Understanding the Effects of Stress on Your Heart Health

How Stress Negatively Impacts Your Physical Health


We all get stressed from time to time. It’s a part of everyday life. Whether you have a busy work schedule, concerns over bills or trouble at home, not everyone reacts the same to stress. Although a little bit of stress can be good for us, chronic stress can contribute to heart problems.


Stress causes arteries throughout the body to constrict, which reduces blood supply to the heart. This can be incredibly damaging when feelings of stress are constant. Stress is a risk factor for heart disease because of the persistently elevated levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Studies also link stress to changes in the way blood blots, which increases the risk of a heart attack.


One of the many ways stress may affect the heart is by affecting behaviors that increase the risk to the heart. These include overeating that elevates high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, and physical inactivity. People often turn to fast food and dessert when they’re anxious or under pressure. These high-fat and high-cholesterol foods can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes that contribute to the artery damage that causes heart attack and stroke.


If you’re stressed and don’t yet have a good way to manage it, try these simple steps:

  • Laugh often – Laughter has been found to lower levels of stress hormones and reduce inflammation in the arteries
  • Work out – When you engage in physical activity, your body releases endorphins which help you to feel happier and lower your blood pressure.
  • Get enough rest – Sleep is important in maintaining good physical health.
  • Meditate – This practice of quiet solitude and deep breathing has been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure.


Managing stress can help you lead a healthier lifestyle! When you’re looking for the right insurance that gives you peace of mind, contact the team at Kneller Agency today to get started!

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