Stress Management

by Standup 2 Heart Disease, July 4, 2017

For starters, Happy 4th of July everyone.

Today I would like to share a little on stress and how it can affect our mind, body and life in general.

A few years back while at my place of work one of the department mangers went down and was struggling to breath. Our first thoughts were that he was having a heart attack. We immediately called 911 and the ambulance came and took him away. Later that week we heard that he didn’t actually have a heart attack but had a stress attack. I have to admit that was the first time I heard of a “stress attack” and I was surprised how similar it was to someone having a heart attack. And unfortunately if you have read my “My Stand” page, I do have personal experiences with witnessing someone having a heart attack.

Stress can have very negative effects on your body. And over extended periods of time in high pressure situations can cause you to feel intense anxiety, shaking, breathlessness, sweating, dizziness and irregular heartbeats which are all symptoms very similar to an actual heart attack. The good news is that a stress attack or sometimes referred to as a panic attack is not dangerous in the moment and typically last a few minutes. But I can assure you my co-worker did not know that at the time of his attack and I can personally say that I didn’t either. It really was a very scary moment for all involved.

If this is something you are experiencing in your life the good news is there is a solution. One way to prevent these attacks try to keep everything in perspective. Most times when stress begins to rise up in your body, the situation is more in your mind and not as bad as you think. Try stepping out of the situation for a few minutes and take some deep breaths. You can also reduce your chances by committing to regular exercise and limiting your daily coffee consumption. And even though people think an alcoholic beverage and a smoke will make it better, it really won’t. Excessive drinking and smoking can actually make panic attacks worse so please be responsible with your habits.

So if you are dealing with a lot of stress in your life the first step is to recognize it so that you can begin to manage it better. Stress that’s left unchecked can lead to many health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes and even heart disease. But if you can learn to recognize the symptoms (headache, muscle tension, chest pains, fatigue) the next steps are to manage and begin to tune into what your body is telling you. Step back, breathe deeply and tell yourself to slow down and be more present in the moment. Because I can assure you through personal experience, the situation that’s giving you stress is not as important as you think and once you step back and put everything into perspective, you will feel yourself calm down and your body will begin to manage the stress.

Enjoy the day and have a fun, stress free 4th of July.


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