Heart-Healthy Living - Manage Stress - Manage 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 heart disease risk factors. Some of the ways people cope with stress—drinking alcohol, using other substances, smoking, or overeating—are not healthy ways to manage stress.

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

  • Talking to a professional counselor
  • Participating in a stress management program
  • Practicing meditation
  • Being physically active
  • Trying relaxation techniques
  • Talking with friends, family, and community or religious support systems

This video shows small steps you can take to reduce stress. Sit in a comfortable place and breathe in slowly through your nose, letting your stomach expand fully. Breathe out slowly through your mouth (or nose, if that feels more natural). Try to practice this once or twice a day for 10 to 20 minutes.

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