Particularly in women, a potential heart problem can be ignored as mere stress or anxiety. But even if it truly is stress, you still may be doing harm to your heart and circulatory system. Short-term stress can be beneficial when it helps you get through the task at hand. But left unchecked, excessive stress can lead to premature damage and clogging of the arteries.
People feel stress differently, be it a physically-, chemically-, emotionally-, or environmentally-based source. According to the American Heart Association, more research is needed to identify “if stress acts as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease” or if stress acts as a catalyst for risk factors like “high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, smoking, physical inactivity and overeating.”
Regardless of the accurate interpretation of how stress impacts cardiac and circulatory function, efforts to control and reduce stress in your life can only benefit your overall well-being. If you experience excessive stress, talk with your doctor about checking your heart health, and learn ways to cope with stress and anxiety in addition to meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises.
Do you have a question about your own heart health and ways to control stress and anxiety? Check out EmpowHER’s pages. Sign-up, post a question, share your story, connect with other women in our groups and community, and feel EmpowHERed!
Christine Jeffries is a writer/editor for work and at heart, and lives in a home of testosterone with her husband and two sons. Christine is interested in women’s health and promoting strong women.