Palpitations from stress

Stress response

The human body reacts to stress with an alarm reaction, during which adrenaline and other stress hormones are released, which put the body on the alert and ready to act.

The centrally triggered activation leads to a Unequal in the regulation of the unconscious vegetative controlled processes in the body. This disturbed regulation can lead to functional organ disorders lead and the body make sick.

If the triggering event is controllable, the person affected expects to be able to cope with the problem, is that Stress response quickly under control bring to. If the person concerned remains exposed to events or circumstances that cause stress for too long, then the body and psyche can no longer offer any resistance, in extreme cases it comes to Breakdown of psyche and body.

Stress reaction in the heart

Be during the stress response Adrenaline and other stress hormones poured out. Adrenaline activates that sympathetic nervous system on the heart and thus increases the Heart rate and the Contractility. In addition, an increased level of adrenaline accelerates the blood the electrical stimulus transmission of Heart and lowers the arousal threshold to trigger a new action potential, which then initiates the next heart action. The lower arousal threshold makes the appearance of Extrasystoles more likely, since possible fluctuations in potential at the end of a cardiac action can now easily exceed the necessary threshold potential.

Extrasystoles are cardiac actions that are not normal Heart rhythm follow, rather than Extra beat of the heart be perceived. Extrasystoles are in principle harmless, because they also occur in healthy patients and are usually not even noticed. Extrasystoles are caused by a Stress reaction favors and make yourself as Palpitations noticeable. Stress does not trigger heart stumbling in everyone, which can be explained by the different ways different people perceive and cope with stress. People who are less able to cope with stress and people who are more stressed are more likely to experience stress-related palpitations than people who are less stressed.
In addition to the palpitations, it can also lead to Racing heart caused by stress come.

Heart anxiety syndrome

Palpitations from stress can also be signs of a so-called Heart anxiety syndrome be the most common Middle-aged men concerns those who know people with an organic heart disease in their close circle of friends or relatives. The Heart disease the related person acts as permanent stress event (Stressor) on the person concerned and triggers a lack of resistance in the patient Panic disorder From the paroxysmal and attack-like occurs.

The patients experience despite having a completely healthy heart severe anxiety attacks with strong Rise in blood pressure, dizziness, sweating and chest pain. Palpitations can also be part of these symptoms Heart attack are very similar. Heart anxiety syndrome is one of the psychosomatic disorders: Despite having a healthy heart, the patient experiences severe symptoms of heart disease caused by the alone fear before such is triggered.


Palpitations are expressed in the feeling that that Heart suddenly dropped out that only lasts for a short moment and does not disturb the heart rhythm significantly. Heart stumbling due to stress is common many of these dropouts lined upso that the person concerned has a clear picture detects an irregular heartbeat.

In addition to stumbling the heart, the Pulse in the chest and neck be felt. Possibly the palpitations of Baccompanied by pain, dizziness and feart. All of these symptoms are however not caused by any organic heart diseasebut to be explained solely by the effects of the stress response on the heart.

Stress related to shortness of breath

stress is one of the Main causes of palpitations.
Often there is a rather harmless cause behind the heart palpitations, but there are also reasons to consult a doctor. One of these is when there is difficulty breathing in addition to the palpitations.

In this case, shortness of breath is a sign that the pumping capacity of the heart is so limited by the stumbling of the heart and the stress that there is not enough blood Lungs and reaches the rest of the body.
As a result, it is no longer fully saturated with oxygen, which triggers further stress in the body and reflexively leads to increased work of breathing.
Subjectively, the feeling of Shortness of breath. It is possible that the shortness of breath occurs Palpitations not only caused by stress, but also by other causes such as electrolyte shifts or structural problems. Therefore, if you are short of breath, you should always have a cardiologist who will determine your blood values EKG writes with and without load or one Ultrasound from the heart power.

