TAKING CHARGE OF STRESS
If you have ever experienced a sudden fright, you will know the sensation of your heart thumping fast inside your chest. But what really happens to your cardiovascular system in times of tension and when you are under pressure?
A pounding heart is one element of the body's innate fight-or-flight response to stress. The brain signals the adrenal glands to release the hormone adrenaline into the blood-stream, and this increases the rate and force of the heartbeat. The heart pumps faster to send blood to the brain and the muscles in preparation or attack or retreat. In isolated instances, the heart rate usually returns to normal within minutes, once the source of stress has gone.
But what happens when the cause of stress is not short term? The cardiovascular system can suffer continued pressure if we don't take charge of stress.
Stress affects two of the principal risk factors of the development of coronary heart disease - blood pressure and cholesterol. Studies show that blood pressure and stress rise in a response to a variety of stresses, from arguments to video games. The immediate effects of stress, apart from the release of adrenaline and a racing heart, are to increase blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This makes the heart more susceptible to disturbances of rhythm, and cause platelets within the blood to bind more readily.
Great emotional upset such as the loss of a loved one can cause angina in those who suffer from coronary artery disease; in some cases sudden shock can precipitate a heart attack. Under long term stress, release of the natural steroid hormone cortisol increases, causing salt retention, a rise in blood volume and blood pressure, and a greater sensitivity to the action of adrenaline.
sleep is an important time for our heart - taking things easier for a few hours gives it a vital chance to recharge. Insufficient rest can spell trouble for the cardiovascular system particularly for people with heart problems.
Studies show that sensible or non drinkers have a lower risk of heart disease.
Mizz Kassim, is a, Creative Artist, Psychotherapist, Grandmaster Reiki-Teacher & Holistic Practitioner who wishes to inspire & motivate other humans to become healthy & lead abundant lives.