According to Medline Plus, a normal resting heart rate ranges from 60 to 70 beats a minute, while 100 beats or more a minute constitutes a rapid heart rate,or tachycardia. Often inherited or stemming from old age or damaged hearts, rapid heart rate can lead to serious medical conditions and even death. Seek medical help if you experience a consistent tachycardia. In the meantime, try some simple ways to reduce your heart rate.
Reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake. Drinks such as coffee, tea and soda contain caffeine, which stimulates the body's central nervous system, which in turns increases the heart rate, according to Medline Plus. Even small amounts of caffeine can increase heart rates; if necessary, eliminate all caffeine by drinking decaffeinated coffee, tea or soda.
Participate in breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. Go to a quiet room and take deep, consistent breaths in and out through your nose. This can help calm you and lower your heart rate.
Stress and anxiety levels can increase heart rate; relaxation techniques such as autogenic relaxation can help lower heart rates. To perform this technique, repeat words or phrases in your mind to relax your muscles. Alternately, try visualisation: Envision a peaceful place where you would like to go. When envisioning this place, focus on the sensory experiences---sights, smells, sounds, etc.---you might have there.
Stop bad habits such as smoking and alcohol usage. As soon as you inhale tobacco smoke, heart rate begins to rise due to the carbon monoxide entering your lungs. According to quitsmokingsupport.com, heart rate can increase as much as 30 per cent within 10 minutes of lighting up. Alcohol consumption also increases heart rates; eliminate alcohol consumption from your lifestyle.