It’s already known that stress from work can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, particularly high blood pressure and heart disease. But a recent study now links work stress to an increased risk of stroke, especially for women.
The study, which appears in the journal Neurology, adds to the evidence that stress is harmful to your health and should be taken seriously, says stroke specialist at The Cleveland Clinic.
Experts believe it’s possible that stress may cause inflammation in the body. This then can lead to stroke or heart attack.
It may lead to unhealthy behaviors, “If your job is stressful, be mindful of your blood pressure, eat healthy foods and get exercise,”
Are you stressed?
If you feel you’re under stress, you probably are. But, if you’re still unsure, ask yourself these questions:
- Does your significant other tell you, you seem stressed?
- Are you at odds with coworkers and family members more than normal?
- Do you find less joy in things that normally make you happy?
- Is it difficult for you to fall or stay asleep compared to normal?
- Do you have a hard time getting out of bed, especially on days when you know there is going to be stress?
- Do you resort to alcohol, drugs or tobacco?
You also can take steps while on the job to take the tension down a notch. Here are some simple ways you can de-stress on the job:
- Breathe deeply to supply much-needed oxygen to the brain
- Get up and move several times during the workday
- Liven up your workspace with plants and soft colors
- Focus on one thing at a time, and recognize it when you finish tasks
If you determine that you are stressed, do not suffer in silence, seek help. Whether it be talk therapy, medication or a combination of the two.