Although stress is still being studied for its effects on the heart, we do know a few impacts it has making stress a contributing factor to cardiovascular diseases.
Ongoing long-term stress takes an emotional and psychological toll presenting as anxiety, depression, and irritability. It does, however, also presents as physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, tense or tight muscles, insomnia, and low energy. Pay attention to these signs and reflect on long-term stressors in your life.
Stress raises your heart rate, increasing the need for oxygen to the heart which can lead to ischemia (lack of oxygen-rich blood) or bring on angina (chest pain). Stress often causes hormones to be released – mainly adrenaline – raising blood pressure, which can injure the lining of arteries. When arteries heal, the walls often harden, making it easier for plaque to build up.
Stress can also increase the amount of blood clotting factors in your bloodstream, making it easier for blood clots to occur and block arteries narrowed by plaque causing a heart attack.
Tips on How to Limit Stress
Prioritize movement – Exercise, regardless of what you choose to do, can help to reduce stress by releasing feel good hormones known as serotonin and dopamine. Long-term exercise can also help to lower blood pressure, reducing the pressure put on your heart.
Find a stimulating hobby - Find what makes you happy! Doing your favourite activity can distract you from negative thoughts or worries, and lower stress levels.
Make time for friends and family - It’s important to maintain social connections, share happy moments and talk about life’s difficulties with the people who care about you.
Practice relaxation & meditation - Blood pressure decreases when meditating and can help to decrease stress levels. We offer free mediation sessions on Instagram every Tuesday at 8:30am and Thursday at 8:00pm. Just follow up on Instagram and the live feed will show up on your account.
Get enough sleep - Getting enough sleep helps keep your mind and body healthy and can reduce stress. The average adult needs 7-10 hours of sleep each night.
Start a journal - Journaling about your day, struggles and wins, can often help to put things into perspective and get your feelings out in a judgement free zone!
Prioritize a work-life balance - Work can often bring on extra stress. Ensure to create a healthy balance allowing time for rest and fun outside the workplace.
For more information or to get started with a workout program designed specifically for your needs, contact our professionals today at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out the wide variety of group classes. We offer yoga, Pilates, indoor cycling, cardio, strength, circuits and interval workouts.