Harvard Heart Letter

Calm your anxious heart

Meditation, biofeedback,
and relaxation exercises may help people cope with anxiety.

Image: Thinkstock

Managing anxiety can improve your quality of life and take stress off your heart.

A wave of dread overcomes you—your chest hurts, your heart flutters, and you can't catch your breath. These classic anxiety symptoms are often mistaken for a heart attack—and for good reason. Emotional turmoil triggers the release of stress hormones, which act on the same brain areas that regulate cardiovascular functions such as heart rate and blood pressure.

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