Manage Your Stress And Improve Your Health
Updated: Mar 15, 2022
Stress increases heart rate, blood pressure, and sub sequentially your cholesterol levels, which all leads to cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of deaths in the United States.. Our liver starts producing more cholesterol in attempt to get you ready for fight or flight response. During stress our body releases cortisol. High levels of cortisol create cravings for cholesterol increasing foods.
During stress the membrane of our blood vessels becomes more permeable, which allows some fluid to leak out of our vessels into surrounding tissue. This loss of fluids makes our blood thicker and raises cholesterol concentration. Blood circulation centralizes between vital organs - brain and heart - and leaves other organs, like our gut, without proper oxygenation and nutrition, hence digestive issues, etc.
So, what can you do?
Meditate - ask me how to meditate or check out my guided meditation.
To create this new habit use "Stack on Habit" method by James Clear. For example, after I eat dinner (your current habit), I will meditate for 10 minutes (new habit).
Breathing exercises - shallow breathing triggers fight or flight response, blood pressure and heart rate goes up, and stress hormones are released.
Breathing exercise to relax - breathe in slowly through your nose for 1, 2, 3, 4. Breathe out slowly through your nose 1, 2, 3, 4. Breathing out through your nose will prolong the exhale. Repeat 2-4 times. Taking slow deep breaths is telling your body that everything is ok and you are safe. Long exhales activate your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) and shut down your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight).
Be aware of screen apnea - working on computer can cause "screen apnea". Your breath gets very shallow or you may even hold your breath. Remind yourself to take a deep breath and sit up straight.
The 4-7-8 or Relaxing Breathe Exercise - developed by Dr Andrew Weil works with your parasympathetic nervous system and have tranquilizing qualities. This method was designed to help you with anxiety. Inhale through your nose for 1, 2, 3, 4. Hold your breath for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Exhale loudly through your mouth 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Repeat 3-4 times.
The relationship between job stress and dyslipidemia (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23282939/)
What are the effects of psychological stress and physical work on blood lipid profiles?