Heart Health and Stress

Your heart health is impacted by your stress levels. Which means, taking care of your mental health will improve your physical health as well. This Valentine’s Day prioritize your heart by reducing stress and showing yourself some love with these healthy behaviors.

We often think about stress as a natural reaction to bad things happening. But stress can also be a result of positive change in your life. Such as, planning a wedding, buying a house, getting a promotion, or retiring. Regardless of the cause, it’s how much stress you experience—and how you cope with it—that can have a direct impact on your heart health.

Your Coping Behaviors Matter to Your Heart Health

We all create our own set of coping behaviors to deal with stress. Some of these behaviors are healthy. But some can be unhealthy and cause more issues to our physical health.

According to the American Heart Association, stress may contribute to poor health behaviors linked to increased risk for heart disease and stroke, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Overeating
  • Substance use, including alcohol
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Self-isolation
  • Oversleeping or under-sleeping
  • Not taking medications as prescribed

These behaviors can lead to or exacerbate health conditions, such as:

  • Irregular heart rate and rhythm
  • Digestive problems
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Inflammation
  • Reduced blood flow to the heart
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases

Healthy Behaviors for Your Heart

Regularly practicing the following 6 behaviors can help reduce stress levels and improve your heart health:

1. Evaluate sources of stress.

Understanding where your stress is coming from can help you develop unique tools to cope. Identify which stressors are in your control and make the necessary changes to reduce them.

2. Engage in movement you enjoy.

You don’t need to join a gym to get the benefits of exercise. Consider a nature walk, gardening, yoga, or dancing.

3. Spend time with loved ones.

Whether you’re in-person or chatting through text, it’s important to connect and nurture relationships with others.

4. Create a sleep routine.

A consistent ritual at night will signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. Aiming to wake up at the same time each morning can help regulate your circadian rhythm.

5. Change your inner dialogue.

Pay attention to how you speak to yourself. Is it kind? Shift your words to the positive when you start to criticize yourself.

6. Eat foods that help you feel your best.

Focusing on weight loss can cause more stress. Instead, eat a wide variety of foods that are easy to digest, enjoyable, and give you energy.

Carebridge Can Help the Heart Health of Your Organization

We offer specific programming to help reduce stress and increase resiliency. Partnering with Carebridge ensures your employees and their family members will have free access to:

  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Virtual Support Groups
  • Mindfulness Practice
  • 1:1 Life Coaching
  • Smoking Cessation Program
  • Mindful Eating Series
  • Live and On-Demand Trainings

We also offer customized programming based on the needs of your industry or organization. Contact our sales team today by emailing sales@carebridge.com.