Important Advice On How Stress Increases The Risk for Heart Disease

by Standup 2 Heart Disease, July 8, 2017

Important Advice On How Stress Increases The Risk for Heart Disease.

Heart disease and Stress Introduction.

Are stress and heart disease related? Does stress increase the risk of heart disease? Stress is a normal part of life but if left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems, including:

  • heart disease,
  • high blood pressure,
  • chest pains, or
  • irregular heart beats.

How Does Stress Increase the Risk for Heart Disease?

Medical researchers aren’t sure exactly how stress increases the risk of heart disease. Stress itself might be a risk factor, or it could be that high levels of stress make other risk factors (such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure) worse.

For example, if you are under stress, your blood pressure goes up, you may overeat, you may exercise less, and you may be more likely to smoke.

If stress itself is a risk factor for heart disease, it could be because chronic stress exposes your body to unhealthy, persistently elevated levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Studies also link stress to changes in the way blood clots, which increases the risk of heart attack.

Does Stress Affect Everyone the Same?

No. People respond in different ways to events and situations. One person may find an event joyful and gratifying, but another person may find the same event miserable and frustrating.

Sometimes, people may handle stress in ways that make bad situations worse by reacting with feelings of anger, guilt, fear, hostility, anxiety, and moodiness. Others may face life’s challenges with ease.

What Causes Stress?

Stress can be caused by a physical or emotional change, or a change in your environment that requires you to adjust or respond. Things that make you feel stressed are called “stressors.”

Stressors can be minor hassles, major lifestyle changes, or a combination of both. Being able to identify stressors in your life and releasing the tension they cause are the keys to managing stress.

Below are some common stressors that can affect people at all stages of life.

  • Illness, either personal or of a family member or friend
  • Death of a friend or loved one
  • Problems in a personal relationship
  • Work overload
  • Starting a new job
  • Unemployment
  • Retirement
  • Pregnancy
  • Crowds
  • Relocation
  • Daily hassles
  • Legal problems
  • Financial concerns
  • Perfectionism

What Are the Warning Signs of Stress?

When you are exposed to long periods of stress, your body gives warning signals that something is wrong. These physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral warning signs should not be ignored.

They tell you that you need to slow down. If you continue to be stressed and you don’t give your body a break, you are likely to develop health problems like heart disease. You could also worsen an existing illness.

Below are some common warning signs and symptoms of stress.

 Physical signs:
Dizziness, general aches and pains, grinding teeth, clenched jaws, headaches, indigestion, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, racing heart, ringing in the ears, stooped posture, sweaty palms, tiredness, exhaustion, trembling, weight gain or loss, upset stomach
Mental signs:
 Constant worry, difficulty making decisions, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, lack of creativity, loss of sense of humor, poor memory
Emotional signs:
 Anger, anxiety, crying, depression, feeling powerless, frequent mood swings, irritability, loneliness, negative thinking, nervousness, sadness
Behavioral signs:
Bossiness, compulsive eating, critical attitude of others, explosive actions, frequent job changes, impulsive actions, increased use of alcohol or drugs, withdrawal from relationships or social situations.
How Can I Cope With Stress?

After you’ve identified the cause of stress in your life, the next step is to learn techniques that can help you cope with stress while fighting heart disease. There are many techniques you can use to manage stress.

Some of which you can learn yourself, while other techniques may require the guidance of a trained therapist.

Some common techniques for coping with stress include:

  • Eat and drink sensibly. Abusing alcohol and food may seem to reduce stress, but it actually adds to it.
  • Assert yourself. You do not have to meet others’ expectations or demands. It’s OK to say “no.” Remember, being assertive allows you to stand up for your rights and beliefs while respecting those of others.
  • Stop smoking. Aside from the obvious health risks of cigarettes, nicotine acts as a stimulant and brings on more stress symptoms.
  • Exercise regularly. Choose non-competitive exercise and set reasonable goals. Aerobic exercise has been shown to release endorphins (natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude.)
  • Relax every day. Choose from a variety of different techniques to help you relax including meditation.
  • Take responsibility. Control what you can and leave behind what you cannot control.
  • Reduce causes of stress. Many people find life is filled with too many demands and too little time. For the most part, these demands are ones we have chosen. Effective time-management skills involve asking for help when appropriate, setting priorities, pacing yourself, and taking time out for yourself.
  • Examine your values and live by them. The more your actions reflect your beliefs, the better you will feel, no matter how busy your life is.
  • Set realistic goals and expectations. It’s OK, and healthy, to realize you cannot be 100% successful at everything all at once.
  • Sell yourself to yourself. When you are feeling overwhelmed, remind yourself of what you do well. Have a healthy sense of self-esteem.
  • Get enough rest. Even with proper diet and exercise, you can’t fight stress effectively without rest. You need time to recover from exercise and stressful events. The time you spend resting should be long enough to relax your mind as well as your body. Some people find that taking a nap in the middle of the day helps them reduce stress.

 

Important Advice On How Stress Increases The Risk for Heart Disease

Important Advice On How Stress Increases The Risk for Heart Disease

Structured Data, Review
Title: Important Advice On How Stress Increases The Risk for Heart Disease
Reviewed by Mark Ussleman on Jul 8
Rating: 5.0
Summary: Important Advice On How Stress Increases The Risk for Heart Disease
Description: The heart is among the important organs of the body. Due to this it cannot pump enough blood to the body. The root of enlarged heart as a result of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is largely because of hereditary ailments.

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