Managing stress

Research suggests that an emotionally upsetting event—particularly one involving anger—can serve as a trigger for a heart attack or angina in some people. Stress can contribute to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risks. Some of the ways people cope with stress—drinking alcohol, abusing other substances, smoking, or overeating—are not healthy ways to manage stress.

Learning how to manage stress and cope with problems can improve your emotional and physical health. Consider healthy stress-reducing activities such as:

  • Visiting a qualified mental healthcare provider
  • Participating in a stress management program
  • Practicing meditation
  • Being physically active
  • Trying relaxation therapy
  • Talking with friends, family, and community or religious support systems

Ask your doctor what kinds of stress management, if any, are safe for you.