You may enjoy the feeling of a racing heart in some situations: after a drop on a rollercoaster, a first kiss, a jump-scare in a horror movie. Soon after those exciting moments, your heart rate returns to normal and you carry on. So, what do you do when your heart is racing and there isn’t a clear reason for it? Maybe you’re laying on the couch watching Netflix, binging a popular new show, then you notice your heart beating abnormally quickly. You haven’t moved in about an hour, and the romantic comedy isn’t causing any emotional change. If you want to learn how to calm down a fast heart rate, keep reading.
To calm your heart rate short term…
Focus on your breathing
We’ve all been told to take a deep breath when we’re panicked or feeling stressed. When your heart is racing, your body believes it is panicked or stressed, so you can use the same tactics to calm your body down. The goal is to have focused deep breaths. You should breathe in for 5-8 seconds, hold that breath for 3-5 seconds, then let that breath out as slowly as you can. Repeat this breathing technique until you feel calm (1).
Take a walk
Yes, the things people tell you to do when you’re not feeling well can really help! Taking a walk around your neighborhood can help you calm your heart rate, too. The walk may help you take your mind off of things subconsciously bothering you, but the light exercise may help regulate your heart rate, too.
To calm your heart rate long term…
There are many lifestyle changes that you can make to lower your heart rate overall. So, do your best to follow a few of these tips for a lower heart rate. This will make your heart less likely to race without cause, too.
Eat a balanced diet
Your diet has an impact on most aspects of your life, and your heart health is certainly one of them. Having a variety of vegetables, fruits, lean meat, healthy fats, and antioxidants is crucial. The healthy fats and antioxidants, in particular, help lower blood pressure. This, in turn, can help lower your overall heart rate by making it easier for your blood to pump (2).
Get your sleep
It’s likely that you want to get the proper amount of sleep each night. No one likes dragging through their work meetings and relying on mug after mug of coffee to get through the day. However, ensuring you get 7-9 hours of sleep per night is crucial to your health. Not doing so can put your body under stress, which could then result in lower heart health.
While everyone, or most people, know they need to exercise, how many people make a conscious effort to do so every day? You may not be able to squeeze in a full workout every day, but it’s important to make it a priority in your life. Maintaining a healthy weight helps keep your heart rate low, and it contributes to your overall health.