Can Stress Cause Heart Palpitations?


If you were to experience heart palpitations, especially for the first time, it can be a little scary. To feel your heart flutter or pound more rapidly than normal, can really give a person a moment of pause. Immediately, you may start to think that something is terribly wrong, but palpitations are essentially the heart's reaction to some sort of stimuli that triggers it to beat in this irregular fashion. Most of the time, according to the Mayo Clinic, these heart palpitations are harmless.


For some people, it isn't uncommon for stress to actually cause heart palpitations. It's the way in which their body reacts and responds to this sort of emotion. Palpitations may seem like a fairly strong reaction to stress, but, if you look at what happens at times in this highly emotional state, it makes sense. When you become stressed, your body sees it as a threat and basically tries to protect itself by releasing hormones to elicit a "fight-or-flight" reaction from you. This surge of hormones can cause your heart to race, which may prompt palpitations.


According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the easiest ways to remedy heart palpitations is to remove its trigger. In this particular situation, it would entail some sort of management to help you better cope with stress. Once you're able to pinpoint exactly what is causing the stress, you can approach it in a more informed manner. You know that these circumstances are prompting this type of response in you, so you can actively seek a more relaxed state when it arises. There's no way of really controlling the actual condition, you can only control the way in which you react to that condition. From there, you can then seek outlets for your stress, like doing deep breathing, taking up yoga or even exercising each day. All three can lessen the toll stress takes on the body and can bring about a more relaxed and calm state in you.

Other Triggers

While stress can often cause a person to suffer from heart palpitations, there are other fairly common triggers that can also make your body react in such a way. It really depends on the person what is prompting these palpitations. For some, it could be caffeine or nicotine. For others, it could be the hormonal changes that come with menopause, menstruation or pregnancy. It may even be from some sort of medication you're currently taking for another condition.

Other Problems

With all that being said, in rare cases, heart palpitations may be an indication that something is actually wrong. So, your concerns aren't necessarily unmerited. These palpitations may be a sign of a cardiovascular problem or even a thyroid problem. If you suffer from heart palpitations, make an appointment for a physical, and while you're there have the health of your heart checked out.


For most heart palpitations, no treatment will be prescribed. However, your doctor may be able to give you the tools (or recommend someone who can give you those tools) to appropriately approach stressful situations. Remember, it's about removing the triggers. It may be difficult to get rid of stress entirely, but there are better ways to deal with these types of circumstances.

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