If you experience psychological stress, it can affect more than your mood. Is stress killing your heart? Read on to find out.
While high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and physical inactivity are major risk factors for heart disease, something else may be affecting your health: stress. According to recent studies, chronic psychological stress may be affecting your heart health – especially if you have a less-than-healthy heart.
In fact, a new study that appears in the November 2021 issue of JAMA explores the effects of physical and mental stress on heart health. According to their results, mental stress took a greater toll on heart health than physical stress. These findings support earlier studies that show how psychological stress may increase the risk of cardiovascular events.
For example, the Interheart study shows that psychological stress is an independent risk factor doe heart attacks. Dr. Michael T. Osborne, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, explains that its heart-damaging effects are similar to more commonly measured risks. Other studies also show that acute psychological stress in otherwise healthy people can also increase the risk of a heart attack.
Dr. Ahmed Tawakol, from Massachusetts General, worked alongside Osborne and a team of experts to analyze how the body reacts to psychological stress. When you face a stressful situation, there is a cascade of reactions that lead to inflammation, blood clotting, and impaired function of your blood vessels.
Other studies suggest that having an elevated level of emotional stress may develop biological evidence of heart disease. In contrast, those who don’t have an elevated level are less likely to experience these damaging effects as a result of stress.
If you want to minimize the effects of stress on your heart, one of the best things you can do is exercise regularly. Through consistent physical activity, you can help bring down your stress and also the inflammation it causes.
Another thing that may help is getting good quality sleep as poor sleep can promote arterial inflammation and increase stress. You should also practice relaxation techniques like yoga, deep breathing, mediation, and tai chi. Lastly, you may take medications like statins to fight inflammation or antidepressants to help ease your stress if you have depression.
Through its various effects on your body, stress may be damaging your heart without you even knowing. So if you want a good heart and overall health, then you need to effectively manage your stress.
In addition, you can benefit your health by taking supplements like L-arginine Plus. Its ingredients effectively promote circulation, blood pressure health, cholesterol health, and more. If you’re ready to support your health, then learn how to manage your stress and take L-arginine Plus.