Are Stress and Heart Disease Linked?

Are Stress and Heart Disease Linked?

Most adults experience physical and mental stress at some point. Though it’s challenging to do, doctors often advise reducing stress to maintaining good health. But is there any concrete relationship between stress and heart disease? The answer is yes. 

Our psychological state can significantly influence our physical health. If we are happy, many diseases stay at bay. Similarly, being stressed can lead to many disorders, such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, etc. Studies have even proved the association between a stressful life and cardiovascular diseases. The following are ways stress impacts the heart.

Increased Heart Rate

When you are stressed, your body releases stress hormones to cope with this state. These hormones increase your heart rate. This increased heart rate over a prolonged time can weaken the heart muscles, leading to heart disease.

High Blood Pressure

During stress, your body releases hormones named cortisol and adrenaline. Both these hormones increase blood pressure. High blood pressure puts an extra load on your heart, and your heart eventually becomes weak, exhausted, and diseased.

High Cholesterol

Stress hormones increase cholesterol levels as well. Cholesterol forms plaques in the blood vessels and narrows them, leading to insufficient blood flow to the heart. When the heart does not get enough blood supply, it does not work correctly, leading to a heart attack.


Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar level is another manifestation of stress. Stress hormones also increase blood sugar levels to cope with the anxious state. High blood sugar damages the heart over time, leading to heart disease.

Rhythm Irregularities

High stress levels can cause rhythm irregularities of the heart. These irregularities damage the heart and can even be fatal.

How to Prevent Stress-related Heart Damage 

Prevention begins with attempting to lower stress levels that you can control. Many people suffer from chronic stress and do not realize until the complications start. Anxiety can manifest in many ways, and chronic stress can impact your memory and concentration. If you experience physical symptoms like headaches, sleep problems, body aches, and weight changes, then speak with a doctor. There can also be emotional manifestations, such as mood swings, anger, and anxiety. Seeking professional help can alleviate stress and prevent complications. There are also many small steps that you can take to decrease stress. 

  • Eat a balanced diet. Drink enough water and eat plenty of vegetables. A healthy diet has a significant role in improving your physical and mental health.
  • Don’t forget to include exercise in your daily routine. Exercise is scientifically proven to relieve stress and elevate your mood.
  • Practice positivity in your life. Think positive, and let go of negative thoughts. 
  • Take some time for yourself. Relax during this time, and indulge in your hobbies and favorite activities.

If you feel that the above tips are not helping you with stress management, then be sure to speak with your doctor.

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