Stress can indirectly affect our heart by reducing motivation to eat well and exercise. Feeling stressed can also increase the likelihood that we will use negative coping strategies such as increasing the amount of alcohol we drink.
Stress occurs when we feel that we are unable to cope with the demands placed on us. We can address stress by assessing and changing our demands, and by changing our relationship to the things that cause us stress. Here are some top tips for helping to manage your stress:
- Regular exercise has been shown to positively influence our ability to manage stress and reduce symptoms of some mental health conditions.
Take Time to Re-Charge
- Managing our energy levels throughout the day by taking moments to re-charge can help us to better deal with the demands placed on us. This could be taking regular breaks from work, relaxing through meditation, or even a short powernap!
Challenge your Thoughts
- The way we think about our demands will influence how stressed we feel. You can ask yourself questions such as “how would I advise a friend in my situation?” to help re-frame what is going on in your life.
Break it Down
- When we have lots to do, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. When this happens, it can be useful to break down your tasks and plan how you will tackle a situation.
- It is okay to ask for help. It can help to share stressors with a friend or contact a mental health professional via your GP or another service such as Samaritans.
To help keep your heart healthy, why not try out some of our Healthy Heart recipes from our website: https://heartresearch.org.uk/heart-research-uk-recipes-2/.
Or have a look through our Healthy Heart cookbook filled with recipes from top chefs, celebrities and food bloggers: