Do you think stress is adversely affecting your health?

Excessive stress has been linked to many conditions including heart disease, depression, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and even cancer, but what about people who are under lots of stress, but it doesn’t seem to bother them?

A simple yet research study published June 26 in the European Heart Journal addressed that question. The researchers asked the study participants: “To what extent do you feel that the stress or pressure you have experienced in your life has affected your health?”

The study subjects answers were grouped into one of three options: “not at all”, “slightly or moderately”, or “a lot or extremely”.   They study group consisted of more than 7000 men and women, aged 35 to 55 years, all public workers in London, from 1991 to 2009.

Only 8% of this large group answered “a lot or extremely”, but the results showed that this group of people—the ones who believed that stress had severely impacted their health—suffered heart attacks at a rate 2.12 times as often as the group who answered “not at all”.

So at least for heart disease, this study suggests that the individual himself can give a pretty good assessment as to how stress is affecting his health. If someone seems to be under lots of stress, but is able to just “let it go”, perhaps his stress is not so damaging as the person who is more sensitive to stress.

If you believe stress is negatively affecting your health, here are a few things you can do to help:

1. Deep breathing. Sometimes just taking a few deep breaths throughout your day is enough to dissipate stress.

2. Avoid binge eating. Sometimes if you eat a bunch of sweets to help you feel better, after the initial rush, you feel worse than at the beginning, so eat a good diet.

3. Regular exercise, even just walking can help a lot.

You might also want to check out some of our previous posts on ways to decrease your stress, some of which might seem unconventional, but all are worth considering:

Owning a dog or cat is associated with a healthier heart

One way to diminish stress: take the lead!

Lying less is good for your health

Coming out is good to your health, says Canadian Study

Large study points to efficacy of acupuncture

Mindfulness meditation part 3: The practice


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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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