Because there’s a lot of extra stress connected with the holiday season, here are five stress-busters to try this month:
- Exercise daily.
- Switch off the news.
- Do something you enjoy.
- Try progressive relaxation.
- Breathe deeply.
Many people who are under stress abandon heart healthy habits such as exercise, which is one of the best ways to relieve stress.
I’m not advocating that you stick your head in the sand, but studies show that the barrage of negative stories that fill newscasts can affect mood.
Get a massage, do some gardening, shoot some hoops, or just take a walk in the park.
One technique to relax involves getting into a comfortable position, then clenching and unclenching (relaxing) your muscles, moving down your body through each muscle group. It’s a tried- and-true technique for relieving tension.
Whether you’re waiting in line at the market or caught in a traffic jam, take a minute to breathe deeply through your nose into your abdomen. This brings more oxygen to your body’s cells, which induces a feeling of calmness and relaxation. Controlling lifestyle, inflammation, and stress are three keys you can use to help reverse or prevent heart disease this coming year.