What is Stress?
Stress is your body's response to a demand, whether it's good or bad. It's also sometimes referred to as the "fight or flight" response. Stress causes your heart to race, blood pressure to increase, and chemicals and hormones to be released in the body to help you respond to the situation.
How does stress affect your heart?
Having too much stress for too long can be bad for your heart. Those with high-levels of chronic stress are more likely to have heart disease, high blood pressure, or irregular heartbeats. In addition, stress can impact our behaviors, prompting cravings for unhealthy foods, overeating, and contributing to physically inactivity.
What can you do about stress?
Ultimately, find a healthy way to relax. Exercise is really important for overall health, and finding an activity that you enjoy doing can also relieve stress. You may want to:
- Change what you can to lower your stress. Sometimes over-committing adds more stress to your life.
- Listen to music, meditate, or spend time in silent prayer.
- Stay connected to your friends and family
Finally, if you’re finding it hard to manage your stress, seek help from a doctor or counselor. It’s an investment in your health and your quality of life. You are worth it!
Join us this week (February 8-12) for more heart health education here on our blog and on social media!