Thursday, March 12, 2009

Economic News vs. Heart Health

I feel overwhelmed, stressed, concerned, worried, afraid, and angry! These are some of the many different emotions people feel daily during an economic downturn. Yes, it is important for health and well being to acknowledge these feelings. But we do not want to let them rule our everyday lives. Stress affects our mood, which in turn raises blood pressure, increases or decreases weight and drains energy. These all have bad effects on our hearts and overall health. So what can we do? First, eat healthy well balanced meals and snacks, staying away from high fat foods when possible and find ways to combat stress. The following are suggested ideas for lowering stress: · Read humorous or feel good stories to calm the mind · Exercise to burn off stressful feelings · Limit your access to news · Spend time with your family doing something fun and free! Go play outside, go on a bike ride or go walking or hiking. · Petting your dog or cat is known to lower blood pressure · Get adequate sleep · Talk and LISTEN to your family · Do something good for others · End each day with positive thoughts such as “I am grateful for…” We don’t have the power to change the news but we can change how we react to the news. Do things to help family, friends, neighbors, and the local community. There are many free or low cost ways to contribute, help at a soup kitchen or donate food or clothing to shelters. This goes a long way in handling the many strong negative emotions that tax our heart’s health. Positive talk and thoughts also help balance all the bad news bombarding us through the media. Keep a journal or as a family, share at dinner what each family member is grateful or what nice things someone else did for you today. So as I lay down to sleep tonight to keep my heart healthy “ I am grateful for my family and good health”. What are you grateful for? What ideas have you used to handle the daily stress caused by the economy?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting and timely article. Thanks.