What is stress?
Stress is the body’s response to perceived or real threats. A racing heart, sweating, and tense muscles are examples of body responses related to stress, and they play the role of getting one ready to take action and find a way out of harm.
Stress can be helpful, but at the same time, too much of it increases once the risk of heart disease and stroke, thus harming the body’s health. Helpful stress is important as it stimulates one to get things done, but bad stress makes one feel out of control.
How anxiety poses stroke risk
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is entirely or partly interrupted owing to a blood clot, clogged blood vessel, or bleeding in the brain. When the quantity of oxygen-rich blood your brain gets drops, brain cells die. Paralysis, speech problems, balance or memory disorders, and muscular weakness may arise due to cell death. Some of these difficulties may be resolved with treatment, while others may be permanent. Strokes may potentially cause death if brain damage is severe.
Chronic stress and worry cause inflammation in your arteries and throughout your body. Eventually, damage caused by inflammation might constrict or harden the veins, limiting blood flow to your brain. Blood pressure also tends to rise when you are worried and when blood pressure is regularly high, it might constrict or damage blood vessels. This makes it simpler for blood clots to develop or for arteries to leak or break, leading to a stroke.
Even a minor rise in anxiety levels may elevate stroke risk, according to a research study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke. Researchers studied more than 6,000 patients over 22 years to evaluate how stress and anxiety impacts the risk of stroke. Study participants who reported the greatest stress levels were 33 percent more likely to suffer a stroke than those who felt less nervous or pressured. The greater the anxiety level, the higher the stroke risk, although even minor increases elevated stroke risk.
How to lower anxiety in healthy ways
The following healthy strategies can be applied in stress management;
- Get a good amount of exercise and relaxation.
- Try deep breathing, yoga, or guided visualization if you are having trouble relaxing.
- Increase the amount of time you spend on activities that make you happy.
- Take a deep breath and step back whenever you feel yourself becoming tense.
- Make it okay for yourself to say “no” to demands that are going to make you feel overwhelmed.
- Do not drink, smoke, or use drugs to deal with stress.
- If you are feeling stressed out, make an appointment with a mental health professional.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 800,000 individuals have strokes each year. Maintaining a healthy level of anxiety may help you avoid becoming a stroke statistic.