Stress Archive


Caregiving crisis

Nearly three-quarters of caregivers are 50 or older, and more than 75% are women. Research has linked caregiving to many physical and mental effects, including depression, anxiety, pain, and heart disease. Many caregivers don't attend to their own health and may avoid or skip medical appointments. To address these burdens, caregivers can look into respite care, call their local Agency on Aging, ask for help from friends, and schedule telehealth visits with doctors or therapists.

Why you should "Walk with a Doc"

Walk with a Doc is a nonprofit program founded by a cardiologist that sponsors free, doctor-led walks in mostly outdoor venues (usually public parks) in 560 sites across America. The walks last 30 to 90 minutes, are usually held once per month, and include a five-minute talk about various health topics by the physician. In addition to the exercise and education, participants benefit from the camaraderie and time spent in nature.

Stress at work takes a toll on the heart

Men who report specific types of job-related stress face a higher risk of heart disease than those without such stress, according to a 2023 study.

A closer look at alcohol's effect on heart health

Excessive drinking can contribute to high blood pressure, obesity, and stroke, while moderate drinking (no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks or fewer per day for men) is linked to a lower risk of heart problems. One possible mechanism might be stress reduction. Brain scans of people who reported light to moderate drinking show less activity in the part of the brain that responds to stress, compared with the scans of people who abstained or drank very little. Stress not only raises blood pressure and heart rate but also triggers inflammation that causes plaque buildup, which contributes to heart attacks.

Hidden causes of weight gain

The reason for weight gain isn't always as obvious as inactivity or a poor diet. Weight gain can stem from many other causes. For example, it might reflect age-related physiological changes such as muscle loss, poor sleep, or changes in sex hormone levels; underlying conditions such as diabetes or sleep apnea; side effects from taking certain medications, such as antidepressants or beta blockers; or possibly the effects of eating late at night or the makeup of gut bacteria. Recent or excessive weight gain warrants a visit to a doctor to help pinpoint the issue.

Try this: Take a tactical breather

Tactical breathing used by military and law enforcement personnel can help people manage anxiety and stay mentally sharp during stressful situations. It can also help calm a racing mind or soothe pain.

Chronic stomach pain in children: What's the most common cause?

Mind and body are tightly connected. If a child experiences stomach pain lasting two months or more, it may be functional abdominal pain caused by stress, depression, or anxiety. While common, this is challenging to diagnose and treat.

Surprising causes of neck pain

Neck pain is often the result of strained neck muscles that become irritated from everyday activities. Examples include watching TV for hours at a time, sleeping without enough neck support, slouching, looking down at a smartphone for long periods, lifting heavy dumbbells, or getting stressed out. Ways to avoid such neck pain include using pillows to better support the neck on a couch or in bed, sitting up straighter, keeping electronic screens at eye level, lifting weights that aren't too heavy, and practicing stress management.

Managing stress and eating leafy vegetables may protect the brain

Two studies found that managing stress and eating a plant-based diet with at least seven servings of leafy green vegetables per week can help improve cognitive function and protect against Alzheimer's disease, respectively.

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