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Stress and Your Heart: You Don’t Want This For Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hope you’ve said that to those you love and care about and they’ve said it back to you. It’s really good to know you have social support to surround, love, nurture, and have your back when stressors come your way.  Just knowing you have that social support, whether it’s close or far away, is one of the many ways you can keep the negative stress wolves from your door.

And even though Wear Red Day was February 7, to help your get even more benefit from having a strong support system, it’s time to think about how negative stress can affect your heart.

Think about it, when you’re at work and your boss imposes a new deadline or your 17 year-old again tells you, “you just don’t understand”, or someone cuts you off in traffic and barely misses hitting you, your stress response is probably gonna kick in.

What’s happening to your heart then?

As soon as you add your own meaning to any of the situations above, your breath quickens, epinephrine helps dilate your bronchial tubes in your lungs, cortisol ramps up, your blood gets thicker because the epinephrine releases fibrinogen to help clotting, and your blood pressure rises. Some blood vessels open up, but hey, the ones returning to your heart-they constrict. Yes, that means your blood is crashing back into your heart like water hitting the levees in New Awlins during Katrina-and look what happened to them.

And since the culture in which we live encourages a chronically activated stress response, the wear and tear on the heart can contribute to developing devastating consequences, like hypertension, heart attack, arrhythmias, damaging artery walls, and plaque buildup to name a few.

So today, if you haven’t already, reach out, spread the love and allow it to return back to you. Your heart and your health in general, and yes, this includes your emotional and spiritual health, will thank you for it.

As always, I love helping women live happier lives. Whether you call it depression, anxiety, stress, or nerves, I’d like to help. I invite you to call me at 512.680.2874 for your free 15-minute phone consultation. Let’s discuss how I may be able to help.

And remember, TBC is completely online now, offering video therapy and coaching, which frees up your time so you can enjoy your life more!

Looking forward to hearing your story and helping you feel better,

Dr. B.

 

 

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