Stress and anxiety are major problems in our society today.
While some stress can be good and keep us working hard and active, excessive stress (and how we deal with it) can lead to a variety of health problems. Gastrointestinal issues like ulcers, high blood pressure, and headaches are just a fraction of these.
Now, stress hasn’t yet been proven to damage the heart directly – but it can lead to other factors that increase the risk of heart issues.
The Body’s Response to Stress
When your body feels stress – be it deadlines, family obligations, or traffic – a common response is to release adrenaline into the bloodstream. Your body gears up for a “Fight or Flight” scenario that never actually comes. So your body stays in a high gear for days or even weeks when that stress is constant.
The body’s stress responses are really only meant to increase your breathing and heart rate in short bursts of time. When stress runs constant for long periods of time, people may experience these health-risk factors:
- Increased blood pressure (hypertension)
- Damage to artery walls
- A weakened immune system
- Heart arrhythmias
- Sleeping problems
- And many others
Your Response to Stress
Stress and anxiety can lead some people to consume more alcohol and tobacco. They overeat and stop exercising. They take less frequent breaks in life to allow for stress “cooldowns”. These habits just increase risk for heart disease.
If your stress comes from anger or hostility (like when someone cuts you off in traffic), just know that it has been shown in research that that kind of stress is worse for your overall health. Holding on to this stress and anger only adds to your body’s “fight” response.
So what can you do about it?
Fighting Back Against Stress
Take a step back and look at the things that you can change in your life. Stop unhealthy habits now. Let the little things go.
If your stress is nonstop, there are stress management classes you can take or support groups you can join. Also, make sure you’re getting enough sleep and that you exercise as frequently as possible (preferably at least 30 minutes a day).
You can also visit seek professional help before heart problems ensue.
Spring Creek Medical Is Here To Help
- Visit our chiropractor to help your body recover from stress and reset.
- Take advantage of massage therapy and its soothing effects for both the mental and the physical.
- Have your worrying medical questions answered by medical experts.
- Learn relaxation techniques.
Remember what Marcus Aurelius said: “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” Keep your heart healthy and let stress slide right off.