How To Reduce Stress-Related Heart Disease At Wor

Stress at work affects your performance, morale and health. Take steps to reduce stress-related heart disease at work and protect yourself now and into the future.

The Connection Between Stress and Heart Disease  

Numerous studies show that work stress contributes to heart disease in several ways.

  • Stress causes artery inflammation.
  • Stress prompts plaque deposits to break loose in your arteries and could cause a heart attack.
  • Stress contributes to overeating, binge drinking, smoking, and other coping behaviors that increase heart disease risk.
  • Stress affects sleep, which increases your risk for heart disease.
  • Stress increases the production of disease-promoting white blood cells.
How to Reduce Stress

Because stress can be so dangerous to your heart and health, consider implementing these stress-reduction tips at work.

Identify Stressors

Before you can reduce stress, identify what causes it. Then you can create an effective strategy to address and reduce the specific stressors you face.

Prioritize your To-Do List

Often, a busy workload can cause stress, so make a daily list of your responsibilities and tasks.  Then prioritize the jobs that are most important. Because you have limited energy, try to complete high-energy tasks when you’re most alert.

Set Boundaries

Protect your time, energy and emotions with healthy boundaries. Examples include leaving on time at the end of every day or saying no to projects you cannot realistically complete.

Leave Margin

Always budget extra time for each task. With margin, you can stop rushing through your day and will have time to relax when you need to.

Remain Positive

A positive outlook can relieve stress and promote calmness. Make a conscious effort to look for the good in all situations and remain grateful.

Breathe

By focusing on your breathing, you can relax and redirect your thoughts away from stressors. Try this calming exercise - breathe in through your nose for one second, then exhale for four seconds.   

Take Breaks

Regular breaks away from your desk, obligations and phone give you time and space to regroup. A quick walk, a glass of water or meditation is usually all you need to unwind and return to work focused and calm.

Eat Well

A balanced diet fuels your body and your brain. Reach for fruit, vegetables and whole grains, and limit sugar and processed foods during the workday.

Exercise

Move often to relieve stress, relax your body and boost your mood. In addition to daily desk workouts, climb the stairs, stretch and schedule walking meetings.

Reducing stress at work is essential for your heart health. For more information about how you can protect your heart at work, take stress management classes offered by your employer or insurance provider and discuss solutions with your primary care physician.
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