How Stress Contributes to Heart Disease | STRESS AND HEART HEALTH

So how does stress contribute to heart disease? You might be surprised by the answer. Most doctors will ask you about whether you’re smoking or drinking because we know that when we’re stressed we’re more likely to engage in coping mechanisms such as those unhealthy behaviours by eating junk food, not exercising enough.

And part of that is because when we’re stressed we don’t feel like we have the time to keep up with those healthy behaviours.

But that’s an indirect cause between feeling stress and cardiovascular health.

But in 2017 a study in The Lancet showed that there’s a more direct risk between stress and heart health. So they showed, through brain scans, that constant stress is linked to an area in the brain called the amygdala and it actually starts a process that sends a signal to your bone marrow to start producing more white blood cells.

Now these white blood cells then start a process in your arteries and they become inflamed and it’s this inflammation that is concerning. This is part of a process that can actually lead to heart attacks, cardiovascular disease strokes.

And it’s direct.

This is not about your behaviours this is actually a physical process that happens in your body when you’re you’re being exposed to constant stress.

So we’ve always been shown that having constant stress veers us away from those healthy behaviours that are so good for your heart. But this is actually showing a direct link between stress or chronic stress and inflammation of your arteries.

So this should be a wake-up call for you. Stress management isn’t some airy-fairy, kumbaya type thing.

This is something that can actually affect your physical health cardiac health.

So what does this mean for you? Well, stress management should be taken seriously. It’s as important as knowing your cholesterol numbers. And if you’ve had a heart attack in the past or cardiovascular event or you have someone in your family who has heart issues you have to take it more seriously.

Build-in stillness into your life it doesn’t have to be meditations. It doesn’t have to be anything other than building in some ‘me-time. Maybe some walks, getting out into nature it doesn’t have to be complicated. We can’t have a stress-free life but it’s about how you react to the stress and how you perceive it. Remember, reducing stress is not just beneficial for your psychological health we now know it’s beneficial for your heart health as well.

As found on YouTube

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