Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances)
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Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances) and Stress Management

Written by ColleenO, MRosenthal.

Arrhythmias can be caused or exacerbated by anxiety and stress. Learning how to manage stress effectively and relax regularly could help treat your arrhythmia and improve your quality of life.

Part of our body's natural "fight or flight" response is an increase in heart rate. This is why you can feel your heart race when you are in an intense situation. Under normal circumstances, this is okay and even helpful, but for someone with an arrhythmia, especially an abnormally fast heartbeat (tachycardia), this can be unpleasant and possibly dangerous. The stressful nature of our modern world can mean that we are almost constantly experiencing stress reactions. Being in this state of chronic arousal eventually takes its toll on the heart.

For more information, see the articles on stress management and relaxation therapies.

Effect of Stress Management on Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances)

Stress management and relaxation techniques can help you in a number of ways. These techniques can help you develop awareness about which situations are stressful for you, and based on this knowledge, you can either avoid them or react less strongly to them. Stress management and relaxation are like many other things--they get better with practice. If you practice them regularly, you can help your body be in a more relaxed state more often, and this will be beneficial for your heart health.

Read more details about Stress Management.

How to Use Stress Management

There is almost an endless number of techniques for managing stress and inducing relaxation. Some techniques are very low-tech; you can do them anywhere, at anytime, and can learn them on your own. Other techniques are more elaborate and might involve the instruction of a trained professional, such as a yoga therapist. The bottom line is that you should find something that fits with you and your life, and do it regularly.

Consider the following:

Types of Professionals That Would Be Involved with This Treatment

You can learn and practice many stress management and relaxation techniques on your own, and for little or no money. You can also consult with a variety of professionals who offer personalized guidance and instruction. Consider the following:

  • Yoga instructor or therapist
  • Hypnotherapist
  • Practitioner of guided imagery and relaxation
  • Biofeedback specialist

One of the greatest benefits of using stress management techniques in the treatment of any health condition is that there are virtually no side effects associated with them.

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