Manage Your Stress – Tips on Managing Stress 3

Posted by Lloyd on February 09, 2011
Stress Management

Insider Scoop: A review of 23 randomized controlled trials found that heart attack survivors who received psychological counselling as part of their cardiac rehabilitation had greater reductions in psychological distress, blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels. Patients who didn’t receive psychosocial treatment were more likely to die or to have another episode of heart disease.

Reference: Linden W. Stossel C. Maurice J. Psychosocial interventions for patients with coronary artery disease: a meta-analysis. Archives of Internal Medicine. 156(7):745-52, 1996 Apr 8. [erratum appears in Arch Intern Med 1996 Nov 11;156(20):2302.]
Don’t skip vacations. The chance to get away from workplace stress and to spend time with those you love is important to your mental – and heart – health.

Insider Scoop: A nine-year study of nearly 13,000 men between the ages of 35 and 57 who were at high risk for heart disease found that those who took regular vacations every year had a lower risk of death than those who didn’t. Vacations protected against all forms of diseases. The protective effect was particularly strong for heart disease.
Laughter is the best medicine. Build a stockpile of your favourite funny books, movies and TV shows. When stress starts to build, pull out your favourites – and laugh your cares away.

Insider Scoop: According to Dr. Lee Berk of the Loma Linda School of Medicine, laughter strengthens the immune system and reduces levels of stress hormones. Laughing stimulates the brain, ventilates the lungs and raises heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and circulation. In fact, 100 laughs a day (the average for adults) is equivalent to the physical benefits of riding a stationary bike for 15 minutes!
Spend time with your pet.

Insider Scoop: A research study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that pet ownership increases the odds of survival for people who have had a heart attack. In another study of 48 male and female stockbrokers, those who had a pet nearby had half the increase in blood pressure under stress than those who didn’t.
Take care of yourself. Eat heart-healthy. Don’t let stress turn you into a junk food junky.

Insider Scope: Foods that contain B vitamins may help to boost levels of the mood-relaxing brain chemical serotonin. Dietary sources of niacin include fish such as salmon or mackerel, pork, chicken, dried peas and beans, whole grains, seeds and dried fortified cereals. Such foods should be part of a healthy, balanced, low-fat diet.
Do relaxation exercises, such as meditation, deep breathing or visualization.

Insider Scoop: In a systematic review of the medical literature, Canadian physicians and scientists found that stress management programs could reduce blood pressure as much as losing weight or blood pressure lowering drugs.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you experience several of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, talk to a health professional. You may be clinically depressed. Clinical depression is a medical illness that can be cured if promptly recognized, diagnosed and treated.

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