Senior men exercising at the Heart Wellness Center's gym

Five tips to stay light-hearted

You’re stressing out about a difficult task at work. You immediately grab a bag of candy and start stress eating at your desk.

Stress is bad for your waistline, but it also weighs heavy on your heart and is chipping away at your health. Here are some tips to stay de-stressed to help your heart — and your mood:

  1. Stay positive. Staying positive, happy and even laughing has scientifically been found to lower levels of stress and reduce inflammation in the arteries.
  2. Meditate. Simply sitting quietly and breathing deeply can help you relax and reduce heart disease and high blood pressure. Praying, practicing yoga or simply laying with your eyes closed (without sleeping) is great way to relax mind, body, spirit and heart.
  3. Exercise. Exercise is good for your heart. It keeps you at a healthy weight, gets your heart pumping, strengthens your heart muscle and lowers your blood pressure. Also, the endorphins created during exercise put you in a better mood and melt away stress.
  4. Unplug. Every few minutes your phone buzzes with a new text, e-mail, news headline or social media “like.” Meanwhile, your TV is on every moment you are home while you type away on your laptop. Shut it all down. Even if it’s for 10 or 15 minutes, escape from constant technology, noise and human interaction. Take a few minutes to listen to music, take a warm bath, read a book or whatever helps you de-stress.

The Joe R. Utley Heart Resource Center at Spartanburg Medical Center offers multiple opportunities to learn about heart disease and how to keep your heart healthy. For more information, please call 864-560-4472.