- A Visual Guide to Heart Disease
- Medical Illustrations of the Heart Image Collection
- Take the Heart Disease Quiz!
- Find a local Cardiologist in your town
- Heart disease and stress introduction
- How Does Stress Increase the Risk for Heart Disease?
- Does Stress Affect Everyone the Same?
- What Causes Stress?
- What Are the Warning Signs of Stress?
- How Can I Cope With Stress?
- How Can I Keep a Positive Attitude?
- How Can I Reduce My Stressors?
- How Can I Learn How to Relax?
- Guidelines for Healthy Eating to Fight Stress
- What if Sleep Problems Are Contributing to my Stress
What Causes Stress?
Stress can be caused by a physical or emotional change, or a change in your environment that requires you to adjust or respond. Things that make you feel stressed are called "stressors."
Stressors can be minor hassles, major lifestyle changes, or a combination of both. Being able to identify stressors in your life and releasing the tension they cause are the keys to managing stress.
Below are some common stressors that can affect people at all stages of life.
- Illness, either personal or of a family member or friend.
- Death of a friend or loved one.
- Problems in a personal relationship.
- Work overload.
- Starting a new job.
- Daily hassles.
- Legal problems.
- Financial concerns.
What Are the Warning Signs of Stress?
When you are exposed to long periods of stress, your body gives warning signals that something is wrong. These physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral warning signs should not be ignored. They tell you that you need to slow down. If you continue to be stressed and you don't give your body a break, you are likely to develop health problems like heart disease. You could also worsen an existing illness.
|Physical signs||Dizziness, general aches and pains, grinding teeth, clenched jaws, headaches, indigestion, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, racing heart, ringing in the ears, stooped posture, sweaty palms, tiredness, exhaustion, trembling, weight gain or loss, upset stomach|
|Mental signs||Constant worry, difficulty making decisions, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, lack of creativity, loss of sense of humor, poor memory|
|Emotional signs||Anger, anxiety, crying, depression, feeling powerless, frequent mood swings, irritability, loneliness, negative thinking, nervousness, sadness|
|Behavioral signs||Bossiness, compulsive eating, critical attitude of others, explosive actions, frequent job changes, impulsive actions, increased use of alcohol or drugs, withdrawal from relationships or social situations|