Toggle High
Contrast On
Categories
Body icon
Body
We celebrate all shapes and sizes because we see nothing but beauty.
View Topic
Life icon
Life
GR8NESS isn’t something you do; it’s how you live.
View Topic
Mind icon
Mind
Infuse mindfulness and awareness into everything you do.
View Topic
Self Care icon
Self Care
Refresh, renew, and reconnect with your inner self to nurture your wellbeing.
View Topic
Soul icon
Soul
Connect with all of humanity and discover your true self.
View Topic
Body
We celebrate all shapes and sizes because we see nothing but beauty.
View More
Categories
A life in motion is a life well lived. Move. Discover. Grow.
View Topic
True health lies in finding the perfect balance of mind, body, and spirit.
View Topic
Chronic pain can be debilitating. Regain control of your body and mind.
View Topic
Remedies sourced from nature help heal pains, both seen and unseen.
View Topic
Feed your body properly and you’ll nurture more than just the physical.
View Topic
Life
GR8NESS isn’t something you do; it’s how you live.
View More
Categories
Ease the way you move through life with simplicity and intelligence.
View Topic
Strengthening your relationships helps you celebrate who you’ve become.
View Topic
Raising children is the job of a lifetime. And you never get to retire.
View Topic
Our planet is a marvelous gift. Become the change the world needs by helping it heal.
View Topic
They’re an extended part of your family. Care for them the way they deserve.
View Topic
Mind
Infuse mindfulness and awareness into everything you do.
View More
Categories
While you cannot escape the stresses of life, you can find shelter inside yourself.
View Topic
Calming anxiety, easing depression, and discovering peace of mind are within your grasp.
View Topic
Everyday tools, training, and techniques to convince your brain it can be so much more.
View Topic
From mantras for self-love to changing the way you look at wellness.
View Topic
category alt tag
Self Care
Refresh, renew, and reconnect with your inner self to nurture your wellbeing.
View More
Categories
The journey of self-discovery is never-ending. Embrace your journey.
View Topic
Feeling good about your outside impacts how you feel about your inside. Feel beautiful both ways.
View Topic
Soul
Connect with all of humanity and discover your true self.
View More
Categories
Dive into your practice and experience something new every day. Give your mind some space to grow.
View Topic
Feed your mind with powerful positive statements to help you believe in yourself.
View Topic
In a fast-paced world, sometimes the best thing you can do is to breathe.
View Topic
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
woman with her hands on her temple dealing with stress
Image by goodluz / Shutterstock
423 Views
4 Min Read Time
1 Share

Is There a Link Between Stress and Heart Attacks?

GR8NESS RATING
1
gr8 vote
GR8
0
meh vote
MEH
0
pass vote
PASS

If you’ve ever been worried or stressed, you’ve probably heard the expression, “You’re gonna give yourself a heart attack!” While generally used as a euphemism, research shows that there is, in fact, a link between stress and heart attacks.

Dun, dun, dun…

Stress has a long list of adverse effects on not just our mental state, but on our bodies too. And it’s all around us. We experience stress at work, stress from parenting, and we can even inherit the stress of others. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, it’s inescapable.

If it’s inescapable, are we all doomed to die from stress? Luckily, no. Stress is not a direct cause of death. However, there is a link between stress and heart attacks. From brain chemicals to cardiovascular effects, eating habits to interpersonal relationships, stress impacts it all.

The Effects of Stress on the Body

Although stress is generally felt in our minds as a response to our external environment, it produces real, tangible changes in our bodies. You’ll notice that when your stress levels are high, you feel different physically. You may be tired or have insomnia, have trouble concentrating, experience muscle tension and aches and pains.

Enter the Release of Cortisol

When we become stressed, our bodies release a chemical called cortisol. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and has been deemed “the stress hormone.” Cortisol has several essential functions in the body, such as regulating blood sugar levels and reducing inflammation.

