Balancing The Relationship Between Heart, Stress And Exercise

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7 Main Causes of Stress

Stress can come from out of the blue, out of left field, totally unexpected. It can also arrive on a regular basis, predictably showing up because of some part of your daily routine.

Beating stress and its dangerous, even possibly deadly, effects on your life can only happen when you know where stress is coming from. Listed below find the top 7 causes of stress in most people’s lives. Do any of the following topics or concerns cause anxiety in your life?

1. Worries About Money
2. Relationship Dynamics
3. Job / Career Position
4. Health Concerns
5. Loss of a Loved One
6. Inability to Accept Reality
7. Big Life Changes

Whether you are wealthy or poor, money can cause stress in your life. Your relationships with your partner, friends and family members are also stressful at times. Your health, your job, and big life changes can cause a lot of anxiety which puts pressure on your heart, your emotions and your mental state of being.

Sometimes, you may be looking at life through rose colored glasses. This inability to accept life realistically can cause all kinds of stress and anxiety. The death of a loved one is another inescapable life event which is difficult to deal with.

Now it’s time to go about removing that stress from your life.

When Physical Activity Increases, Stress Decreases

Physical activity is a great heart-healthy stress management tool. It works a couple of different ways to promote overall health, inside and outside the human body. First off, exercise makes your heart strong. So it doesn’t have to work as hard to do its job.

Secondly, physiological processes which are promoted by consistent physical activity naturally prevent stress from occurring in the first place, and act as effective stress treatments.

Here’s what happens.

When you perceive stress, either real or imagined, the age-old “fight or flight” reaction takes place. This puts your senses into overdrive. Your state of arousal and awareness skyrockets. So does the amount of energy which is instantly created. Your brain is on high alert, and this state of being can become very stressful.

Exercise is a great way to burn off that excess energy.

When your brain releases chemicals to respond to a stressful situation, exercise actually does the opposite. The hormones and endorphins released when you experience physical activity actually make you feel happy and relaxed.

These “feel good” hormones are perfect for fighting anxiety and depression, stress and mental frustration.

The next time you feel stress building up, try this. Run in place at your workstation. Drop down and fire off 5 or 10 or 20 push-ups. Perform some biceps curls, jog around the block or enjoy 10 or 15 minutes of Pilates or yoga.

These simple physical activities can overcome stress quickly, and even prevent It from occurring in the first place.

Managing Stress for a Healthy Heart

Stress can kill … literally.

Emotional and mental anxiety can lead to an unhealthy heart.

And that can mean developing the following dangerous and possibly deadly conditions …

High blood pressure
Peripheral artery disease
Coronary artery disease
Sudden cardiac death
Shorter lifespan
Heart attack

Unfortunately, stress is a normal part of life. No one lives a perfectly peaceful, calm, stress-free existence. That means understanding how to cope with stress so you don’t fall prey to any of the above listed heart-related calamities.

In this series of blog posts, you will learn the most common causes of stress and how to deal with them. You will discover 5 simple but incredibly effective stress busters you can use to stop the debilitating effects of anxiety and stress.

You’ll uncover how physical activity works as an excellent stress preventive and treatment. Finally, you combine all of this information to develop an easy-to-follow game plan that virtually guarantees stress and anxiety don’t lead to an unhealthy heart.

In a lot of situations, you know the stress triggers in your life. But this is not always the case. So before you can properly manage stress in your life, you need to identify exactly where it comes from.

A Heart Healthy Stress Management Game Plan

By now you understand the dangerous heart conditions which untreated stress can cause. You know what generally causes stress, and some ways to manage it.

You also discovered the magical ability of physical activity to battle stress naturally. So, you are probably thinking …

“What do I do now? How do I put this information to work in my life?”

First, take some time to dig deep to think about whether you regularly experience any of the main causes of stress. When you feel stressed, think about why.

Understanding what causes stress allows you to act before anxiety presents itself. For instance, big life events can cause stress. So if you know that you’re about to accept a big job promotion or move to another state, prepare yourself mentally beforehand.

All of the situations which cause stress in your life tend to be easier to handle when you are prepared for them.

The next thing you should do is develop a weekly schedule for exercise. Doctors and personal trainers have discovered in the last couple of decades that you only need to stay active for a very small amount of time each week to benefit.

Just 2.5 to 3.0 hours of moderately intense physical activity each week delivers a ton of health advantages. This also keeps your heart strong and working properly, and ensures that “feel good” hormones are constantly at work in your life.

As part of your anxiety-beating game plan, you should write down simple stress busters that you have learned. Turn to them frequently when stress catches you off-guard, and you can quickly train your brain and body to limit (and even eliminate) the harmful causes of stress in your life.

Stress does not have to lead to heart attack, stroke, sudden cardiac death and other debilitating heart problems and conditions. Put the knowledge you gained to work for you, personalizing a heart healthy game plan which puts you in charge of your life, and not the inevitable stress which you are going to experience.

5 Simple Stress Busters

When stress strikes, you need to strike back. This way you keep yourself in control, rather than letting whatever is causing the stress dictate your actions and feelings. Practice the following 5 simple stress busters which effectively (and sometimes instantly) keep anxiety and panic at bay, and you will be doing your heart health a big favor.

1 – Be Realistic

Step outside of your situation. Look at whatever is causing your stress as an objective  bystander. Is it really that stressful after all? Don’t automatically make a stressful situation worse than it actually is by overreacting.

2 – Think Before You Speak

You can aggravate a stressful situation and make it worse when you speak before thinking. Draw a couple of deep breaths and take a few seconds to think about what you are going to say if a stressful situation has you ready to speak your mind.

3 – Take a Moment and Meditate

In just 60 seconds calm meditation can lower your heart rate and give you a sense of peace and focus. Close your eyes, concentrating on a peaceful word and physical environment, and let meditation strip away your stress.

4 – Trade Negative Thoughts for Positive Ones

Have you ever told yourself, “I am so stupid.” Even after some silly mistake, this is the wrong attitude. The conversation you have with yourself when life does not go your way can lead to stress if you aren’t careful. Telling yourself “I just made a mistake, it’s no big deal” or “I can do this” is always better than saying “I always screw things up.”

5 – Drink a Glass of Water

Yep, just drinking a glass of water can quickly relieve your stress. Dehydration sends stress signals to your brain, and they can sometimes be relieved by giving your body the water it needs to function properly.


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