Stress awareness month is in April in the U.S. What’s important is that we are aware of how stress affects us and what we can do about it.
Here are some facts about how stress affects our health:
- Stress is linked to heart disease, cancer, accidents and bad decisions.
- Approximately 90% of primary care doctor visits are stress-related.
- Approximately 1 million people miss work due to stress-related issues.
- Violence and aggressive behavior are caused stress.
- Stress can be either short term or long term.
The basic fight or flight syndrome is a normal and useful purpose for stress. It gets you going in a hurry when you need to.
But chronic stress is very common to many people. We learn to be in a reactive mode most of the time and as we react emotionally to life our heart-rate spikes up and down. This is very damaging to the heart.
How Stress Affects Us
One of the main effects stress has upon us in by the sudden changes in our heart rate and increased demands upon our cardiac system. When the heart rate spikes up or down because of stressful emotional reactions we have to life’s events, this is hard on our heart.
Stress Awareness Month is a great reason to notice what the heart rhythms look like when a person is frustrated. Notice the chaotic pattern of heartbeats. This is pretty normal for a lot of people. There’s no good rhythm to the heart rate and all the sudden changes in the heartrate are damaging to the heart.
Sudden changes in the heartrate are associated with increased blood pressure. As this pattern repeats itself the increases in blood pressure can damage blood vessels and arteries leading to hardening of the arteries.
This process will gradually worsen over time and can increase the risk of strokes or heart attacks.
Manage Stress by Focusing on Your Heart
Notice the smooth, coherent heart rhythms develop as a person is practicing Heart Coherence. The heart rhythms become smooth and regular (or rhythmic). This is exactly the state you want your heart rate to be in. This is the Zone or Heart Coherence.
In this state your heart is relaxed and the heartbeat is regular. This is the optimal state for your heart to be in. In this state you feel well, you think clearly, and your heart is in top shape.
Blood pressure decreases and this allows our arteries to relax and stay supple and resilient. This is what we want for stress awareness month.. to heal the whole heart and become more resilient.
Other Recommendations to Manage Stress:
- Open up and learn how to express your thoughts and feelings.
- Simplify your life. Rebuild your priorities. Figure out the difference between urgent and important.
- Improve lifestyle habits. Get out into nature and do some walking. Eat healthy whole foods.
- Laughter is great medicine for stress.
- Increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids by eating fatty fish or taking omega 3 supplements. This has been shown to have many benefits for both the brain and the heart.
Learn and practice the ancient healing art of Heart Rhythm Meditation as described in detail on this website.
Have fun using Relaxing Rhythms from Wild Divine.
This is state of the art breath and meditation training with computer biofeedback and Doctors Deepak Chopra, Dean Ornish and Andrew Weil (and others) guiding your through your computer.
This package includes a 15 step guided training program that has heart rate variability finger sensors that are used to give you instant feedback to your internal state.
Heart Rhythm BioFeedback and training in transforming stress from HeartMath. 20 years of research has gone into this technology gem.
Heart Rate Variability software has become affordable over the years and this device is both portable (like a smart phone) and will plug into your computer for additional applications and uses.
The emWave2 teaches you how to keep your heart rate in a regular and relaxed state all day long. This is also the optimal state to begin a meditation with.
Stress Awareness Month Related Articles:
- Heart Rate Variability Training – key to heart health.
- Heart Pulse Rate VS Heart Rate Variability.
- Nature’s Music for Meditation. Sound is mystical and healing. Let yourself be soothed and guided by music for healing.