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Stress and your heart health - what you need to know


Stress and the Monday morning heart attack

You’re more likely to have a heart attack on a Monday morning than at any other time of the week.


Because levels of a stress hormone called cortisol peak early in the day. When this happens, plaque that has built up in the arteries of the heart can rupture and block the flow of blood to the heart. Add this to the rise in blood pressure and increased heart rate from the stress of returning to work after the weekend, combined with the body working hard to get rid of the weekend excesses and you have the perfect recipe for a Monday morning heart attack.

That’s why it’s important to reduce your stress levels as much as you can, avoid binge drinking and get enough sleep. Practice yoga, exercise, laugh more and spend more quality time doing the things you love - all of these help to reduce your stress levels and make for a chilled out body. 

Now, what if you're thinking, 'now I'm more stressed by knowing that my stress could be harming me!'? Don't panic - it often takes years of chronic stress for damage to occur to the arteries. The key thing is that every now, take 5 or 6 long, deep breaths, slow your breathing, stop what you are doing and just close your eyes for 10 seconds. Even doing this just a few times a day can dramatically reduce the amount of adrenaline and cortisol running through you and make you feel instantly calmer. Make a note of doing it at certain checkpoints like every traffic light, every tube stop etc. Try it now!

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