Life is full of surprises, and many of these surprises are not exactly pleasant or desired. Events that are unpleasant can lead to stress, and stress can lead to a lot of different health problems. Among the issues stress can cause, heart issues are some of the most serious. If you have been experiencing a lot of stress and want to avoid developing heart problems, you will need to find ways to relieve the stressful feelings. Here are a few things you should understand about stress and the effects it has on the heart.
Why You Should Be Concerned
While every part of the body is important, the heart is one of the most important of all. Your heart is what keeps your body alive, which is why heart problems are very serious. According to The Heart Foundation, the number-one cause of death in the U.S. is heart disease. In addition, heart attacks happen to around 720,000 people in the U.S. each year, and one woman in the U.S. dies every one minute from some type of heart-related problem. Heart problems are serious and can be deadly, but they can also be avoided in many situations.
How Stress Affects the Heart
Stress is just one of many things that can be damaging to the heart, and this happens in a number of different ways. The first way is through the ways people cope with stress. Many people that are feeling stressed will turn to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, food in excessive amounts, or food that is not nutritious to feel better, and all of these things can be bad for your body and for your heart. Other people deal with stress by sitting around or spending more time sleeping. This type of inactivity is also bad for your heart.
The second way stress can affect your heart involves the way your body naturally responds when it senses stress. When you start feeling upset, sad, or anxious, your body will typically respond by having the brain release chemicals. These chemicals are designed to help your body deal with stress, and they can cause your heart to start pumping harder and faster. This is one of the main ways stress leads to heart problems.
It's important to know that occasional stress is normal. Everyone experiences this sometimes, and if you only experience stress once in a while, you probably are not at risk for developing stress-related heart issues. The type of stress that can harm your heart is the type that occurs very frequently and is left untreated.
If you suffer from stress all the time, you might be at risk for developing high blood pressure and heart disease, and you might be at a higher risk for having a heart attack.
How You Can Reduce Your Risks
If you want to keep your heart healthy and avoid heart issues, you will need to take care of yourself and control your stress levels. Here are some good ways you can do this.
Start exercising – Exercising is a great way to release endorphins in your body, and these will naturally help you feel better. Endorphins are chemicals that regulate your moods.
Meditate – Any form of meditation or yoga can also be helpful for stress-control. These activities help you clear your mind of negative thoughts, and they are great for controlling stress.
Visit a counselor – If your stress is really bad, you should consider talking to a counselor about your problems. Counseling is one of the best ways to feel happier and better in life.
Visiting a doctor for checkups is also an important step for staying healthy. A doctor can help you locate problems with your heart before they become big problems. If you would like to learn more about heart-disease treatment and prevention, contact a doctor today.