Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living!
In our daily lives, we come across many situations, people, events, occasions, or things that do not please us or our heart. Since we're social creatures, we're expected to ignore our feelings and do things as per the norms, be it at work, home, or social gatherings, right? But do you realize that in the race for pleasing others, you miss out on what your heart really wants?
The constant stress you face always puts you in a fight or flight situation, which increases blood flow to your muscles, dilates your eyes, and increases your resting blood pressure as well. It also releases the hormone cortisol, which increases your blood sugar and cholesterol levels to prepare your body to deal with unpleasant things.
This causes a major strain on your heart as it has to work more than normal to keep up with the havoc in the body. But when you do things you enjoy or love, your body releases happy hormones and growth hormones, which help the body recover and allow your heart to be at ease.
While it may not be possible to have things your way all the time or run away from problems, you can definitely try to do one or more of these activities everyday to help cope with unwanted stress on your heart:
Breathe: This is the simplest thing you can do to calm your body and heart. Just take 2 minutes every 2 hours and focus on your breathing. This helps reduce your heart rate and increases its efficiency.
Take a step back: All you need to do is step away from whatever you're doing, let yourself loose, and relax. You can do it for 3-4 minutes every 3-4 hours in a day. Switching off from the chaos around helps your brain get enough blood flow and relaxes your heart.
Dance: Let your hair loose and just dance like no one's watching. This takes you away from the monotony and pressure of that moment and helps you bounce back with a bang.
Hear your favourite track: Music has the power to calm your nerves and muscles and reduce your heart rate. Hear a track that makes you feel absolutely pleasant, even if it means listening to a song for as less as 3 minutes.
Pick a hobby: Try to understand yourself better, notice what makes you feel beautiful, and connect to yourself. Be it painting, singing, driving, stitching, gardening etc., you can choose any activity that helps you relax.
Read something positive: When you read positive and motivational books, you feel enlightened and charged up to face anything. It also changes your outlook towards life and people, helping you understand understand others better as well as not overreact in tough situations.
Meet/Talk with your favourite person: Sometimes you just need that one human being to make you feel awesome. Connecting with that person will help you feel special and forget your troubles.
Cook healthy: Cooking is a great stress buster and can also help you to connect with your family members. Try some fun and interesting healthy recipes to surprise your family.
Exercise: Just about 30 minutes of a great workout can make you feel superhuman as well as make your heart work better..
Ultimately, your heart is a smart organ and you can't fool it. So amongst all the uninvited situations, make way for some of the necessary ones to allow your heart to heal and take a break.