Stress Affects the Heart in Different Ways
The truth is, we all experience stress. Whether it’s a tough deadline at work, a loved one falling ill, or an unexpected bill, we’re all going to face stressors from time to time. How stress affects your health depends on two major factors: how much stress you experience, and how you react to it. Without effective stress management strategies, stress can lead to a variety of health problems, including:
- high blood pressure
- irritable bowel syndrome
- insomnia or other sleep difficulties
And none of these things are good for your overall health — or your heart.
How You Handle Stress Affects Your Heart Too
Unfortunately, some of the ways we tend to handle stress can be just as detrimental for our heart health as the initial stress was in the first place. Behaviors like smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, vegging out in front of the TV, and eating an unhealthy diet of high fat, high carb comfort foods all have extremely detrimental effects on our health.
Find a Healthy Stress Management Strategy
So, as you may have guessed, the key to keeping your heart healthy during stressful periods is finding healthy stress management strategies. Try some of the following stress-relieving behaviors, find what works for you, and make it a priority to take care of yourself.
Whether you find your chill through running a few miles, walking your neighborhood, taking a kickboxing, spinning or zumba class, or through a session of yoga, using your body to work out some of the tension in your life is one of the best things you can do to both improve your overall health and relieve stress.
Constant sensory input from your phone, email, social media and the news can result in a constant stress loop where you’re both using devices and television to relieve stress caused by using devices and television. Whether you get outside, read a book, or grab some tea with friends, getting away from anything that needs to be charged for a while will let you recharge your self.
We’re all going to experience stress, but making an effort to find silver linings and thinks to look forward to can go a long way toward helping you manage that stress. Keeping a gratitude journal (or just engaging in a gratitude practice a few minutes a day), scheduling things to look forward to, and making time for self-care will help you stay positive and healthy.