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  3. Stress and Heart Health

Stress and Heart Health

Release Date: February 14, 2024

Stress is a normal part of life and when faced with too much stress, it can be damaging to your heart and affect your cardiovascular health. Constant stress can put a strain on your heart and can lead to increased cholesterol levels and blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, and increased inflammation to arteries.

If you’re experiencing headaches, upset stomach, inability to focus, trouble sleeping, anxiety, mood swings, and/or neck and shoulder pain, you might be stressed. Here are a few ways to help you stress less and improve your heart health:

  • Contact your healthcare provider to discuss your concerns and learn how to manage and maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Avoid overcommitting yourself by efficiently managing your schedule and prioritizing daily tasks.
  • Get regular exercise to help improve mood and prevent and manage stress. Adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
  • Eat a healthy diet to give your body plenty of energy.
  • Practice relaxation techniques and exercises such as yoga, deep breathing, or meditation.
  • Make time to relax and enjoy your favorite activity. Spend time outdoors, with friends, or escape with a good movie or book.
  • Get good quality sleep to have a clear mind when you encounter problems and challenges.
  • Get help if you need it. Ongoing stress can lead to serious mental health conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety. If you or someone you know is finding it difficult to manage stress, do not be afraid to seek help by way of individual or group counseling, support groups, or a mental health professional.

Your Employee Assistance Program Can Help

Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can provide you with more tools and resources to manage your stress and overall quality of life. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For any additional questions, you can reach out to our WorkLife team at worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 02/14/2024
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