Did you know that there is no direct link between stress and heart disease? That’s according to the American Heart Association.  And they know a thing or two about heart disease!   Despite there being no direct connection to heart disease, stress can still negatively impact one’s health and can cause heart-related problems.

We know that there are different kinds of stress – some positive, and some not-so-positive. As an example, planning a wedding for your daughter might be stressful, even though it’s a positive event.  The same with deciding to go back to school to prepare for a new career.   Or stress can be a not-so-positive thing we are dealing with such as coping with the illness of a loved one or dealing with financial or legal issues.  Each of these examples still involve STRESS. Our body doesn’t know the difference between positive stressors and negative stress – we get the same physiological response.

So what can we do?  Each person will need to find his or her own way to deal with stress.  There is no one-size-fits-all approach that works.  There are some things that tend to help many people, however.

Recent research has indicated that anger and hostility have been linked  to heart disease. This likely due to the stress hormones released in the blood when one is angry or hostile, causing a temporary increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This in turn puts added stress on the heart. Best to work on avoiding these feelings in the first place, which may be easier said than done. Talk with your doctor or a professional counselor if you struggle with constant or persistent feelings of anger or hostility.

Want to learn more about heart health? Take the American Heart Association’s Go Red Heart CheckUp to learn more about your heart health.  Take care of stress and take care of YOU!

Image from WSA
Sources:  American Heart Association, www.goredforwomen.org and National Institutes of Health, www.nih.gov.