“February is Heart Health Month, but maintaining a healthy heart should be a daily priority. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who estimate this killer claims a life about every minute.
Approximately one in four deaths can be blamed on heart disease or stroke. Every day, each of us is at risk, and there’s a somewhat lesser-known culprit behind that heart attack or stroke lurking just around the corner.
Research has shown the causes of a diseased heart aren’t just physical, but psychological as well. In addition to hereditary factors beyond our control and the well-known physical risk factors-living a sedentary life, having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, being a smoker, eating a high-fat diet, or being overweight or obese-we also put ourselves at risk for heart disease every day simply because of the stress in our lives.
But how does stress affect your heart? According to the Cleveland Clinic, when stress is left untreated, it can cause high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, damage to arteries, high cholesterol, weakened immune system, and it can also cause coronary artery disease to develop.
The American Psychological Association (APA) goes one step further, making the mind-body connection by saying when stress devolves into depression, the risk of heart disease goes up.
According to the APA, long-term studies have shown that men and women diagnosed with clinical depression are more than twice as likely to develop heart disease or suffer a heart attack, and clinically depressed people are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack even up to 10 years after their first depressive episode. . .
strengthen your resilience, you’re getting an added benefit-a healthy heart. Approximately 2,200 people die every day from heart disease-that’s 2,200 reasons to manage your stress.
Keep your heart healthy and stay resilient. “