Therapy may then have to be initiated afterwards, for example with medication Antiarrhythmics. If the heart is found to be healthy, the shortness of breath is rather harmless here too. So it is likely that the shortness of breath is more psychologically caused by a mixture of stress and palpitations and the resulting fear. Nevertheless, there is also the option of treating the palpitations with medication.


Patients who suffer from heart stumbling due to stress must first be convinced by the doctor of a non-organic cause of their symptoms in order to end the fear of heart disease. In mild cases of stress-related heart stumbling, which often occurs as a result of acute stress (for example due to a death) and in otherwise mentally healthy people, a clarifying discussion between doctor and patient can be sufficient to improve the symptoms.
The doctor should explain to the person affected how he or she can protect himself or herself from an extended stress reaction.

You can find more information on the topic here: How can you reduce stress?

In more severe cases, behavioral therapy may be required to better manage stress, gradually teaching the patient a new way of dealing with stress and anxiety.

Read more on the topic: Therapy of heart stumbling

Palpitations from excitement

In most cases, palpitations are caused by excitement.
This includes both joyful excitement and excitement in the sense of stress. In these cases, the stumbling of the heart is a physiological reaction, as long as it is a single dropout without any further symptoms.

Excitement can be seen as a kind of alert state to react appropriately and alertly to various situations. This also stimulates the heart, which in some cases leads to heart stumbling. However, if other symptoms are added to the excitement, the palpitations should be further clarified.

Emotional stress as a cause of heart palpitations

Emotional stress is a common cause of heart palpitations.

This can include both positive and negative sensations and feelings. A proven clear trigger for palpitations, which can be perceived as emotional stress, is being in love.
It is not for nothing that there is the phrase that the "Heart leaps for joy"This can also be proven scientifically, the hormone adrenaline is responsible for heart palpitations.
This is released during stress and can lead to heart stumbling. Emotional stress can affect the heart directly. Emotional stress is similarly caused by other positive sensations such as great joy.

However, negative feelings can also lead to emotional stress and heart palpitations. Stress in the form of overwork, exam stress, and social or family stress are not uncommon causes of heart palpitations. The mechanism is the same, stress hormones flood the heart and bring it out of rhythm for a short time. Other important factors are sadness, nervousness and sleep problems. Emotional stress can lead to heart palpitations, but is usually harmless and does not damage the heart.
However, if the symptoms of heart palpitations persist for a long time or get worse, one should consider how to reduce the stress and thus alleviate the symptoms.

Relaxation in the form of

  • autogenic training,
  • Yoga or
  • Breathing exercises play an important role.

Mental stress as a cause of heart palpitations

Mental stress is one of the strongest circumstances that can trigger heart palpitations.

The autonomic nervous system is involved, more precisely the so-called sympathetic nervous system.
This is a regulative system that works autonomously and is activated in the event of external stress such as physical exertion or excitement.
Psychological stress can also activate the sympathetic system. The result is an increased blood concentration of stress hormones such as adrenaline, which affect the heart, among other things, and can cause heart stumbling there.

Mental stress is caused by stress in the social environment or at work, and stress before exams can lead to heart stumbling.Extreme situations associated with great sadness or fear are often perceived as psychological stress. For some, the opposite also means stress, for example when you fall in love.

Read more on the topic: Stages of grief

All of these causes can cause heart stumbling, but are usually absolutely normal reactions and do not require any clarification. However, if the heart stumbles for a long time or if there are other symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness with a racing heart or persistent reduced performance, a doctor must be examined.

There is also a phenomenon called heart neurosis or heart phobia. This has psychological causes such as stress or feelings of fear, those affected complain of heart stumbling up to pain in the chest area, without organic causes being found. Overall, doctors assume that around a third of all patients with heart problems show no discernible changes.

You might also be interested in: Mentally induced shortness of breath


Protection against too much stress Of course, it also protects against heart stumbling caused by stress. People who have to deal with a lot of stress in everyday life should definitely take care of themselves move enough. Movement makes you Balance of psyche and body. Quiet evening rituals and conscious times of withdrawal act prophylactically for a stress disorder.