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The Heart of Stress

Anxiety may be causing more than just a headache. Find out how successfully managing stress could lead to a healthier heart, too.

We all experience some level of anxiety every day, whether it’s from work, relationships or unexpected responsibilities. While a normal level of stress is manageable, life circumstances that seem out of your control may make you feel helpless.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, this type of acute, long-term stress is associated with high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.

You can’t eliminate stress, but you can make positive changes to your lifestyle to help you handle stress better. Try the following activities to reduce anxiety in your life and keep your heart healthy.

• Breathe. Join a yoga class and learn deep breathing exercises to perform every day.

• Flex. Aerobic and weightlifting exercises can decrease your resting heart rate and boost your energy and ability to focus.

• Sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults sleep at least seven to nine hours every night.

• Talk. Discuss day-to-day issues with family and friends and lean on them for support.

• Counseling. In conjunction with other stress-reduction activities, counseling programs may be necessary, depending on the severity of stress.

“We can’t always resolve the root issues that cause stress, such as financial burdens or family sickness,” says John Naus, M.D., psychiatrist on the medical staff at Texas Health Springwood Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford. “However, good organizational skills and healthy habits can go a long way in managing the effects of stress.”

If stress is keeping you from enjoying life, Texas Health Springwood can help. To schedule an appointment for a free assessment, call 817-355-7777.

Fall/Winter 2011

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