Heart Week: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

By: Chiara Lotierzo Email
By: Chiara Lotierzo Email

That driver just cut you off, there’s traffic and you’re in a hurry, you picked the express checkout lane at the grocery store and the person in front of you wants to write a check. Most of us have an example of something that sets us off, but experts say even small stress can be bad for your heart.

Doctor Christopher Cole, a cardiologist at Penrose-St. Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs says the effects of stress are well-known to cause heart health issues, “not only heart attacks, but heart rhythm problems, chest pain, many different kinds of heart problems, stroke high blood pressure, all of these things can add up and have a real detrimental effects on you heart”.

Dr. Cole says stressful things are bound to happen in life, but you have to make a conscious decision to let go of it. “If you’re driving and somebody cuts you off, it’s a very natural response to grip your wheel, your heart rate is going to go up, your blood pressure is going to go up, but then you have a choice… you can either hang on to that for the rest of the day and you can say, ‘oh that guy just ruined my day’, or you can just say, ‘you know maybe that guy was late to work, or maybe had some family emergency’, and you can choose just to let go of that stress”.

He says there are a number of things you can do to help yourself better deal with stress, including exercise, meditation, prayer, and getting enough sleep.

Dr. Cole adds it’s never too early to teach your kids, too, how to deal with stressful situations.

For a link on some ideas on how to battle and beat stress, click on the link below.

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