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How Does Stress Impact Your Health?

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Answer honestly: To what extent do you think stress has impacted your health? According to a new study of over 7,000 adults published in the European Heart Journal, people who reported that their health was “a lot” or “extremely” impacted by stress had more than twice the risk of suffering or dying from a heart attack, compared with those who had not indicated any effect of stress on their health. Meaning, your perception is probably pretty accurate in predicting coronary disease.

“The main message is that complaints from patients concerning the effect of stress on their health should not be ignored in a clinical environment, because they may indicate an increased risk of developing and dying of coronary disease,” said the study’s lead author in a press release.

Possible signs of stress include anxiety, back pain, constipation or diarrhea, depression, fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure, trouble sleeping, shortness of breath, stiff neck or jaw, upset stomach, and weight gain or loss.

To help manage your stress levels, try utilizing the below tips from the American Academy of Family Physicians. But if the problem is too great for self-help strategies, it’s important to follow-up with your doctor. Your heart depends on it. 

  • Don't worry about things you can't control, such as the weather.
  • Solve the little problems. This can help you gain a feeling of control.
  • Prepare to the best of your ability for events you know may be stressful.
  • Try to look at change as a positive challenge, not as a threat.
  • Work to resolve conflicts with other people.
  • Talk with a trusted friend, family member or counselor.
  • Set realistic goals at home and at work. Avoid overscheduling.
  • Exercise on a regular basis.
  • Eat regular, well-balanced meals and get enough sleep.
  • Meditate.
  • Participate in something you don't find stressful, such as sports or social events.

For more stress-busting tips, go to www.CorePerformance.com/stress.

Tags: Health, Stress, Pressure, Disease