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Stress, Your Heart, and Mental Health

Stress, Your Heart, and Mental Health

Cardiovascular disease kills an American every 36 seconds. This makes it the leading killer in the United States.

Understanding what affects heart health can help you make lifestyle changes to improve yours. Stress and mental health, for instance, affect your heart.

Read on to learn how heart health and mental health go hand in hand and how you can improve both.

Heart Matters

Each day, the human heart pumps 2,500 gallons of nutrient-rich blood throughout the body. This makes it the hardest working muscle and maybe the most important.

When something changes how your heart functions, it puts you at risk for death. This makes reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease an essential part of life.

A Link Between Heart Health and Mental Health

Heart health and mental health go hand in hand. How do the mind and heart connect?

Emotional stress makes this crucial muscle work harder than average. During moments of stress, your body releases chemicals that activate your sympathetic nervous system.

As adrenaline releases and your cortisol levels rise, your blood vessels constrict. This makes it more difficult for blood to flow throughout the body and raises your blood pressure.

In response, the heart beats faster to pump sufficient blood. When chronic stress often puts your body into this state, it burdens your cardiac muscle.

At the same time, increased cortisol raises cholesterol levels and leads to inflammation which causes a buildup of plaque in the blood vessels. This creates a long-term increase in blood pressure and puts you at an increased risk of having a heart attack.

Stress may contribute to poor health behaviors linked to an increased risk for heart disease. It causes people to eat unhealthy foods, battle insomnia, and engage in risky behaviors, like drinking.

Taking measures to reduce the stress in your life will improve the workload for your heart. This can help you avoid an emergency room visit and potentially save your life.

Tips to Stress Less

Don’t make achieving lower stress levels a stressful task! You can quickly implement minor changes that will make a big difference. Here are some stress-reducing practices that may improve your heart health.

Sleep Well

Exhaustion can make anybody feel frazzled. Make sure you carve out enough time to get a decent night’s sleep. If you struggle with sleeping, make your room a tranquil space. Keep televisions and electronics out of the room.

Avoid exercising too close to bedtime as it can amp up your energy. Try drinking warm chamomile tea to calm your nerves before bed.


Make time to exercise early in the day. When you work up a sweat, your body releases endorphins, like dopamine and serotonin, that balance your mood and reduce your stress.

Yoga focuses on moving the body while calming the mind, making it an excellent option. But, anything you enjoy that keeps you moving will work.

Build a Support System

Build yourself a solid support system. Friends and family enrich our lives with meaningful experiences, allow us an outlet for venting, and help us through difficult times.

This can help you destress and create a happy life. Notice how people in your support system make you feel. Remove people who often create negativity or bring you down.

Improve Stress and Mental Health

Improve stress and mental health so that you can keep your heart healthy. Taking care of your heart can mean living a longer life!

Sometimes we need a little help with getting our health back on track, and we can help with a skilled and compassionate team. If you get sick or injured, visit our emergency room in Corpus Christi, TX.


CDC. “Heart Disease Facts |” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 Sept. 2020,

“What Is the Strongest Muscle in the Human Body?” Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, Accessed 16 Feb. 2022.‌

University of Rochester Medical Center. “Stress Can Increase Your Risk for Heart Disease – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center.”,

“Freestanding ER’s vs. Emergency Rooms | Texas ER | Physicians Premier.” Physicians Premier ER, 5 Apr. 2017, Accessed 16 Feb. 2022.