Does stress affect your heart health? Learn about the different types of stress, which ones are most damaging to your heart, and more.
When facing a threat or major challenge, your body releases certain chemicals and hormones that result in stress. Generally, your body will relax after experiencing a fight or flight response, but too much stress can lead to negative health effects.
In the U.S., 80% of Americans experience one symptom of stress per month and 20% are under extreme stress. However, not all stress is bad; “good” stress can help you avoid an accident or stay alert during chaotic moments. The problem arises when it becomes prolonged, as it can take a physical and mental toll on your health.
Types of Stress
When you experience something new and challenging, you can feel acute stress. The reaction can be a result of narrowly escaping a car accident or even going on a rollercoaster. While this type of stress is generally harmless, it can lead to post-traumatic disorder if it becomes severe.
Episodic Acute Stress
Experiencing frequent episodes of acute stress is called episodic acute stress and can impact your overall wellbeing. It results from feeling anxious about things that may happen and if you feel you’re going from one crisis to the next. For example, professions such as being a firefighter or working in law enforcement can cause frequent high-stress situations.
Finally, chronic stress can negatively impact your health as you experience levels of high stress for extended periods of time. It can lead to anxiety, cardiovascular disease, depression, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. Furthermore, it can also result in headaches, upset stomach, and sleep problems.
Stress and Your Heart Health
When you experience traumatic news, such as the death of a loved one, it can result in severe and sudden (acute) stress. Moreover, it can cause immediate heart attacks in rare cases, even in people who have no history of heart disease. Known as “broken heart syndrome”, this sudden heart attack will close arteries that were previously open and is more common in women.
However, severe and acute forms of stress are not the only ones bad for your heart – chronic, everyday stress can also affect your health. While the data isn’t as well defined, research suggests that everyday stress may trigger inflammation and behaviors that increase the risk for heart disease.
For example, people may turn to unhealthy comfort foods like pizza or smoking and drinking when experiencing stress. These behaviors may become lifestyle habits that subsequently increase cholesterol and blood pressure levels, raising the risk of heart disease.
Everyone experiences stress and it can be beneficial if it helps us deal with certain situations. However, those that result from a traumatic experience can have a negative impact.
Moreover, chronic stress that comes from everyday life can lead us to unhealthy behaviors that increase the risk of heart disease. If you want to protect your heart health, consider stress management practices such as meditation or yoga.
You can also exercise regularly, eat healthily and try heart supplements like HeartBeet Complete. Its ingredients work to effectively and safely promote your circulation, cholesterol, and overall heart health. Try HeartBeet Complete as a part of your plan to naturally promote your heart health.