Part Two: Stress Is My Undoing!!

Amy Hendel Health Guide
  • The economy is causing you to feel stressed, depressed, or anxious and that's clearly unhealthy.  The impact of these three mood states is significant, particularly when it comes to cardiac disease.


    Your heart

    Your risk of cardiovascular diseases rises during times of stress, and if you already have risk factors or heart disease, the likelihood of a serious cardiac event becomes more pronounced.  If you are under intense pressure at work, smoking is likely to increase (very bad for your health and especially your cardiac profile).  Hypertension or high blood pressure, which is directly connected to heart disease, can now become chronic because of ongoing stress.  Because the symptoms of hypertension are often silent, you may suffer serious physical changes and not know until it is too late.  Chronic stress can double your risk of a heart attack, if you already have heart disease. And anger and hostility, which often escalate during a serious economic crisis, can also profoundly increase your risk for developing serious heart disease.

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    Your emotional heart

    The noble phrase is "you can't buy my love."  But monetary difficulties can put undo strain on even a good relationship or marriage.  In one recent LA Times poll, nearly 70% of individuals said they now had so much debt, that it was contributing to distress on the home front.  Money is the #1 reason for disagreements in the early years of marriage.  Domestic violent behavior increases significantly during trying economic times.  Specifically, workplace stress is implicated as a contributor to domestic violence.  Job loss is known to contribute to feelings of poor self esteem, which translate to a reduction of satisfaction in relationships. 


    During times of an economic downturn, people delay or cancel health checkups, scheduled screenings and therapies and they then face greater health challenges when these actions lead to an emergency health crisis.  And in fact, this is the best time to de-stress with exercise, to get creative with food purchases and healthier home preparations and to set a little time set aside for meditation and time outs from ongoing stress.  Ten minutes and a soothing cup of tea can go a long way to "letting off some steam" and using friends to creatively barter for babysitting, professional advice (legal for personal training) can go a long way in helping you to cope effectively with stress and your economic realities.  This could also be a great time to plant an herb garden, take a cooking class (most are free at local supermarkets), even use a hobby as an additional source of income (and pleasure) and it's an important time to network with family and friends to find ways to strategize your economic situation, while strengthening your family ties.








Published On: April 03, 2009