We all need some good stress in our lives. It sharpens our senses, helps us focus, and encourages us to push our boundaries.
But as with all good things, too much stress can cause problems—particularly with your cardiovascular system.
In the article below, we’ll explore how stress can profoundly impact your heart, specific issues that can develop, and what you can do to keep your stress under control.
Stress & Heart Health
The burst of energy you get from stress can be a big help when you need to give a presentation at work or avoid a dangerous situation. The boost in heart rate and surge of adrenaline allow you to navigate the challenge in front of you with laser-like focus.
But this stress response system isn’t meant to be active all the time. Chronic stress, the kind that sticks with you day in and day out, can place immense pressure on your cardiovascular system and may even lead to certain health issues.
When you’re dealing with chronic stress, your body frequently releases stress hormones like cortisol. Over time, this can lead to high cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides, and blood pressure—all of which are cardiovascular risk factors.
Constantly having to work harder and pump faster over a long period of time isn’t healthy for your heart.
Stress-Related Health Issues
So, what happens when stress takes its toll on your body?
The answer varies from person to person, but the following are some of the most common issues that can arise:
Left unchecked, the above health problems can all contribute to a perfect storm of cardiovascular risk. The cumulative effects of chronic stress can promote plaque buildup in the arteries, directly impacting the amount of blood and oxygen available to the heart.
In severe cases, the consequences of this buildup can be dire. If a piece of it breaks off from the arterial wall and blocks off the artery, it may shut off blood flow to the heart, leading to a heart attack.
There’s also a rare condition called broken heart syndrome, where extreme physical or emotional stress—usually due to an injury, surgery, loss of a loved one, or emergency—can actually change the shape of the left ventricle of the heart, impeding proper blood flow and leading to “chest pain and breathlessness.”
Believe it or not, this condition can occur in the absence of arterial plaque and other cardiovascular risk factors. It’s an uncommon phenomenon that researchers are still trying to understand fully, but it just goes to show how powerful an effect stress can have on the body.
Can Stress Permanently Damage Your Heart?
The short answer: Yes.
If chronic stress leads to plaque buildup in the arteries that supply blood to the heart, there’s unfortunately no way to get rid of it. Healthy lifestyle choices can help reduce these deposits and their likelihood of breaking off from arterial walls, but completely eliminating them simply isn’t possible.
And although this buildup may not actually occur within your heart, it can still directly affect how it functions for the rest of your life.
Heart Stress Symptoms
Now that you know just how serious stress can be, how can you tell if it’s affecting your body?
Here are some heart stress symptoms to look out for—some of which you may recognize:
How to Relax When Stressed
Knowing what heart stress symptoms look like is crucial to protecting your health, but now it’s time to be proactive.
Managing your stress with healthy coping strategies is absolutely vital—not only to your cardiovascular health but your physical and emotional health as well.
Your wellness is an investment, and the following stress-busting activities will provide a high ROI and help you relax when the weight on your shoulders gets a little too heavy.
How often do you do nothing? No phone, no emails, no TV. Just you and your breath.
If the answer is never, then you have a huge, untapped (and free) stress-fighting opportunity just waiting to be taken advantage of. A mountain of research supports deep breathing and mindfulness practices like meditation as healthy ways of coping with and reducing stress.
Get some steps in, hit the gym, ride a bike, or just get up and dance to your favorite song. It doesn’t matter how you move; physical activity is one of the best ways to not only get a handle on stress, but also improve your cardiovascular health.
Family, friends, therapy—a solid support system is key to handling life’s ups and downs. Having people you can turn to in times of stress and hardship gives you a much-needed outlet to vent your concerns and work through difficult emotions.
Research shows a clear association between work stress—often due to long hours, high demand, low pay, lack of raises and upward mobility, etc.—and a moderately elevated risk of heart health issues.
Many adults spend at least half their day at work, and when you add a partner and kids into the mix, there’s hardly any time left to decompress. That’s what makes balance all the more important.
Don’t forget to make time for yourself and your favorite hobbies—even if it’s just ten to fifteen minutes a day. With work and family responsibilities on your plate, carving out personal time for yourself will help ease stress and create a more balanced lifestyle.
BEMER is a stress-melting wellness device you can use at home or on the go to relax and elevate your health.
In just two eight-minute sessions a day, BEMER provides research-backed health and fitness benefits that improve your health, including:
Powered by pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) technology, this FDA-cleared medical device safely sends a therapeutic signal through the body to stimulate healthy muscles.*
During an eight-minute session, this signal temporarily enhances local blood flow, resulting in better oxygen delivery and carbon dioxide clearance in the target tissues.*
With daily use, you can experience the incredible benefits listed above, which can help you relax, relieve your burden of stress, and take your health to new heights.
As we’ve seen, chronic stress shouldn’t be taken lightly.
With BEMER therapy, you can strengthen your armor against life's challenges in just sixteen minutes a day, whether at home, on a business trip, or on a break at work.
If wellness is an investment, then BEMER is one of the best decisions you can make to manage stress and protect your health in the long run.
Want to explore more of what BEMER has to offer? Contact a distributor today to ask questions, view our product line, or see a live demonstration.
Better health is at your fingertips!
*BEMER does not provide any medical advice or services. This device is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It should not be used for any purpose other than as described in the user manual. Please consult your own healthcare provider if you have any medical issues.
BEMER does not provide any medical advice or services. This device is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It should not be used for any purpose other than as described in the user manual. Please consult your own healthcare provider if you have any medical issues.
BEMER USA LLC is a leader in the field of microcirculation. BEMER Group North America, 1902 Wright Place, Suite 200, Carlsbad, CA 92008