However, when cortisol levels become elevated for too long, the hormone starts to have detrimental side effects. These effects include high blood pressure, increased cholesterol and triglycerides, and failure to perform its regular function of regulating blood sugar levels.

Perpetually high levels of cortisol can restrict blood flow to the heart, depriving of it the oxygen it needs to keep pumping. It can also cause plaque to build up in your arteries, constricting your vascular system, making it even harder for blood to make its way to the heart.

All of these symptoms are associated with a higher risk of a heart attack.

Add to It the Release of Adrenaline

Similar to cortisol, adrenaline is another hormone that’s released by our adrenal glands in response to stress. Surges of adrenaline lead to increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and rapid breathing. While these symptoms on their own, experienced for short periods, are nothing to worry about, chronic stress that causes the effects to be longer-lasting can impact your heart.

Fast heart rate and high blood pressure both put a strain on your heart, causing it to work harder than it has to support the rest of your body’s internal systems. If you’re frequently stressed, releasing adrenaline into your body, your heart will see the consequences.

The Effects of Stress on Lifestyle

Stress doesn’t just affect these essential biological functions. It can also significantly alter the lifestyles of those who suffer. Studies show that people who experience chronic stress report higher rates of anxiety and depression, as well as decreased levels of energy.

What impact does this have on the heart? Individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, and low energy levels often don’t eat as well as they should or exercise as regularly.

Sedentary lifestyles have been linked to a higher risk of heart attack, blood clots, and stroke. Poor diet is linked to high cholesterol, the build-up of plaque in the arteries, and heart disease.

While it may seem that the effects we see from stress are “no big deal,” they can have very serious consequences.

The Battle Against Stress

Now we know that chronic stress is most definitely linked to higher risks of a heart attack. So, what can we do to combat that risk? The battle against stress is as old as time, but there are some simple solutions that you can start implementing into your daily routine today.

Ways to lower stress levels include:

  • Taking time for self-care
  • Finding a hobby that you enjoy and making time for it
  • Exercise regularly
  • Make sure you get enough sleep
  • Manage your time wisely, use an app if you have to
  • Remove yourself from toxic environments

Stress is part of life, and while it’s something that we have to accept, it is not something that we have to succumb to. Due to the effects that it can have on heart disease, it’s crucial to find a balance and to manage stress effectively.

GR8NESS RATING
1
gr8 vote
GR8
0
meh vote
MEH
0
pass vote
PASS
Anne
GR8NESS Writer
Anne is a GR8NESS Contributing Writer, covering mental health, self-development, body, health, and pet care. She believes that self-betterment comes from addressing all aspects of the mind, body, and soul. When she’s not writing, you will definitely find her giving her dog belly rubs and reading the first half of every book she buys.
Learn More
Related Articles
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by energepic.com / Pexels

Who Stress? Eustress? Good Stress.

Is all stress equal? Turns out it's not. While we know there is a link between stress and heart attacks and that stress can affect your body in a myriad of ways, there's another type of stress that may not be so bad for you after all. Eustress, defined as...
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by Peggy_Marco / Pixabay

Is It Possible to Reduce Stress Hormones?

Though stress is often perceived as a mental phenomenon when our brains race and we feel overwhelmed and filled with worry, it has biological roots. When an individual experiences stress, it is in response to the brain releasing chemicals that trigger "stress hormones" that flow through our body. The hypothalamus...
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by Lacie Slezak / Unsplash

5 Positive Effects of Stress

Stress can have some serious negative effects on your body and mental health. Research links stress to an increased risk of heart attack, burn-out, panic attacks, poor gut health, migraines, and more. But it's unavoidable. Stress is something we all face. Whether it's at work, school, or due to the...
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by 1388843 / Pixabay

9 Highly Effective Stress Reducers

Life is like a rollercoaster with its ups and downs. For some, this is exhilarating. For others, it is stressful. From major crises to minor challenges, we all deal with stress differently. You can't always control what goes on in the world around you, but you can control how you...
The URL has been copied