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P1215 Women and Heart Disease

C H A P T E R 2 MANAGING HIGH BLOOD Lifestyle Tips: Coping with stress Many women lead busy lives. You may have a lot of people who depend on you, and feel sometimes that you don’t have time to do what’s needed to keep your heart healthy. But whatever else is going on in your life, you need to focus on yourself first. By taking care of your heart now, you help ensure you’ll be there later for the people who depend on you. Your emotional health Protecting your heart isn’t only about eating differently, being more active and losing weight. Emotions such as stress and pent-up anger have been linked to heart disease. Over time, these emotions could raise your heart disease risk. Depression is twice as common in women as in men, and increases the risk of heart disease by two to three times (compared with women who are not depressed), regardless of race, ethnicity or economic background. Even mild forms of depression or depressive symptoms increase heart disease risk. You can’t remove all stress and negative feelings from your life, but you can make an effort to reduce and manage them. Doing the following may help: 77 Take more time to do things you enjoy. Put aside a little time for yourself each day. 77 Spend time around people with the same interests as you. Think about volunteering, joining a club or just meeting friends for coffee once a week. 77 Get more omega-3 foods into your diet. These include many types of fish. Also, some foods are fortified with omega-3 fats. 77 Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or yoga. 77 Know that stress and depression are medical problems that can be treated. Your healthcare provider may suggest stress management classes, counseling or medication. When these problems are under control, you’ll be better able to focus on your health and your needs. 10 abcardio.org


P1215 Women and Heart Disease
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