Stress has become as common as the air we breathe these days. It is all around us and it is rarely escaped no matter which profession you choose to work in. More and more studies are being conducted on an everyday basis in order to understand the impact of stress on our overall health and well-being. This has become a lucrative area of research as more and more people are succumbing to the ill effects of stress on their long term as well as short term lifestyles.
It has been widely recognised that an absurd amount of stress is not good for an average human to go through. But a lot more studies need to be undertaken in order to dig deeper into the impact that this can have on our health. For the purpose of brevity of this article, we will only be tackling the relationship between stress and cardiovascular diseases. By the end of this blog post, you will be able to better understand how these two are correlated and how you can offset the adverse effects of stress on your wellness.
What Exactly Is Meant By The Term Stress?
Stress is the response of your body to any situation that tends to put you out of your comfort zone. By this generic definition, a whole gamut of situations can be stacked under stressful ones. But in the simplest of terms, stress is what causes you worry and makes your body and brain react abnormally. In order to understand more about what stress actually implies, we need to understand its various types in depth.
There are two major types of stress. These can be bifurcated as chronic stress and acute stress. Even though both of these have a similar initial impact on the body of the person going through it, their long term effects on the overall well-being are vastly different. Acute stress is a situation wherein your body faces an uncertain or a challenging situation like a job interview or a potential danger. In response your body kicks into high gear to help you deal with such a situation. The marked difference here is that these kinds of situations only arise very infrequently and usually they do not lead to continued abnormal responses of the body.
Chronic stress on the other hand is a person going through worrying situations almost perpetually in their day to day life. This situation is way more damaging to the overall psyche as well as physical health of the individual. In such a case the body does not return to its normal state and is continually in a hyper active state.
The human body reacts to stress in a number of ways. It is usually marked by an increase in the heart rate, a hyper energetic state and rapid breathing. Stress also releases hormones in our body which define our response to a particularly challenging situation.
Can Stress Impact Your Heart Health?
As mentioned before in this article, there are many studies which have been undertaken to understand how stress tends to impact the heart health of a person. In addition to getting your heart rate up to an abnormally high level, stress is also known to be the major cause of heart attacks, strokes and in serious cases, even death. In addition to causing a direct impact on our heart, continued stress can aggravate some other things which can function as potential risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. By this logic, you become more susceptible to suffering from heart diseases when you are stressed. Let us understand these in detail.
Impact On Other Related Risk Factors
Hypertension is the disease which is associated with a high level of blood pressure. An increasing number of people are suffering from this problem in modern times. This is known to make one more susceptible to heart disease as it damages major arteries. A good way to keep a check on your blood pressure levels is to invest in either a blood pressure monitor or a sphygmomanometer.
Stress causes some lifestyle changes like irregular sleep patterns, loss in appetite and decreased social relaxing time. These can give rise to certain cholesterol problems which are a straight path to long term cardiovascular diseases.
How To Cope?
So now that we have established that an excessive amount of stress is not good for either our mind or our body, it is important to understand some ways through which we can cope with this stress in order to lessen it. The first step to doing that is to practice relaxation and stress management. This can be done through various ways like meditation or listening to calming music. You can also engage in aromatherapy to relax your mind from all of its stressors post a especially challenging day. Deep breathing is another effective method to get you to calm down almost instantaneously.
Putting the items on your to-do list in the order of their urgency and priority is also extremely helpful in getting you to focus on the important tasks at hand and ultimately reducing stress. Talking to someone you trust or writing about your feelings in a journal can really help in getting out your frustrations and aiding you in letting go of the things which are not necessarily in your control. Speaking to a licensed therapist about some techniques to manage stress can additionally prove to be a boon for you in the long term.
So now that you have seen how badly prolonged stress affects our heart health, do make it a point to consciously try to reduce it in your day to day life. If you are more susceptible to suffering from heart disease anyway, it becomes even more imperative to try to cut it out or at least to minimize your everyday stressors to live a long and healthy life. Do share this article with someone who you think can benefit from it and help them to live a better and a much fuller life. Know that stress is temporary but once you ruin your heart health, it is very difficult to get it to be completely normal again.