3 ways to manage stress for better health

by Latashni Gobi Nathan
published on 12 July 2016

When put in a difficult situation, do you handle stress calmly or get frustrated?

Dr Julian Tan, an interventional cardiologist from Mount Elizabeth Hospital, said: “Emotional stress can sometimes trigger a condition known as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy or Broken Heart Syndrome. Patients who suffer from this may feel like they might have had a heart attack, but further check-ups may show no blockages in the heart. This condition may be brought upon by negative stress like grief, anger or fear.”

To start better managing your stress for a healthy heart, here are some steps you can follow.

1.     Control your emotions

Try to remove yourself from stressful situations and run through the sequence of events in your mind until you feel less affected or come up with a solution.

Dr Kenneth Guo, a cardiologist in the Asian Heart and Vascular Centre at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, said: “Try to have more positive thoughts. Stop telling yourself that everything is always wrong and remember to handle things one step at a time.”

Dr Guo also suggests trying emergency stress stoppers like counting to 10 before you speak in a stressful situation.

2.     Take care of yourself

Exercising releases endorphins, or feel-good chemicals that can make you feel better. Find an activity that you enjoy and can do easily whenever you are free. If you cannot exercise daily, aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes every few days.

Dr Guo said: “Research has shown that walking at least 30 minutes each day may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, blood pressure, blood sugar and lipid profile, and osteoporosis.”

3.     Know the state of your overall health

Be aware of the different aspects of your health which includes your mental, emotional and physical well-being. Don't put off seeing the doctor if you have any health issues. If you have any condition which requires regular reviews or visits to the doctor, do check in with your doctor. If you lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle, check with your doctor before you embark on any exercise programme.

This article provides general information only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Please consult medical or healthcare professionals for advice on health-related matters.