Keep heart health up by managing stress and anxiety

Keep heart health up by managing stress and anxiety (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The American Heart Association says even if you eat right and exercise, but you don't manage stress, you are leaving out a critical part of what keeps the heart healthy.

There are, however, a few natural ways to relax when anxiety might overwhelm you and put your health at risk.

At the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Conference for high school girls, it's easy to find out what's behind a lot of stress and anxiety.

One senior named Abigail at Oak Hills High School explained, "Homework and grades and college and the whole nine yards."

But since the conference is a STEM Goes Red Conference, the American Heart Association wants the students to know how important stress management is.

"It's very, very necessary for them to start working on that health journey at an early age," Christ Hospital Health Network Director Denise Brown said.

Brown specializes in stress management and resilience. She's one of the inspirational mentors that helps with STEM.

"Stress is critical, and whether it's good or bad stress, your body responds a certain way," Brown said.

One key idea is that you can't manage heart disease without managing stress, and research shows you can actually alter the heart's rhythm with certain things that actually reduce anxiety.

So while each person is different, there are many ways to naturally reduce stress and anxiety. Some of these methods include rock climbing, nine hours of sleep a night, eating a plant-based diet and getting plenty of magnesium-rich foods.

Abigail says she listens to music and hangs out with her family.

It's important to try to balance things out and take one thing at a time.

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