Stressing Out? It’s Hurting Your Heart Health

You more than likely have heard that extreme stress is not good for your health. But did you know that it is a risk factor of heart disease along with things like smoking and alcohol abuse?

Many studies link stress, job strain, and overall demoralization with increased risk for heart disease.

A stress hormone, known as cortisol, is released in stressful situations. This leads to an increase in blood sugar and blood pressure. Eventually, the overproduction of cortisol can lead to a constant state of chemical arousal, which in turn can lead to a heart attack.

While you cannot always change your circumstances to avoid stress, you can change how you react to the situation. Simple steps like taking time out to relax and breathe can help calm a stressful situation. Everyone deals with stress differently so it’s important for you to find your own stress outlet. Avoid unhealthy outlets such as smoking, drinking, over-eating, and procrastinating. Here are some of our favorite ways to relax, have fun, and reduce stress:

  • Go for a relaxing walk
  • Get a good sweat going at the gym
  • Listen to music
  • Curl up with a good book
  • Take a long bath
  • Get a massage
  • Play with a pet

Let us know what your favorite stress relievers are in the comments section!

If you would like to learn more about how to maintain a health heart, or to talk with a physician about your potential heart risk factors, visit Sherman’s Heart and Vascular Center.

About Sherman Health

Sherman Health has provided medical care to Northern IL since 1888, and is currently home to a network of over 600 physicians. The Sherman blogs are edited by me, Luke. Questions? Comments? Links? Email address is luke at shermanhealth dot com.
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