Stress Reduction Self-Help Advice

Written by Heather Kim

Here's advice on nine wonderful ways to succeed at reducing stress. Yes, it does involve getting fresh air and sweating.

You can reduce your risk of heart disease, the number-one cause of death in the United States, with some simple lifestyle changes in diet, exercise and stress reduction.

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1. Lift weights. A couple of weight-lifting sessions a week can reduce blood pressure and body fat levels as well as improve glucose metabolism.

2. Get a pet. Animal companionship helps to reduce high blood pressure caused by stress.

3. Be an optimist. Chronic depression and anxiety can increase your risk of hypertension.

4. Socialize. Strong social support relieves depression and stress and reduces the risk of heart disease. Join a club or volunteer for community service.

5. Meditate. Two 20-minute daily meditation sessions will lower your stress level.

6. Take Coenzyme Q-10. Take 50 mg. twice daily with meals. Studies have shown CoQ-10 reduces artery-clogging plaque and strengthens the heart muscle.

7. Change your career. People in high-stress jobs have a greater overall risk of health problems as well as heart disease.

8. Take a vacation. An annual getaway from the pressures of the office is good for your heart.

9. Eat soy. The Food and Drug Administration recently allowed health claims on soy products because they lower cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease.

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