When the stress hormone cortisol is released rapidly and too often, and in powerful quantities, it can damage the hippocampus — the area in your brain where your memories are formed and stored.
Reducing stress to protect your brain and memory function is a good starting point, but according to a review of data from a large heart study, it is not enough… by far!
Based on the results of this review, published in the journal Stroke, it is not only stress but also hostility and depression that may increase the risk of stroke.
The study found that depression increased the risk of stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) by 86 per cent and stress raised stroke or TIA risk by 59 per cent.
But the biggest brain threat by far was hostility, which DOUBLED the risk of stroke.
When researchers reviewed more than eight years of follow up data on nearly 7,000 middle-aged and older volunteers, they couldn’t say that these three emotional problems actually caused strokes.
However, there was no doubt that negative thinking and emotions were so clearly linked to stroke risk that the writing is on the wall… Too much pressure, anxiety, and irritation can plunge you into the blues or make you boil over with anger.
Several years ago we explained how strong emotions can flood your system with adrenaline and cortisol at the very moment your blood pressure spikes. With your circulatory system pushed to the limit, a blood clot could then develop which that cuts blood flow enough to cause an ischaemic stroke.
So, it looks like the old adage “Keep calm and carry on” could save your life. Exercise, meditation, yoga, massage and other calming techniques can go a long way to help you relax and cope.
And you can start to incorporate these techniques into your life today to promote emotional balance.
Here's to keeping your heart strong and healthy
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Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Stress, Depression May Boost Stroke Risk, Study Finds (nlm.nih.gov)
Stress, Depression May Boost Stroke Risk, Study Finds, published online, 10.07.14, http://consumer.healthday.com
Category: Cardiovascular Risks