It is hard to go through life without being stressed at one point or another. However, while some amount of stress is normal, when it becomes chronic and starts affecting your ability to get through your days, then it can become an issue for your health, including your heart health.

As we continue to recognize American Heart Month this February, our team at AFC Urgent Care Springfield wants to share some insight about how stress can affect your heart and steps you can take to protect it.

What Happens When Your Body Is Under Stress?

When your body is under stress, you tend to breathe faster and your heart rate increases. Your body is flooded with what are known as “stress hormones.”

Those hormones can be a positive thing when you need to push through and meet a deadline or win a race. But over time, they can cause your blood pressure to rise and can increase your risk of heart disease.

Main Causes of Stress

  • Death of a loved one
  • Divorce
  • Loss of a job
  • Financial difficulties
  • Moving
  • Chronic illness or injury

How Can I Get Rid of Stress?

You can’t totally rid your life of stress—at least, most of us can’t! It’s a fact of life. But too much of it can be dangerous for our health.

That’s why it is important to find effective ways to help you manage stress. Healthy lifestyle habits are a good place to begin, since they can promote overall good health and help it resist stress.

Ways to Relieve Stress

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Laugh often.
  • Practice yoga.
  • Create a gratitude diary or list.
  • Meditate or sit silently.
  • Breathe deeply throughout the day.
  • Listen to music.
  • Go for a hike.

Is it stress or something else? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Springfield today for a medical evaluation to see if an underlying medical condition is to blame.