While I recommend stress relief to many of my clients, the ones that are living with atrial fibrillation can derive a great benefit from keeping yourself happy and relaxed. When we get stressed, our blood pressure raises, our muscles tend to tense up, and our heart rate can increase. Add all these effects together, and it creates a perfect storm for an AFib episode. This can worsen atrial fibrillation symptoms and cause other long-term health problems if the stress persists.
Managing stress can not only help decrease atrial fibrillation symptoms or episodes, but it can also improve your quality of life. While you should always have this conversation with your doctor before starting any new health and wellness routine, here are some ideas for ways to help take control of your stress and your health.
Some stress reduction ideas include:
- Engaging in self or guided meditation
- Practicing most forms of yoga
- Relaxation techniques; such as deep breathing or biofeedback
- Leaning on your support group of family and friends for help
- Being involved in some form of physical activity
- Maintaining a balanced healthy diet
- Stop smoking
Talking to your doctor can help you identify the methods or activities that would work best for you, your severity of AFib, and your personal interests.
On another note, there does exist a relationship between atrial fibrillation and anxiety or depression. Many cardiologists are aware of this connection, so if you are experiencing these feelings or thoughts I urge you to reach out to your medical practitioner and discuss this topic with them. There is help out there for you, and a licensed psychologist would be happy to talk with you about what you are experiencing. There is nothing wrong with seeking someone to discuss these feelings with. The quality of your life is important, so please don’t feel shy about taking action to create a better life for yourself.
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