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Friday, January 13, 2017

Stress Management Is Key for Recovery (and Your Heart)

The fact that stress and heart troubles are related may not be news to you – however, researchers have yet to fully understand the full mechanisms. A new study published in The Lancet this week revealed an interesting link between stress and the heart: the brain. 

Researchers found that people with greater activity in the amygdala, the area of the brain that controls fear, stress and emotion, were more likely to suffer from heart attack, stroke and angina (chest pain) in the future. 

Increased activity in the amygdala was also linked to more activity in the bone marrow tissue – and “that in turn may impact the arteries, causing inflammation, which then could lead to a cardiovascular disease event, such as a heart attack or stroke,” study author Ahmed Tawakol told

While more research is still needed to understand the entire reaction, Tawakol said that stress reduction exercises have been found to reduce both the size and activity of the amygdala. 

Here are a few things you can do today to manage stress and enhance your recovery: 
  • Create a mantra. It doesn’t have to be complicated; a simple phrase like “I am in control,” or “I am making progress” can help keep you calm and focused on your recovery. 
  • Go for a vigorous walk. There’s nothing quite like exercise to increase those feel-good endorphins and keep stress at bay.  
  • Streamline your day. Over scheduling yourself can quickly lead to stress, especially during the first 90 days of recovery, when you’re most likely to relapse. For now, just focus on recovery essentials and aim to complete one or two tasks per day. 
  • Make sleep a priority. Seven to eight hours of solid shut-eye can do wonders to restore your body and mind and improve your ability to cope with stress. 
  • Start a journal. Journaling is a great way to discover the source of your stress — and then to release it by writing down your thoughts and feelings.
Find Inner Peace at Complete Harmony
At Complete Harmony, we encourage the use of many different cutting-edge techniques  including yoga, meditation, and acupuncture to help patients control stress on their journey toward sobriety. To learn more about our treatment center and our approach to addiction recovery, call today: 866-930-4673.
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