Anxiety is a manifestation, or better yet, the side effect of stress. It is our mind’s response to a situation that is beyond our scope, yet many times it is also associated with excitement.

Stress refers to any reaction to a physical, mental, social, or emotional stimulus that requires a response or alteration to the way we perform, think, or feel.

Both stress and anxiety can be dangerous conditions if left unmanaged, causing detrimental effects to the chemical balances in your body and ultimately affecting your most important organ: the heart.

Stress will cause many changes in your body’s equilibrium that will throw off its normal functions.

High susceptibility to disease: Stress weakens the immune system, increasing our vulnerability to infection.

The weakening of muscles: In the presence of stress and anxiety your muscles tense up, which makes them tired more readily.

Fat accumulations around the abdomen: A clear sign of high levels of cortisol in the blood.

Glucose fluctuations in the blood: High concentrations of this cortisol in body tissues increase the release of fat and glucose and deregulate its metabolism.

Increase in LDL cholesterol and a decrease in HDL cholesterol: Two detrimental aspects that increase the risk of blood clotting, atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.

Decreased cognition: Stress confuses us and compromises our frontal and temporal lobes, which are the ones responsible for good manners and decision-making.

Hypertension: Stress increases breathing and heart rate, thus increasing blood pressure and bumping up the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Stress’ effects are not at all complementary to the role of the heart and the environment that it inhabits. In fact, it would be safe to say that all of the consequences of anxiety and stress are highly likely to lead to heart disease or stress-related heart condition.

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