Stress & How it Affects Your Heart Health

The kids are back in school and our calendars are filling up quickly with sporting events, after-school activities, birthday parties and more. For many of us, this can add extra stress to our everyday lives. While some level of stress is normal, the way you and your body react to stress can have a permanent effect on your heart health. Keep reading to learn what stress can do to your heart, as well as tips for managing stress.

Stress & Heart Health

According to the American Heart Association, “A stressful situation sets off a chain of events. Your body releases adrenaline, a hormone that temporarily causes your breathing and heart rate to speed up and your blood pressure to rise. These reactions prepare you to deal with the situation — the ‘fight or flight’ response.” This type of stress is something we all have to deal with from time to time, but if you’re experiencing it for days or weeks at a time, it becomes chronic stress, which can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. You might also experience digestive issues, inflammation and irregular heart rhythms. 

Five Ways to Alleviate Stress

How you manage your stress is a very personal decision. Something that works for you may not work for someone else and visa versa. Below are a few ways that many people manage their stress: 

  1. Regular exercise
  2. Spending time with friends and family
  3. Spending time alone doing something they love, such as painting, reading, playing music, etc.
  4. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night
  5. Saying positive affirmations

It’s also extremely important to be able to identify the source of your stress and finding ways to relieve yourself of the stressor. If you’re having difficulty pinpointing your stressors or managing your stress, we recommend you reach out to a mental health professional. 

If stress is causing you symptoms of the conditions listed above, it is time to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist. Our specialists provide complete cardiac services – call us today to schedule your first appointment.