more psychological stress hold grudges instead of granting forgiveness. You would be amazed at how strong grudges take root in your psyche and it holds you back from moving on. So, be quick to forgive as this is likely to lead to better social relationships and another good boost for the heart.
#6 Get some sleep
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In this fast-paced life, so many people are depriving of sleep or a good night rest. Sleep is essential to our well-being, and the quality of sleep is key. People who awake in the middle of the night from sleep are unable to complete the normal sleep cycle, which causes the body to respond quicker to stress and inducing blood pressure.
Stress and sleep have a two-way relationship. High stress levels can make sleeping more difficult, and vice versa. When you are tired, you are less patient and easily agitated which increases stress. Hence, sleep is one of the best remedies to reduce stress, better control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. A good night’s sleep allows you to tackle the day’s stress easier.
#7 Don’t drink too much alcohol
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Alcohol is kind of magical. You may be able to drink just a little of it and feel closer to your friends, start paying attention to the moment, feel your mood lift, maybe even put your worries in context so you become more carefree. On the other hand, this magical beverage might actually increase stress in your life. It may become a vicious cycle and you’ll have to drink more and more of it to reap its stress-reducing effects, until eventually it ruins your body, your mind and your whole life.
When it comes to alcohol, the question is: How much is too much? Consuming no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks for men is safe, and perhaps even heart healthy. Having too many drinks can raise triglycerides and blood pressure, and eventually leading to heart failure. The key signal is flexibility. If you’re disappointed there’s no alcohol and you’re having trouble not drinking at a party or a friend’s house, you likely have a problem. That’s a sign of dependency. So, if you can drink moderately, go ahead and enjoy it. But if you’re relying on alcohol to relieve stress, you’re walking down a dangerous path.
#8 Listen to music
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Taking a break by listening to relaxing music can actually make you feel less overwhelmed by a stressful situation. As music can absorb our attention, it acts as a distraction and helps to explore emotions. This means it can be a great aid to meditation, helping to prevent the mind from wandering.
Moreover, playing calm music has a relaxing and positive effect on the brain and body, lowering your blood pressure and reducing stress hormones. Besides, singing or playing musical instruments can also be a great release of tension, promoting peace and relaxation while restoring harmony between the mind and body.
#9 Focus on relaxation
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You would think that relaxing is the easiest thing to do in the world. However, for some, relaxation is difficult and perhaps, challenging especially when it comes to do with time management – habits or work that don’t seem to allow enough time in the day to get all the ‘important’ things done let alone the bonus activities like taking ‘time out’.
Some people have trained their brains to be analytical and so that becomes their default. When you are constantly in your head, you can be oblivious to what your body might need or you’re just unable to switch off. If switching off is hard, then even if you take a holiday, the mind is still at work, so there is no relaxation.
The ability to calm the body is critical for health. To be calm most of the time, and to move back into calm quickly when we inevitably move into the stressed state. Hence, dedicating a certain time of the day to focus on your body and actually relaxing (not caring about the other things that are going on) is very useful to fight stress.
#10 Seek medical help
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Stress can lead to depression, increasing the risk of heart disease and may even shorten life span. If you’re depressed, medication, psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, and other treatments may help. It would be ideal to consult a doctor for medical advice. Visit Life Care Diagnostic Medical Center at Bangsar South to get your health care services.
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We understand that stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people, and they are all around us – in the home, at the workplace and in school.
It would be great to get a regular medical check-up at Life Care Diagnostic Medical Center. Enjoy 5% Loyalty Points from your total consultation bill through a2a affiliate partner program. Kindly contact Mr Vincent Ngam at +6012-299 2119 for appointment.