Although most women mistakenly believe that cancer is the biggest threat to their lives, heart disease is actually the leading cause of death among women in the US. While lack of exercise, obesity, high cholesterol and smoking are all predictable causes of heart disease, stress and anxiety are also culprits. Recent research suggests that the complicated physiological reactions to stress, including rises in blood pressure, affect your heart health. While there are many stress creating elements, like job strain, social isolation, personality traits, even anxiety producing phobias, more and more evidence suggests a relationship between the risk of cardiovascular disease and elevated stress. Although more research needs to be done on the complicated relationship between the stress, anxiety, emotions and heart health, many cardiac health experts recommend stress reduction as a preventive measure.
If you are a stress case, there are both short term and long term health benefits to figuring out how to lower your stress level. Don't reach for a smoke or fatty comfort food (both are not good for your heart health) when times are stressful or emotionally rough. Talk to a friend, exercise, get enough sleep, or get a relaxing massage, to help relieve your stress. Taking a couple of deep breaths is a simple and cheap remedy; after all air is free.
What is your healthy stress relief? Tell me in the comments section below.