Want a Healthier Heart? Manage Stress!
- Posted on: Aug 30 2016
Stress has become a prevalent problem that, in many Americans, simply goes unmanaged. Daily life seems to require our full attention from the moment we wake to the moment we drift off into an often restless sleep. The more we are learning about stress, though, the more we encourage our patients to find ways to reduce their physiological response to daily stressors.
Here are some important details about how stress affects the heart:
- Higher stress equals increased blood pressure, heart rate, and high adrenaline. Stress is the first domino in a line that falls. When we perceive stress, the body responds by preparing to fight to take flight. This means pumping adrenaline increases breathing and heart rate.
- Arterial damage may occur if stress continues long term. Chronic, constant stress and the increased blood pressure and heart rate that goes with it could cause damage to the walls of the arteries that are taxed by the increased function.
- Chronic stress can lead to a weak immune system, according to research. Additionally, men and women who live with unmanaged stress also tend to experience other physical symptoms, such as stomach upset and headaches.
Tips for Stress Management
Every person has within them the ability to identify stress-reducing techniques that work for them. Usually, it is first necessary to simply become aware of the fact that there is a problem with stress management, or the lack thereof. The proverbial Type A personality exists, and many of us can see these tendencies in ourselves. If you strive for perfection, feel impatient and hurried often, and find that you become angry or irritated quickly, you may just be a Type A, or simply someone who is trying to do too much.
The temporary elevation in heart rate and blood pressure can be serious in the long run, so finding methods to reduce stress is a must for many of us. Fortunately, there are several ways to do this without medication. If chronic stress is a struggle for you, identifying these methods may seem difficult. Speak with your doctor! Together, you can come up with strategies to improve physical and emotional well-being by managing stress appropriately.
Posted in: Stress Management