A new book with stress and heart health tips to live longer, feel better, and stress less.
In the midst of a global pandemic, my new book, Stress-Proof Your Heart, arrived. After years of work, the entry into the market seems a little anticlimactic. But – in many ways, THIS is the right time for a book about stress and heart health!
Keeping my heart healthy and protecting it from stress aren’t abstract ideas for me—they’re literally life-or-death skills. When I had a massive heart attack at the young age of 35 while 7 months pregnant with twins, I underwent five hours of open-heart surgery after delivering my daughters prematurely via emergency C-section. The surgeon repaired my heart, but a small part of it doesn’t beat anymore. Even though my pregnancy caused the heart attack, I am at a higher risk of having another, so controlling my risk factors is essential. I can manage my diet and be physically active, but stress is an exponential multiplier of risk I simply can’t afford. To reduce my heightened risk of having another heart attack, I’ve spent the 17 years since then honing practical and implementable strategies to manage stress for myself and the thousands of audience members and readers I reach each year.
A stress-proof person more effectively processes cortisol, reducing it to normal levels, which in turn protects the heart, helps the person feel better, and even allows the brain to function better.
Heart disease is the number one health concern for women and men of all ages. The link between stress and heart health is significant. Stress is a major risk factor for heart disease – and the most under-addressed risk factor.
One of the most challenging things to explain is how heart disease risk factors don’t just add up; they multiply exponentially.
Think about it like this: stress is the Powerball of risk factors. It makes your risk exponentially higher. This Powerball effect is your physical stress impact.
Cortisol isn’t the enemy. Life without the zing of excitement of cortisol would be boring. Stress-proof people use the cortisol reaction to respond to stressors (both good and bad) and then efficiently process it out of their bodies.
Stress-Proof Your Heart does more than explain the relationship between stress and heart health – it provides implementable strategies to help your body do what it is designed to do—get rid of cortisol!
Activities that direct your body to reduce cortisol and help process it out of your system offset the physical impact of your stress.
Ordinary activities, such as standing up and taking a quick walk once per hour, can significantly lower your cortisol level. Not only is this type of activity good for your heart, but it also has added benefits such as increased attention, fewer muscle aches from extended sitting, and better blood flow to the brain, which supports creativity and critical thought.