For some people, an emotionally upsetting event, especially one involving anger, may serve as a trigger for a heart attack or angina. Stress can contribute to hypertension and other cardiovascular risks. Some of the ways people cope with stress, such as excessively drinking alcohol, abusing other substances, smoking, or overeating, are not healthy ways to manage stress.
Learning to manage and cope with stress in healthy ways can improve emotional and physical health. One important tip for managing stress is being aware of how stress affects you. Everyone experiences stress differently, so it's important to understand how stress affects your own thoughts and behaviors. Stress may make you feel angry or irritable, or it may interfere with your ability to concentrate. Many people experience physical signs of stress, such as headaches or muscle tension.
Other important tips for managing stress include:
- Identify sources and triggers of stress.
- Recognize your natural tendencies for dealing with stress, and determine if any of those tendencies are unhealthy.
- Use healthy coping strategies, such as meditation, regular exercise, and talking things out with family or friends.
- Eat right, get enough sleep, and stay hydrated.
- Make time for relaxing activities, such as reading a good book or listening to your favorite music. Take regular vacations or other breaks from work.
- Reach out for support, and accept help from friends and family.