How Does Stress Affect Heart Health

Stress is a physical or mental response to any demand. It can be triggered either by positive or negative changes. Positive stress is usually a driving force, which motivates a person to achieve his or her goals. Negative stress may demotivate a person, and he or she might develop one or more chronic diseases, which in worse conditions may lead to life-threatening complications.

What are the causes of stress?

There could be several causes of stress. It might be your personal, emotional, or work related stress. You may get stressed because of simple things like attending a job interview or hurrying to catch a train. As a result, your body’s immune system functions abnormally making you more susceptible to a range of diseases.

The most common ones are heart diseases, respiratory ailments, tendency to commit suicide, gastrointestinal and reproductive disorders.

What is the importance and function of heart?

In order to understand how stress is associated with heart health, it is essential to understand the importance and functioning of the human heart.

The heart plays a significant role in the human body. It supplies oxygenated blood to various parts of the body. If there is any blockage in the arteries, which is due to the accumulation of fat, it obstructs the blood flow, which results in improper circulation of blood. This condition may lead to many heart diseases, and the most common one is a heart attack. It is important to take good care of your heart to lead a healthy life.

How stress affects heart health

Stress does not directly affect the functioning of the heart, but it affects the factors that can increase the risk of a heart disease such as an increase in blood pressure and cholesterol levels. An increase in the blood pressure and cholesterol levels puts an added pressure on the heart making the person weak and causing difficulty in breathing. During such stressful conditions, your body releases a hormone called adrenaline, which increases the rate of breathing, and this causes the blood pressure to rise.

In cases of constant stress, people end up taking in a lot of alcohol, which may damage their artery walls. People develop these habits, which indirectly pushes them towards the risk of heart diseases.

Signs & Symptom

The signs and symptoms of heart disease include:
  • Anxiety
  • Profuse sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Breathlessness
  • Chest pain
  • Stiffness usually on the left arm
  • Headaches

How to cope with stress and keep it under control?

Reducing your stress levels not only prevents you from the diseases but also maintains your emotional health. Without taking any costly medicines and prescriptions from the doctor, you can control your stress levels by adopting the following tips.

Identify the root cause

Half the problem gets solved when you get to know the root cause. Monitor and understand your state of mind. Try to analyze what is disturbing you and once you get to the root of the problem, list it out and prioritize your commitments. This will help you ease down a little. It is always good to pen down things you need to work on.

Manage your anger

It is difficult always to keep calm, but try keeping your anger under control.  Try counting from 1 to 10 to relax your nerves and this will help you to think straight. Vent out your frustration by going for a walk or listen to music or play any instrument. Opt one of these as your stress buster. This will help you relax.

Involve yourself in extra-curricular activities

It is essential to indulge yourself in some sport or music. These activities help you channelize your stored energy in a positive way. It is also a very good way to calm down your stress levels.

Get help

Reach out to your close friends or family members with whom you can share your thoughts or the things bothering you. They may help you find a solution for your problems, and this would help you relax. Most of the people feel better after speaking out their heart to the people they are close to.

Put all these things into practice to live a healthy, peaceful and stress-free life.

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