How often have you been stressed during your life? If you’ve had children, then you can probably say that since your first child you have been suffering from stress on and off on a daily basis. But, a study from Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina has found that women who stress more frequently, are more likely to suffer from serious heart disease and that the two health problems are tightly linked.
The study identified that women with heart disease and stress are more likely to experience “myocardial ischemia” a condition where decreased blood flow from the heart can stop it working. This is due to stress being a major cause of blood clotting which can prevent arteries carrying appropriate blood supply around the body.
Dr Zainab Samad, lead author of the study said that, “The relationship between mental stress and cardiovascular disease is well known.” However this study is the first that investigated gender as a risk factor and men are at less risk of blood clotting as a direct result of stress.
So how can we prevent this from happening? How can we de-stress in our daily lives?
Here are a couple of ways:
- Identify warning signs and triggers that raise stress levels.
- Establish routines for exercise and relaxation, or as simple as meal times and bed times to create predictable rhythms in your day.
- Spend time with family and friends to share your thoughts and feelings.
- Eat healthily, drink in company, and exercise regularly. Take time to do activities you find calming and uplifting.
- Try self-talks and motivate yourself that not everything is as bad as it seems. Think more positively or include a daily mantra such as “Worrying today is borrowing from tomorrow.”
- Practice relaxation to settle and adjust your nervous system. Yoga or meditation is fantastic for this.
So tell us, do you feel stress regularly? You might need to change how you deal with it…