I had to deal with a very stressful experience recently, and it opened my eyes to the affect stress can have on a person’s health. I will not go into the details of the issue, but as I like to monitor my health, I decided to keep an eye on my heart rate during this period. As my resting heart rate usually sits around 52 beats per minute, I felt the experience may push it up to 60 or even 70 beats per minute for a few hours if it was really bad. I noticed at the time of this experience my heart rate jumped to an alarming 72 beats per minute. Now after a few hours I thought I had calmed down, and just expected my heart rate to fall back to the expected 52 beats, but my heart rate averaged 72 beats per minute for around 3 days.
That’s an extra:
20 beats per minute
1200 beats per hour
28800 beats per day
And this lasted for 3 days. Totalling 86400 extra beats of my heart.
And yes, my blood pressure followed accordingly…
I know that some may query the number, but let’s say we take 5000 heart beats off for sleeping 4 hours on each of those days (no I did not get much sleep), that would still leave a total of 71400 extra beats of my heart.
Now there were many times during those days that I looked in the mirror and could see someone who was outwardly calm and appeared to be dealing with the problem, but internally I appeared to be unable to hide the fact the issue had affected me that much.
The fact that I could not control my emotions left me a bit frustrated, and no doubt made it harder to control or manage the problem. It also made me a bit more aware of how stress can be a problem. The unconscious wear and tear on your body when dealing with stressful situations can be quite an eye opener when you take the time to monitor what’s going on.
The funny thing for me is that as much as I was aware of it and felt I was in control, the more it became obvious that my body, and mind were just taking me along for the ride.
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