According to the American Psychological Association, 75 percent of Americans report experiencing at least one symptom of stress in the last month.
Chronic stress has been linked to health complications such as increased blood pressure and greater accumulation of fatty plaques in veins and arteries, which can lead to serious conditions such as heart disease, strokes and peripheral artery disease.
Not only does chronic stress cause negative chemical reactions in the body, but it also can lead to other unhealthy behaviors, like not getting enough sleep and eating an unhealthy diet.
Dr. Russell Lam recommends managing stress as an important component to treating and preventing vascular disease. If you are experiencing symptoms of stress, such as irritability, anxiety, anger, fatigue or lack of motivation, try these tips to reduce your stress levels:
Taking a few minutes each day to practice meditation and breathing can help ease anxiety. Simply sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the ground and clear your thoughts by reciting a positive mantra. Sitting still and taking deep breaths in and out has also been shown to help lower heart rate and blood pressure.
When it comes to stress the saying “laughter is the best medicine” is true. Laughing helps decrease cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, while increasing mood-boosting endorphins. So, tune into your favorite comedy, read a light-hearted book or spend time with someone who makes you smile.
Listen to Music
Another proven technique for managing stress is listening to music. Relaxing to soothing melodies and focusing on the song can help lower blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you can also crank up some upbeat tunes or have a personal karaoke session.
Exercise is an important part of staying healthy, but physical movement also can help reduce stress. When you start to feel stressed, taking a quick walk, climbing stairs or doing yoga can help produce stress-fighting endorphins.
If you’re experiencing symptoms such as numbness in the feet, fatigue or unexplained cramping in the legs, you could be suffering from stress-related vascular issues, which can be very serious if left untreated. Don’t ignore the signs; schedule a consultation with Dr. Lam by calling 214.345.4160 or click here to request an appointment online.
The information contained in this article is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history and are not guaranteed in any way.