Reduce Stress at Work for a Healthy Heart
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Reduce Stress at Work for a Healthy Heart

Is cleaning out the refrigerator (yes, including that yucky green glob at the back) more appealing than putting up with the stress at work? Time to save your sanity, and maybe your heart.

Until recently, docs mostly worried about men’s tickers caving in to job stress. But now, stressed-out women are a worry, too. Those under high job strain (all the pressure, none of the power ... sound familiar?) face up to a 40 percent higher risk of heart attacks and surgery for blocked arteries.

What to do? Try these strategies to reduce stress on the job:

  • Don’t mutter, "Calm down." Move. The best way to counter the fight-or-flight stress response is to get active. Do push-ups against your office wall. Hike the hallways or walk around the block. Activity is a BOGO: You relieve tension and condition your heart.

Are you working yourself to death? Learn how a vacation could save your life.

  • Add color. Take charge of your space. Splashes of color from posters, photos, flowers or even a throw rug can improve your mood and your productivity. A combo of red and green is better than dull white, black and brown. In one study, those muted colors made people duller, too, scoring 12 points lower on IQ tests.
  • Take time for tea. Polyphenols in black tea may reduce stress hormones in your blood and help your body shed tension faster.
  • Laugh. Instead of upsetting family life every night by taking work home (50 percent of people do), declare once a week official "FAB" night, as in Forget About Business. Watch a funny movie together. Tell jokes at dinner. Laugh it up. You’ll feel your tension fade, and your family will draw closer.

If stress is giving you a pain in the neck and back, here's what to do.