Celebrate Heart Health Month with 8 Ways to De-Stress Your Life

1.       Meditate

 Meditation has the power of lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, and even improving cognitive performance. It’s also simple to do; just find a place that you find comfortable, close your eyes and relax your muscles. Focus on something also, such as your breathing or a specific object. Staying focused is the key to meditation, so distractions don’t find their way into your mind. If you have extra time, take a Yoga class, since it incorporates meditation with physical movements. 2.       Drink Green Tea Green tea contains theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation and gives flavor in green tea. Theanine is also found to be a caffeine antagonist, which counters the stimulating effects of caffeine, which can make stress even worse. 3.       Eat Mood-Boosting Foods Foods such as cookies, candy and ice cream are what many people crave when feeling stressed or anxious. We produce low serotonin levels during these mood states, and these serotonin and  carbohydrate rich foods give us feelings of calmness and relaxation. 4.       Create a Relaxation Room Many spas have relaxation rooms to sit in before and after treatments, and it’s a great thing to create at home too. You can have a really comfortable chair or daybed, with dim lights, or candles nearby, whatever it is that you enjoy and find relaxing. This will give you an opportunity to decompress, with very little stimulus. 5.       Listen to Music Listening to soothing music can be very relaxing, and slow tempos in particular can induce a calm state of mind. It can also slow down breathing and heart rate, lower blood pressure, and relax tense muscles too. 6.       Get a Massage Getting a massage is a great way to free yourself of tension and relax, and adding aromatherapy oils such as chamomile or lavender can be particularly beneficial. If you don’t have a lot of spare time, you can get aromatherapy oils and massage tools to use at home. 7.       Have a Hot Bath Heat relaxes muscles, and taking a long bath can be soothing for the mind as well. Stock up on your favorite bath salts and soaps, get a bath pillow, and decorate the room with candles. 8.       Exercise Daily    Exercise helps to boost endorphins and reduce stress, and research shows that 20 minutes each day is all that is needed to experience benefits.