Emotional stress may bring on anginal pain. Think about what you can do in your life to cut down on stressful activities and situations. Consider learning meditation, progressive relaxation, or other relaxation techniques that you can use to manage stress. Try to work in an afternoon nap, since rest seems to be protective against both angina and stress.
In addition, it may be worthwhile to consider your relationships and relationship skills. Dr. Dean Ornish, a well-regarded physician, has pioneered a comprehensive program for reversing coronary artery disease.1-3 His program is based on lifestyle modifications, including a therapeutic diet, stress reduction, and group support for improving relationships through better communication. Dr. Ornish believes that the love and support we give and receive through relationships is essential to our health, and a great deal of research on social support and health supports this claim. To learn more, read Dr. Ornish's books, including Love & Survival and Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease.
- Ornish D, Scherwitz LW, Billings JH, et al. Intensive lifestyle changes for reversal of coronary heart disease. JAMA. 1998;280:2001-2007.
- Ornish D. Avoiding revascularization with lifestyle changes: The Multicenter Lifestyle Demonstration Project. Am J Cardiol. 1998;82:72T-76T.
- Ornish D, Brown SE, Scherwitz LW, et al. Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? The Lifestyle Heart Trial. Lancet. 1990;336:129-133.
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