While we can't yet prove that stressful situations can increase your risk of having heart disease, there does seem to be a connection between the two. A study conducted at Yale University in 2006, for example, showed that layoffs doubled the risk of heart attacks in some age groups, and other studies have shown similar findings. Stress can also lead you to engage in behaviors that aren't exactly heart-healthy, such as smoking, excessive drinking and overeating. That's why it's in your best interest to find other ways to cut back on your stress levels.
Here are a few healthy ways to reduce stress:
- Try to keep in mind that you can't control what others do -- all you can do is control your reaction to it.
- Avoid stressful situations as much as possible.
- Find some kind of enjoyable exercise.
- Talk to others about your feelings and get a different perspective.
- Make a little quiet time each day to meditate, journal or reflect.