Stress is something we all experience differently, and we all handle it differently. Stressful events, such as a wedding or job promotion may induce a stress response, whereas unfortunate events, such as family problems or an illness may also cause tension. Your reactions to these situations in life may affect your heart health. Chronic stress is harmful to the body and can lead to serious health issues. Chronic stress can lead to a number of health issues, including heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains, or irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias). Today, the top cardiologists at NWCC reveal how stress can affect your heart and some simple tips to manage stress throughout your day.
How Can Stress Affect Your Heart?
Stress is a normal part of life. It’s how we deal with stress that can affect our health and wellbeing. When you feel stressed, your body releases chemicals called ‘stress hormones’ to help you cope with the situation. These hormones are designed to protect us from danger, but when they are released too often, they can have negative effects on our bodies. When you are under chronic stress, your body will release more of these hormones than usual.
How to Relieve stress
When your body is under stress, it releases adrenaline, which temporarily increases your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. Adrenaline is a hormone produced by the body when there is an emergency situation. Your body reacts differently to different types of stress. It could cause headaches, back or stomach pains or you could also feel irritated, cranky, or tired, for example. Chronic stress can last from hours to weeks and cause high blood pressure which increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes. Fortunately, there are several ways to deal with stress.
1. Mindfulness meditation focuses on bringing you back to the present moment by taking slow, deep breaths. It can be practiced anywhere at any time. It can help reduce anxiety and stress, helping you become more aware of what you’re seeing, hearing, and feeling.
2. Walk around your office or take a walk with your dog. It’s good for you! Walking helps you get out and active while enjoying a new view.
3. A healthy diet is important for your health. Stress can cause you to eat poorly. Eating emotionally can lead you to reach for processed sugary foods, which have no nutritional benefit, and may make you feel worse. Instead, eat foods like eggs, avocados, and walnuts which all contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
4. Do things you enjoy! Many people feel their life is too busy for the leisure activities they enjoy but it’s important to include these activities into your daily routine.
5 . Practice positive self-talk – How you talk to yourself matters. Practice positive self-talk habits to develop a healthier outlook—mentally, emotionally, and physically.
6 . Physical activity is important. Make sure you prioritize it. Get 30 minutes of exercise into your day by joining a gym, taking a yoga class, or walking your dog after dinner.
7 . Sleep well – Aim for seven to nine hours. Try to limit your screen time for at least one hour before bedtime to help you get better quality sleep.
8. Spend time with your loved ones. Spending quality time with them can be one of the most simple ways to relieve stress.
Many people suffer from stress and anxiety throughout their days but must maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent heart disease. To keep an eye on your cardiovascular health, you should schedule regular appointments with your doctor.