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Stressed Out? How Stress Affects Your Heart

by NidraNutrition

For more than just gnawed fingernails, stress can have an influence on the body that goes far beyond that. Your body may react differently to various types of everyday stress, such as being stuck in traffic for an extended period of time, cramming for an important exam, or compiling an endless list of things that need to be done.

 

Headaches, stomachaches, backaches, and ulcers may occur in certain people. Then there are those who suffer from IBS or asthma flare-ups. Overall, stress can cause both short-term and long-term health issues, depending on the amount of stress and the length of time it is held.

 

Heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and excessive cholesterol can also be exacerbated by stress. As your heart and blood pressure rise while you're under stress, adrenaline, a hormone released by your body, kicks in. If you have high blood pressure, you are more likely to develop blood clots, which can increase your risk of heart attack.

 

Stress impact on health

 

A series of events gets set in motion when adrenaline and cortisol start pumping through the body. These events get you ready to take action. Your glucose levels and blood pressure also jump, in addition to increasing along with your heart rate and your energy level.

 

You will now be able to concentrate better and respond more quickly to any given situation as a result of these adjustments. However, for those with chronic stress, that "instant" can extend into days or weeks of stress responses that come and go.

 

How Stress Affects the Heart?

 

Both hyperglycemia and hypertension, two disorders that are well-known to be contributors to cardiovascular disease, are more likely to occur in people who experience repeated periods of stress. 

 

Can stress cause high pulse rate? People react to stressful situations in different ways. Adrenaline, which is a hormone that momentarily raises your heart rate and blood pressure, is released by your body. This is called the "fight or flight" response. It gets you ready to deal with the situation.

 

In addition, those who are frequently stressed are more likely to resort to bad coping techniques, such as overindulging in unhealthy foods, consuming too much alcohol, or smoking cigarettes.

 

Damage to the arterial walls and the subsequent accumulation of plaque both result from the cumulative effect of all of these elements, which are harmful to the body in a wide variety of different ways. This buildup makes it more difficult for blood to move through the body and can potentially cause full blockages. As a direct consequence of this, the probability of significant cardiovascular events such as a heart attack or a stroke is significantly higher than average.

 

How to Manage Side Effects of Stress

 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing one's stress levels. It could take you a few weeks or even a few months to discover which types of stress management tactics are the most effective at helping you reign in tension and reverse the physical effects that prolonged stress can have on your body.

 

Take a look at the following suggestions for healthy stress management and give them some thought:

 

  • Regular Exercise: Maintaining a healthy weight and keeping your blood pressure in check are two of the most important benefits of regular exercise. To see results, you don't have to put in a lot of effort. To begin, aim for 15 to 20 minutes of daily walking and work your way up to a pace and time that feels comfortable to you.
  • Get Enough Sleep: Getting enough sleep and dealing with stress are intertwined. Chronic stress can lead to sleep deprivation, which can exacerbate the symptoms of stress, such as irritability and mood swings. Make sure you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and if necessary, take a brief nap in the middle of the day.

 
  • Stay connected: There is more to socializing than merely catching up on the latest headlines or celebrating a birthday. Your heart health will benefit from these friendships and interactions, as well.
  • Be mindful: You can engage your parasympathetic nervous system through a variety of activities including yoga and tai chi. This area of the body aids in the reduction of stress by calming the brain.
  • Divert your attention: Taking up a new interest or pastime isn't a cure-all for chronic stress, but it can help alleviate some of the symptoms. As a result, your mind and body are able to rest and recuperate. In the long run, natural stress relief distractions may occupy more of your brain's resources than the stress itself.

 

Improve Heart Health

 

There are other things you can do in addition to reducing your stress levels to improve the health of your heart and lower the risk of having a heart attack. There are other actions you may do to improve both your heart health and your general well-being.

 

  • Regular Exercise:  Cortisol levels go down when you work out. It also makes hormones called endorphins, which help fight stress, improve heart health, and increase blood flow all over the body.

 

  • Healthy Food: Fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources including fish, poultry, nuts, and legumes, and whole grains make up a heart-healthy diet. You can boost your cholesterol levels and keep a better handle on your weight and blood sugar by eating these nutrient-dense meals.

 

  • Try medication: Talk to a medical professional if you're still feeling overwhelmed by your level of stress. There are certain over-the-counter and prescription drugs that can lessen the negative effects that anxiety has on your body, particularly on your heart. A lower risk of cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes can be achieved by taking certain medications. Gummies for stress relief made with ashwagandha for stress relief can be a good over-the-counter way to relieve stress.

 

  • Snooze for a while: A regular sleep habit is vital for lowering stress levels and countering the consequences of stress, but a nap can have an immediate impact in increasing heart health. The decrease in cortisol that occurs while you are sleeping alleviates some of the stress that you are feeling.

Final Thoughts

 

The side effects of stress on the heart can be quite profound. It may be helpful in getting you through activities, but it may also have negative effects on your health, particularly on your heart. 

 

Chronic stress has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack, as well as inflammation in the arteries. Stress is just as much of a risk factor for a heart attack as obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

 

Stress reduction isn't as simple as turning a switch. Reversing the side effects of stress on the heart and body is essential for your health, but it takes effort and perseverance to do it.

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