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Heart Health

Your heart’s desire: A daily practice to relieve stress

October 1, 2018

Every day, carve out a little time to release your worries and relax your mind. It may counteract the heart-damaging effects of stress.

 Image: © Photodjo/Getty Images

Stress is an inevitable part of life. People often fret over day-to-day hassles such as traffic jams and unpaid bills, not to mention the relentless news about natural disasters and political crises. Many are also coping with the added anguish of divorce, illness, or death within their families.

All of these so-called psychosocial stresses first take hold in your mind. But the effects spread throughout your brain and body. Sometimes, you can even feel it: your heart pounds, you breathe faster, and your muscles tense. However, chronic stress also has more insidious physical effects that can harm your heart (see "Stress and your cardiovascular system").

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