Manage Stress for Your Heart
Why is it important to manage stress?
Stress is the way we all react to change. It includes our mental, emotional, and physical responses to the pressures of everyday life. Because change is a natural and normal part of life, everyone has some stress.
But stress can be bad for your heart. If you have heart disease, stress can lead to angina symptoms and maybe a heart attack.
- Raise your blood pressure. This could make your heart work harder. It could also break open a plaque in your coronary artery, which could lead to a heart attack.
- Raise your heart rate. This could make your heart work harder. It could also cause a dangerous irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).
How can you manage stress?
Taking steps to manage stress can improve your health and life.
- Try different ways to reduce stress, such as exercise, deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
- Try to change the situation that is causing your stress, if you can. Or maybe you can change your reaction to that situation. For more information, see Stress Management.
No single method of "stress-busting" works for everyone. You may need to try several methods to find one that works for you. You may need to combine a few methods to get the best results.
Current as of: December 16, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine