Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, is the most common type of irregular heartbeat and affects over 2.7 million Americans.
Stress can activate the body’s physiologic stress response and cause the release of inflammatory molecules. These may damage the heart tissue, which could then lead to the development of AFib…maybe. The link isn’t well-researched yet, but that’s the initial thought from researchers about stress and heart health. Another is the causation between depression and heart health. Does depression make you more susceptible to heart issues or do heart issues make you more susceptible to depression? Although unknown, it seems clear that stress is bad for your body, including your heart.
Here are three tips to get you past a stressful moment (or too many snow days with your children in the house)
- Listen to Ben Harper’s Winter is for Lovers. It’s a great piece of music, but any music you enjoy can be very calming and help reduce stress.
- Exercise! Yes, here again is the idea that moving isn’t just good for your muscles but good for your outlook on life. Taking a 15 minute walk (even through the snow) can help reduce your stress.
- Trade out a grumpy mood through gratitude. Try this: write out a thank you note to your neighbor, spouse, mail carrier; anyone who has brightened your life in the last week or who you think is feeling underappreciated. Writing out something that you can feel good about will help you shift your perspective to something positive. That, in turn, can improve your mood and alleviate stress.