Manage Stress for Your Heart

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Topic Overview

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.

Stress can:

  • 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.

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.

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology

Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015