The present study examined the associations between recent life stress and responses to acute psychological stress, and how these associations varied with executive control. Heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV), salivary cortisol, and affective states were measured before, during and after the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), an effective laboratory stressor, in 54 healthy participants, and executive control function was tested with a Go/No-Go task in a neutral context on a different day. The hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that high frequency of life stress during the last twelve months predicted blunted cardiovascular acute stress response, i.e., smaller HR and HRV reactivity. Moreover, the low executive control group showed a significant association between higher recent life stress and blunted acute stress response, which was not apparent in the high executive control group. The results suggested that greater executive control may benefit us with adaptive acute stress response under recent life stress.HighlightsThe Trier Social Stress Test induces cardiovascular and cortisol responses.Higher life event frequency (LEF) predicts smaller cardiovascular stress response.Executive control plays a role in the link of LEF to stress response. The Trier Social Stress Test induces cardiovascular and cortisol responses. Higher life event frequency (LEF) predicts smaller cardiovascular stress response. Executive control plays a role in the link of LEF to stress response.