• Stress Management

    A little stress in life is natural and good. It may help you buckle down and focus on a task at hand. But modern life is more stressful than ever. So, many of us experience ongoing periods of stress with little relief. Although it’s hard to measure stress and people react differently to it, there is evidence that it can add up and emotionally drain us and physically affect our heart health


    What Is Stress?

    Stress is a psychological and physical response by your body to anything that is perceived as a threat or a challenge. Stress can be caused by either a negative challenge (like a death in the family) or a positive challenge (such as a wedding). When you experience stress, your body acts like an alarm system. It makes hormones (such as adrenaline and cortisol) that give you a burst of extra energy. This helps you get through temporary periods of stress until you can relax again. 

    The stress response is often called the “fight or flight” response, because your body is hard-wired to give you quick energy to either fight off or run away from a threat. However, when the stress hormones are continually released because you are “stressed out,” it is thought that they harm your health in many ways. And when you are stressed, you are more likely to let your healthy lifestyle behaviors slip, which can be harmful to your heart health. 

    In today’s society, it is hard to fight off or run away from mounting stress. But you can do something about it. While you can’t completely avoid stress, SecondsCount can help you minimize it by changing the way you deal with stress, including:

  • More About Stress Management

    Am I Stressed or Depressed?

    Neither stress nor depression is good for your heart. When you have heart disease—and particularly after you’ve had a heart event, such as a heart attack or coronary artery bypass surgery—it is common to temporarily feel sad or overwhelmed. Your emotions may stem from feeling powerless or frustrated at your limited physical capabilities. But they should go away within a few weeks after you are able to return to your normal routine.

    How Does Stress Affect Your Health?

    No one can avoid stress completely. But unmanaged stress can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease. Stress appears to be a risk factor for heart disease, despite the fact that researchers don’t know exactly how. This is partly because it’s hard to measure stress and people react differently to it.

    How Much Stress Is Too Much?

    We all feel stressed at times. And a little stress serves a purpose. “Fight or flight” hormones get you moving and help you accomplish important goals. But life’s challenges, even positive ones, can quickly become overwhelming. When you feel overwhelmed by life’s demands of your time, skills, or emotions, stress can become an ongoing problem, which can lead to health problems including heart disease.

    How to Manage Stress

    Managing stress is vital to your heart health. And the best way to begin to manage stress is to realize you are in control of many aspects of your life. While some things are out of your control—for example, there’s never enough time in the day and money doesn’t grow on trees—you still have choices. You are in control of your thoughts, feelings, schedule, and attitude. You alone choose how you react to stressful situations. SecondsCount can help you learn how to become a more positive, organized, and relaxed person who can better handle life’s stress. Choose to get started today!

    Resources for Stress Management

    When you're feeling stressed, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure where you can find more information. Here are some additional resources to help steer you in the right direction.

    Stress Management

    A little stress in life is natural and good. It may help you buckle down and focus on a task at hand. But modern life is more stressful than ever.

    What Causes Stress?

    Stress can be caused by anything that requires you to change or respond to your environment. The things that make you feel stressed are called “stressors.” These may be minor inconveniences (for example, traffic or time limitations) that add up, or they may be life-changing events (for example, a serious illness). While we often think of stressors as negative changes, keep in mind, stressors may even be positive changes, such as a wedding, a new job or promotion, or a move.