How to Protect Yourself From Heart Disease?
«In the first year after the stress is detected, the risk of cardiovascular complications increases by 60%,» — says epidemiologist Unnur Valdimarsdóttir, one of the authors of the study. «And in the long run, it remains elevated by 30%.»
It is impossible to completely get rid of stress. But its effect on health is largely dependent on our reaction to it.
«Imagine walking down a street and suddenly someone pops up in front of your nose and scares you, — says Professor Simon Bacon, who studies the effects of lifestyle on chronic illnesses. What will happen? Your heart will beat faster and your blood pressure will rise. The reaction will be instant.» In the short term, this is useful. Such a reaction is needed so that you run away from danger or attack in response.
Problems begin when a reaction to stress occurs without an immediate threat. For example, for people with post-traumatic stress disorder, it turns on simply with memories of negative experiences.
«When stressful reactions often recur, the immune system activates, inflammation develops,» — says Dr. Ernesto Schiffrin, professor of medicine at McGill University. And it can lead to atherosclerosis — narrowing of the arteries. Through them, blood flows from the heart to the organs. With atherosclerosis, they become narrower, fluid movement becomes difficult, the likelihood of heart attack, stroke and other problems with the cardiovascular system increases.
Here are steps to help you protect yourself from stress:1. Go in for sports.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention interviewed more than a million people about their habits and well-being. It turned out that those involved in sports are less likely to suffer from psychological problems. Moreover, in the fight against stress and anxiety, team species are especially useful. If they don’t attract you, choose a walk in the woods, jogging or any other type of physical activity.
2. Chat with people.
Loneliness turned into a real epidemic. According to one survey, two out of five participants complain of a lack of communication or a sense of isolation. And it harms both mental and physical health. So try to spend more time with friends and family. Sign up for group classes on what you are interested in, or volunteer. So you will meet new people and get rid of the feeling of isolation from society.
3. Apply relaxation and meditation techniques.
It has been proven that mindfulness practices help reduce stress response and even lower blood pressure.
4. Eat well.
Food and mood are closely related. A diet that has a lot of processed carbohydrates and sugar leads to metabolic problems and mood swings. Choose the food according to the type of Mediterranean diet: lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish.
5. Get help from a specialist.
Lifestyle changes can help deal with everyday stress, but they are not enough if you have a serious disorder. Do not force yourself to endure and smile. Treat mental health as you do physical: seek professional help.