Feel the Stress? You're More Likely to Have a Heart Attack

Want to double your chances of a heart attack?  Just make sure you feel stressed all the time.

Now, really, who doesn't feel that way?  Between work, family, home, activities -- who can possibly do it all and not feel a smidgin of pressure?

But a new study has found that people who feel they are stressed are far more likely to suffer heart disease than those who simply don't.  (I'd like to know who these people are.)

The findings, by French researchers, showed that "people who believe that they are stressed—and that the stress is affecting their health—have more than twice the risk of heart attack as those who don’t feel that way," according to Beth Greenfield at yahoo.com.

“This indicates that individuals' perception and reality seem to be connected pretty well,” lead author Herman Nabi, of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, told Yahoo! Shine in an email. “In other words, people seem to be aware when stress is affecting their health.”

So, is that good or bad?  If you know stress is affecting you, can't you do things like yoga or meditation, or even deep breathing, when you're feeling under the gun, to lower it back down?

But the researchers found that perception is everything.  

“We’ve known for a long time, to quote the Greek philosopher Epictetus, that ‘men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them,’” Dr. Paul Rosch, founder and board chairman of the American Institute of Stress told Yahoo! Shine. “You can show definitively that people have a higher rate of heart attack if they feel they have too many demands on them at work or in life, whether it’s true or not. So if you perceive something, it’s as good as the real thing.”  

I know I struggle with this all the time, and like to remember a mantra I learned somewhere along the way -- feelings aren't facts. 

But it's tough to live in this world today and not feel stress.  Experts advise finding ways to calm down that work for you, then practicing them religiously.  Or, here's another idea.  Find a less stressful job.

Yahoo.com lists the following as the least stressful (though some might disagree):

  • University professor
  • Seamstress/tailor
  • Medical records technician
  • Jeweler
  • Medical laboratory technician
  • Audiologist
  • Hair Stylist
  • Dietician
  • Librarian
  • Drill press operator (really?)

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