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The Impact Stress Has on the Heart

The Impact Stress Has on the Heart

Understanding Stress and Heart Health

From demanding jobs with long hours, to running errands and doing chores, it’s no wonder why many people describe their life as “hectic.” If you were exhausted from just reading the first sentence, and find it relatable, odds are you have experienced stress more often than you care to. While it’s impossible to eliminate stress entirely, there are ways in which it can be managed — and keeping stress at bay is better for your heart. Here’s what you need to know.

What Does Stress Do to The Heart?

When stress becomes out of control and not adequately managed, it can lead to high blood pressure, which then puts you at risk for developing heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, more research is needed on the correlation between heart health and stress. However, certain unhealthy behaviors associated with how people sometimes deal with stress can increase the risk of developing heart disease, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Overeating
  • Lack of physical activity

How to Reduce Stress

Even if it seems impossible to squeeze in a stress-reducing activity, also setting aside 15 minutes of your day can make a world of difference in reducing stress. Carve out some time in your day to try some of these stress-busting activities:

  • Read your favorite magazine or book
  • Color (yes, a good old-fashioned coloring book and crayons can be so relaxing!)
  • Spend time with your pet
  • Go for a walk
  • Phone or visit a friend
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Listen to soothing music
  • Take a bubble bath

Other Health Benefits

Reducing stress does your entire body good! Limiting stress is not only heart-healthy, but it has other benefits to your overall health and well-being, such as increasing energy levels and elevating your mood. It can also be better for brain health, too, as when stress is limited, cognitive function can improve.