The effect of stress on your heart health

The effect of stress on your heart health

When you're under a lot of stress, you can probably feel it taking its toll physically as well as mentally. You might lose sleep or feel increased muscle tension, leaving you tired and sore. While you might not be able to feel it right away, leading a stressful lifestyle can also have a significant impact on your cardiac health. Not only does stress itself affect your well-being, but it often promotes unhealthy activities that can lead to serious issues. 

Types of stress 

  • Chronic stress: If your job, living situation or overall lifestyle causes high levels of stress, you could be at an increased risk for heart disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, the human body reacts to stressful situations as if they're threats. When your brain encounters what it believes to be one of these threats, it sets off the release of hormones – including the stress hormone cortisol – that in turn increase your blood pressure and heart rate. When you live with chronic stress, your body doesn't return to its normal way of functioning, but instead maintains this "under attack" disposition, which can be dangerous for your cardiac health. 
  • Sudden stress: When you're placed in a situation that's severely stressful, you can experience heart problems, noted women's health site EmpowHer.com. While sometimes these are unavoidable – like receiving bad news – try to avoid experiences that you know will cause you sudden, intense stress, such as amusement park rides. 

Unhealthy side effects of stress 

  • Substance abuse: Smoking and drinking excessively are often used as ways to relieve stress, but they only add to the problem, noted EmpowHer.com. Smoking promotes the restriction of blood flow and oxygen in the body. Heavy drinking increases blood pressure and contributes to an irregular heartbeat.
  • Binge eating: According to the Mayo Clinic, many people use food as a way to cope with stressful situations, or as a way to reward themselves for getting through a stressful day. Poor eating habits can cause you to gain weight and lead to inflammation and plaque build up in your arteries.

Deal with stress by getting enough sleep, exercising, avoiding toxic situations and eating right. Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of a heart-healthy diet and can be found in the supplement Omax3. It contains 91 percent concentrated omega-3 and is ideal for maximum human performance. 

Essential takeaways

  • Chronic and sudden stress both impact the heart.
  • Stress can also lead to substance abuse and binge eating, which also have negative cardiac side effects. 
  • Exercise, sleep well, avoid high-stress situations and eat a diet full of omega-3s to promote heart health. 
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