Your son can't find his backpack (again) and your husband still hasn't fixed the leaky toilet (three weeks later). Stress is everywhere—and though you may not be able to control what causes it, you do have power over how you react to it. And keeping your cool is a key to safeguarding your heart.
"Stress sets off a surge of hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, in your body," explains WD heart health expert Michelle Albert, MD. "Elevated levels of these hormones can harm your heart because they raise your blood pressure and cause inflammation." So it's important to develop ways to cope when life becomes tense. Keep clicking for six speedy strategies that'll calm you down.
Take a deep breath
Pausing before you react in a stressful or upsetting situation gives you time to clear your head, and breathing more slowly lowers levels of fight-or-flight hormones. Count to 10 and take three deep breaths before responding.
New research shows that "grin and bear it" works. One study found that people who smiled as they did difficult tasks (such as drawing with their nondominant hand) had lower heart rates than people who kept a neutral expression.
Hold your chin up
It sounds so simple, but when your head is lifted and your shoulders are down, your chest expands and you naturally take in more oxygen, which helps calm your body's physical and emotional response to stress.
Click here for more stress management tips from Woman's Day.
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