Anxiety, Stress & Worry


Stress, Anxiety and Heart

"Stress and anxiety may not cause heart events. However, 

a heart event certainly causes

stress & anxiety".

Len Gould

What is Stress?

Stress is a process our body puts into action when we perceive danger. 

Historically people normally met physical danger and the stress process prepares the body to deal with the threat by fleeing or fighting it (“fight” or “flight).

Stress is a natural response to threat. It is the stress response that has enabled us to evolve and survive. 

However in today's world it is less functional and a continual state of stress can cause us problems physically and mentally.

Stress occurs when we encounter a situation which we believe to be a threat. Our body secretes hormones and chemicals into our body to ensure we are ready to counter a threat. 

We may become stressed when we are about to go on a roller coaster. However after the ride our stress dissipates.


Anxiety is similar to stress in that it causes the body to prepare for fleeing or fighting with the same physical reactions occurring. However anxiety is used to describe those situations where the perceived danger is less obvious. We may not even be consciously aware of what we are afraid. eg feeling anxious when we have to go shopping, worrying about "what might happen" 


It is not the infrequent stress that causes problems it is the excess of stress which is harmful.


We need to manage stress not eliminate it.


Stress & Heart Patients

There is no conclusive evidence that stress causes heart disease. However if we have a heart condition excess stress can cause difficulties. So it is important for heart patients to lower their stress as much as possible.

The body's reaction to stress is to produce chemicals which make us alert and ready to fight. If these chemicals remain in the body for long periods they than can cause problems including increased blood pressure, raised heart rate, blood clots, high cholesterol and raised blood glucose levels. All of these are of concern for heart patients and need to be controlled.

Stress and anxiety  are natural consequences of a heart event. The "new world" of the heart patient is unfamilar and can give rise to uncertainty and anxiety.


Another reason that heart patients need to be aware of the effects of stress is that stress has symptoms similar to those of a heart attack. This can be confusing and worrying for heart patients. 

(See sidebar for more Stress Symptoms)

It is important to understand and manage stress.

For more detailed information on Stress, Anxiety and Anger SEE HERE

Managing Stress

Stress needs to be managed, not eradicated.

Stress Management strategies provide a range of ways of coping with stress.

See Stress Management by CLICKING HERE

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Further information

* beyondblue is an excellent source of information on Stress, Anxiety and Depression

See further details by CLICKING HERE

You can find out more information on Stress In the Australian Psychological Society's Stress Tip Sheet available by CLICKING HERE.

* If Stress impacts your life speak to your doctor he/she can help assess action to take.


© Len Gould 2013 Heartemotions (Version 1_2)