Can Stress Lead to Heart Attack?

Can Stress Lead to Heart Attack?

Do you feel uncomfortable and overpowered by emotions?

Do you feel mild pain in the heart?

If you are stressed and clueless about managing it, or you often neglect the symptoms, you are likely to have chest pain, high blood pressure, and irregular heartbeats.

According to statistics, “Over 90% of stress-induced cardiomyopathy occurs in older women.”

However, short-lived stress like interview preparation, exam preparation, or meeting a deadline won’t affect health much but long-term stress induced by work, financial difficulties, relationship issues pose a unique challenge for your body metabolism altogether.

Irritability, depression, rumination, and insomnia can cause a chronic illness.

“An individual’s lifestyle boosts the stress levels leading to a heart attack”- According to Study

According to the British House Foundation, “The link between stress and heart attack is closely linked with lifestyle. Certain habits trigger a heart attack or stroke-like, smoking or drinking alcohol too much.”

Stress raises blood pressure in an individual and, in the worst case, leads to heart clots, which may cause a heart attack. Depression and psychological attacks are linked with heart attacks, and high-stress levels negatively affect health recovery post- a heart attack.

Some individuals find it hard to deal with stress or depression and thus try to lower stress and anxieties through indulgence; however, it deteriorates the situation further.

What are some common types of stress?

It is crucial to determine stress types before the heart attack turns serious. Here are some types that show different levels of stress in a human body:

a) Physical Stress

Physical stress can be as insomnia, muscle tension, sweating, racing heart, pain, gastrointestinal issues, and fatigue.

b) Emotional stress

One can feel emotionally stress-related heart pain, and it’s because of frustration, anxiety, depression, anger, and fear.

c) Behavioural stress 

In highly stressful situations, one experiences different mood swings and behavioural changes. Isolation, excessive drinking, skipping meals, avoiding things, and aggressive behaviours are behaviours associated with behavioural stress.

d) Cognitive

If an individual finds it hard to develop a positive view of things and constantly overthinks, it affects his/her judgment abilities and blurs the clarity in one’s mind.

What are the symptoms of stress?

Owing to the above situation, people suffering from stress may face the below symptoms:

  • Pains
  • Feelings of anxiety or fear
  • Decreased energy
  • Decreased sleep
  • Impatience
  • Teeth grinding
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Forgetful
  • Tearful
  • Libido
  • Cutting off from the world
  • Eating too much or too little

All these are stress symptoms. Don’t suffer in silence if you are experiencing a few of these. Instead, seek help from a therapist.

For example: if you are stressed about taking out easy loans for bad credit and facing rejection, all you can do is talk to your creditor for clearance over the terms and conditions of the agreement. Yes, you can secure funds with poor credit scores and flexible repayment terms. So, there is nothing to stress about, just make the things work.

How Does Stress Leads to Heart Attack?

Stress can be – psychological, emotional, or behavioural, as mentioned above. Emotional stress can increase blood pressure and eventually leads to heart disease and cause a build-up in the coronary arteries.

Emotional stress increases the level of stress hormones in the body. These hormones affect the platelets and autonomic tone, i.e., involuntary functions. Apart from that, little or no exercise routine affects oxygen flow in the blood, leading to a heart attack.

High levels of cortisol released from the body owing to long-term stress can increase the levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure. And these are the significant risk factors that can cause heart disease. Apart from this, even a small bit of stress can trigger poor blood flow and affect the heart muscle. When the heart doesn’t get the required oxygen, it causes shivering and fluctuating blood flow for the time being.

The risk of heart attack is major in case of long-term stress because long-term stress affects the flow of blood in the heart for a long time, leading to blood clots. In addition, this clotting of blood in the body leads to a heart attack.

Thus, you can contact a therapist if you face anxiety issues and talk your heart out. Analyze what’s causing your stress and how you can eliminate it. Apart from that, there are different things an individual can do to keep stress at bay. Let’s discuss.

Top Tips to Keep Stress at Bay and Save Your Heart

Your heart is the power of your soul, and thus, you need to protect your heart by ensuring these stress-reduction tips:

1) Exercise routine

Every 2 in 3 of heart and stress-related issues are due to lack of exercise. Exercise helps control your body’s metabolism by reducing the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. And it releases endorphins, which are crucial to keeping your body healthy and happy.

It also helps combat stress. Thus, if you feel a hard time working out, then you might invite stress already.  Incorporate activities in your lifestyle that you enjoy doing, like playing tennis, football, cricket, aerobics, and Zumba. It will help you keep your body and release stress.

2) Have a “me” time

After a hectic day at work, sort out something you love. Something that you like to do and share a passion for could be anything from dancing, singing, writing journals, etc. Whether it is just 10 minutes or half an hour, consider how much you can dedicate to your passion in the busy professional and personal life and have a restorative prime time with yourself.

In this session, ditch any thoughts about making the dishes or pending loan repayments. Just think about your passion. It will help overcome negativity and boost self-confidence.

3) Laugh out problems

You must be familiar with this technique of welcoming happiness to your life and eliminating stress and negativity. Laughter increases oxygen levels in the body and helps relieve tension by relaxing your muscles. It helps adjust the mood and make one feel light. Thus, spending time with people who make you laugh can surely trigger a positive response towards your health issues.

4) Be thankful

Be thankful for everything and keep a journal by your side. Pen down your day’s events in it every day. Spend a few minutes thinking about something you are grateful for today.

Doing so will help improve mood, ensure a good sleep, boost your immune system, and of course, reduce stress. According to a study, nearly 25% benefitted from this technique and encountered reduced stress levels. What’s stopping you? Pour your heart into the pages and fill in yourself with positivity.

So, yes, increased stress levels can significantly affect your heart muscles, and blood clots can lead to heart attacks. Thus, seek a therapist or a psychologist immediately if you are stressed for a long time. It can help you ensure a serene life.

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