Can stress and emotions affect the heart?

Stress, depression, separation, being irritated can all affect us more than we realize. These factors can cause us to get sick if we don’t take proper action to prevent it.

The most affected organ is the heart, because negative emotions increase the breathing rate and blood pressure, as a result of the compressing of blood vessels. In other words, this means that strong emotions and stress are closely connected with cardiovascular disease. Negative emotions and difficult situations such as a divorce, the loss of a loved one, can bring heavy pressure on the heart.

Exposing ourselves to an increased level of stress over a long period of time leads to additional energy consumption, affects sleep quality, weight and blood pressure. Not to mention that it drastically increases the risk of myocardial infarction or stroke.

Chronic stress can also be linked indirectly to other heart related conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes. Women who are extremely stressed may also experience certain hormonal disorders.

How to reduce stress and cope with emotions

The first thing we can do is learn how to properly manage stress, and diminish its impact — since we cannot completely eliminate it. Learning to control stress can keep our heart from being affected. Basically, we need to know how to react to the negative, stressful events that can overwhelm our emotional balance.

How a person deals with stress matters a lot. For example, if during periods of high stress we tend to consume alcohol, or smoke, we will only suffer even more. If we do our best to not react negatively to stressful situations, however, our health will be greatly improved over time.

Tips on how you can reduce stress

  • Set up activities with family members or friends. Choose whichever activities make you feel good, relaxed. For example, go out to watch a good comedy, dine in a restaurant, go for walks with people you like to talk to, go shopping, etc.
  • Do as much sport as possible. Let’s not forget that exercise causes the body to release endorphins, one of the best ways to eliminate stress and keep it under control. If you don’t fancy running or going to the gym, go to a swimming pool or even just take a walk.
  • Try breathing exercises, as they can help you stay calm and focused.
  • Stay away from the negative people who are upset all the time, as they can heavily impact your own state of mind.
  • Think positive. There are studies that have demonstrated that positive people who laugh more often live a longer life than those who are always pessimistic.
  • Avoid eating in excess. Try to eat as healthy as possible, avoid alcohol consumption in large quantities and smoking.
  • Accept that there are certain things that you can not control.

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