A man sits in front of a laptop looking stressed while a hand holds a cell phone out to him

Stress and Your Heart

Everyone experiences stress. Knowing that you have things to do during the day means you have to be out of bed to complete those tasks. ReactDx, the ambulatory cardiac monitor company, knows stress is inevitable, but how you deal with that stress is unique to you. By learning to manage stress, you can keep your heart healthier.

Your Body’s Response to Stress
Stress comes in two varieties: good stress and bad stress. Good stress is looking forward to a vacation, anticipating the birth of your first grandchild, or hosting a party. Bad stress is working long hours, being physically ill, or experiencing family troubles. When your body is under stress, adrenaline courses through your system to help you react with either aggression or by ignoring the situation (“fight or flight”). When stress happens over extended periods of time, the onslaught of adrenaline creates cortisol, which signals your body to store fat for the future. Cortisol and other stress hormones tip the scale on health and can lead to many digestive, mental, and cardiovascular problems. Stress-related health problems include anxiety, weight gain, insomnia, mental focus problems, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Responding to Stress
Now that you have a better idea of how stress can affect you, ReactDx has a few tips on how you can better manage your stress.

  • Exercise: When you walk, ride a bike, swim, or play a sport with your family, your body releases endorphins, which are the “feel good” hormones that relax you and stabilize your mood.
  • Turn off and tune out: We are constantly inundated with bad news from various sources. Read a book rather than watching the news, and stay away from controversial social media.
  • Have a normal bedtime routine: Studies have found going to bed at approximately the same time every night is beneficial to your overall health. A good amount of sleep — anywhere from seven to nine hours a night — will fully rest your body and brain and keep you more energized throughout the day.
  • Eat a balanced diet: Food that is good for you keeps you healthy and helps you lose weight. When you lose weight, you are more likely to exercise, and you become more optimistic. A simple change, such as substituting olive oil for butter, can significantly help your heart.
  • Take a deep breath: Stress is alleviated when you step back, take a breath, give yourself a pep talk, and think positively.   

It’s important that you make sure your stress level is balanced. Contact ReactDx online or by calling 800-23-HEART to ask if an ambulatory cardiac monitor would help you determine whether your heart is affected by your current level of stress. Read our blog to learn more about heart health.

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