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Reduce AFib Triggers: Bust Stress

Have you noticed that your loved one with AFib has episodes of anxiety, fear, and depression? Most people with AFib do. Stress is a common trigger for AFib episodes. More than half of people who have AFib say that stress plays a big role in aggravating their condition.

When you’re caring for someone who has AFib, you may be under a lot of stress, too. Make it a goal to ease tension and bring harmony back into the house.

Each day schedule relaxation for both of you. It can be easy for you and your loved one to fall into a pattern of worrying about their illness, focusing on appointments and tests, and putting off fun activities. Schedule fun and relaxation into your days just as you would a doctor’s visit. Taking time to relax is part of treating AFib.

Practice relaxation exercises together. “There is some evidence that meditation and stress reduction may help to reduce the risk of a-fib,” Feld says. Yoga and tai chi are two easy, low-impact relaxation exercises that have been found to lower blood pressure and ease stress in general, which is good for everyone.

Manage your own stress. As a caregiver, you probably often put yourself last. Don’t try to handle all the stresses and problems of life with a chronic illness on your own. Ask for help. Join a caregivers’ support group. (A hospital or cardiologist’s office can probably help you find one.) When someone asks, “Is there anything I can do to help?” say, "Yes! Thank you." Give them a specific job to do, like shopping, washing your car, or coming over to spend the evening with you.

Remember: You cannot care for anyone if you don’t take good care of yourself!

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