Today’s lifestyle is full of frustrations, deadlines, job insecurity, relationship issues, etc., which has increased our stress levels tremendously. For most Indians, stress has progressed to become a way of life, which has increased the risk of heart disease.


The human body may have a special fight-and-flight response to deal with stress but your behaviour, actions and response to stress is what largely determines its impact on heart health. If you want to lower your risk of heart disease, you have to learn to be stress-free. Dr Vineet Sankhala, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Care Institute of Medical Sciences (CIMS) and Hospital, Ahmedabad offers a few tips to reduce the risk of heart disease through a stress-free life.

Decide to change your lifestyle: Somewhere down the line, we all know we need to change our lifestyle but we don’t act upon that thought. Think about what changes you need to make and target them one by one. Changing your lifestyle in a positive way can help you cope up with the expectations of people around you.

Eat a balanced diet: Good nutrition is a powerful weapon to deal with stress. Your nutrition requirement shoot up when you’re under stressful situation. Your body needs extra B vitamins, vitamin C and zinc for building resistance against infections. Eat a balanced diet, with adequate amount of complex carbohydrates that keep you energised for a long time and prevent mindless eating along with proteins and healthy fats. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables to meet your nutritional requirement.

Exercise regularly: Physical activity releases stress-busting hormones that induces a feeling of relaxation and keeps you happy. Even 30 minutes of daily exercise will be sufficient for reducing stress. It will also reduce cholesterol and increase your heart rate, improving heart function.
Learn to relax: If you often feel stressed or anxious, it’s important to learn how to relax. Some people find meditation, yoga or other relaxation techniques extremely helpful. You could make a list of things that help you relax and schedule one every day.

Avoid added stress: Stress in an inevitable part of life but sometimes stressful situations can be avoided. You may need to identify situations that make you feel stressed at home or at work and try to avoid them if you can.

Seek help: Despite your efforts, if your stress levels are not under control, you should seek help. You could also learn techniques to manage stress. If you think you are stressed or very anxious, talk to a therapist who will be able to decide the best way for you to deal with the situation.

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