Stress is known to have negative consequences on your heart, when experienced on a consistent basis.
Therefore, it is ideal to take steps to decrease the stress in your life so that you can minimize its effects on your heart’s health.
Here are some steps to help decrease the stress in your life:
1. Do Physical Activity
Many people who exercise on a regular basis will tell you that they do it to stay in shape and for overall health. However, just getting active also decreases stress by helping to take your mind off the stress (if playing a sport, for example), having fun, “burning off” that anxious feeling, and giving you more overall energy.
2. Learn to Say, “NO!”
There are probably a lot of good things that you could say “yes” to, such as being on the board of your local church, being part of the parent advisory council, volunteering at your local animal shelter, but sometimes you have to say “no” to things as it is not good to spread yourself too thin.
You have to realize that the world will not come to an end if you cannot volunteer for every committee or event that comes your way. It really won’t! Even if you are a perfectionist, learn to delegate tasks rather than always having to control everything yourself. After all, it is better to do a few things well, rather than start to be unreliable and stressed, because you have no time to do anything well.
3. Retrain Your “Type A” Personality
Related to the last point, learn to let go of some things. Decide what really is important, and prioritize those tasks that need to get done first. Then any extra things you do after that are just bonuses. Remember that Rome was not built in a day, and things can wait until the next day.
When deciding what is important, figure out if it is really important. For example, do you really need to fold the clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer? Do you remember anyone ever dying because their clothes had a few wrinkles on them? Or is it such a bad thing to let the dishes drip dry rather than drying them by hand?
In conclusion, learning to reduce and control the stress in your life, can do your heart a whole lot of good! It does result in some effort and commitment, but if it improves your health and lifespan, then it will be well worth it.