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Don't Worry: Anxiety Is Bad For Your Heart

Don't Worry: Anxiety Is Bad For Your Heart

Although most women mistakenly believe that cancer is the biggest threat to their lives, heart disease is actually the leading cause of death among women in the US. While lack of exercise, obesity, high cholesterol and smoking are all predictable causes of heart disease, stress and anxiety are also culprits. Recent research suggests that the complicated physiological reactions to stress, including rises in blood pressure, affect your heart health. While there are many stress creating elements, like job strain, social isolation, personality traits, even anxiety producing phobias, more and more evidence suggests a relationship between the risk of cardiovascular disease and elevated stress. Although more research needs to be done on the complicated relationship between the stress, anxiety, emotions and heart health, many cardiac health experts recommend stress reduction as a preventive measure.

If you are a stress case, there are both short term and long term health benefits to figuring out how to lower your stress level. Don't reach for a smoke or fatty comfort food (both are not good for your heart health) when times are stressful or emotionally rough. Talk to a friend, exercise, get enough sleep, or get a relaxing massage, to help relieve your stress. Taking a couple of deep breaths is a simple and cheap remedy; after all air is free.

What is your healthy stress relief? Tell me in the comments section below.


Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 9 years
When I'm stressed, I play fetch with my dog. I know, weird right? Somehow, it calms me down a lot. I also like to just sit down with a magazine and read it while I sip some wine or have a light beer. It really does calm me down, I guess.
ElleJay ElleJay 9 years
oh this sucks- i have horrible anxiety! usually it leads me to not eating though.
michlny michlny 9 years
Dancing in my apt. - music blasting!, Yoga, any exercise, deep breathing, my iPod, calling a friend, fresh air, oh, and pretending to laugh or forcing a smile -- works wonders!
pinkmermaid23 pinkmermaid23 9 years
I get so stressed out. But, ever since I found yoga I'm feeling a lot better. I recommend it to anyone feeling a little out of control now and then. I can honestly say, it has changed the way I feel inside and out.
emalove emalove 9 years
Easier said than done, right?! Sometimes it's near impossible to NOT worry/stress when things are happening in our lives. I get bad tension headaches like DreaAST when I stress too good.
DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
Wow! I worry all of the time about everything and anything. I guess that is why I do get massive headaches!
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
"Personally sometimes the only thing that helps my anxiety is taking a Xanax. " lol! i really don't think that taking medications is any better for your body than the actual worrying! A lot of this is also habits we do to de-stress, like eat junk food and go shopping, etc.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
My anti-stress is music and dancing. Even though I lost my iPod I find that when I get stressed I start to sing some song to myself that was on it. Anxiety/worry - cannot figure that out. Even my therapist has said that I have an extraordinary amount of worry and that I was probably born worrying. Worry motivates me to act so she felt eliminating the worry was not good, reigning it in was a better idea. But is hard too. My anxiety is actually being induced by medication and until we (my doctor and I) can safely get me off that medication the anxiety/mild paranoia will remain. And the worst of it is the medication is an anti-convulsant that is suppose to control the frequency of my migraines and its just happens that it cause major anxiety in people who were prescribed it. Lower dosage less anxiety, however more intense migraines and more worry.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Wow I knew it had to have long term effects. Personally sometimes the only thing that helps my anxiety is taking a Xanax. Unfortunately at times nothing other than medication really works... Although in some cases I try to distract myself from what's bothering me, maybe take a walk, pop in a movie, go to the gym, try and get fresh air, take a nap, talk to a friend and/or clean. (it gets my mind off things)
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