Stress Archive


Laughing with friends linked to lower risk of disability

An observational study published in the February 2022 issue of Preventive Medicine suggests that laughing with friends is associated with a 30% reduced risk of developing functional disability—problems performing essential everyday activities.

Tips to manage tinnitus

Tinnitus is an internal high-pitched ringing, whooshing, or hissing noise. The condition can make it hard to concentrate, reduce sleep quality, and cause irritability, nervousness, anxiety, depression, or feelings of hopelessness. Methods for easing tinnitus symptoms include treatment of underlying conditions, trigger avoidance, hearing aids, sound masking devices, exercise, stress reduction, and social connection. Certain programs can also help reduce tinnitus symptoms, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, group support, and tinnitus retraining therapy.

Anger or emotional upset may trigger stroke

Anger or emotional upset may be linked to an increased risk of stroke within an hour of experiencing those negative emotions.

Under pressure: How stress may affect your heart

Mental stress ischemia occurs when emotional stress causes a decline in blood flow to the heart. The condition, which affects about one in six people with heart disease, may more than double a person’s risk of heart attack. Mental stress ischemia appears to be caused in part by changes in the wall and inner lining of the heart’s smallest blood vessels. Known as microvascular disease, this problem tends to be more prevalent in women. In contrast, a more common cause of chest pain is narrowing of the large arteries of the heart.

Top ways to reduce daily stress

Chronic stress is bad for health. It can trigger physical problems, including chronic inflammation—the persistent activation of the immune system, which sharply raises the risks for many diseases such as dementia, heart disease, or stroke. Ways to reduce stress include living a healthy lifestyle, doing relaxation exercises, stretching, being mindful, taking a brisk walk, reducing loud noise, using laughter, playing soothing music, countering negative thoughts, reaching out for help from a loved one, and using positive self-talk.

Resilience: 5 ways to help children and teens learn it

The past two years have been hard and children and teens have had to deal with particularly challenging circumstances. Resilience—the ability to overcome hardship and stress—is one of the most important skills parents can teach their children.

Is a mobile app as good as a therapist?

Due to the lengthy wait for an appointment with a therapist, many people have turned to the numerous mental health apps available on smartphones. Research did not find convincing evidence that use of any such app resulted in significant improvement in symptoms, but some may be useful as a complement to therapy.

Shield your brain from decline

The acronym SHIELD sums up the habits that may help ward off cognitive decline. SHIELD stands for sleeping at least seven hours per night, handling stress, interacting with friends, exercising daily, learning new things, and eating a healthy diet. Ideally, one should incorporate all of these healthy lifestyle habits into each day. If that feels overwhelming, doctors advise focusing on a different healthy habit per day, until it’s possible to practice all of the habits every day.

Is broken heart syndrome becoming more common?

Broken heart syndrome—an uncommon condition linked to severe emotional or physical stress that occurs mostly in women—may be more common than previously thought. The increase in diagnoses may reflect heightened awareness of all forms of heart disease in women. The condition may result from the surge of adrenaline that affects the heart’s muscle cells and blood vessels, causing the heart’s left ventricle to temporarily change shape. The heart resembles a Japanese clay pot used to trap an octopus, called a tako-tsubo, which is why broken heart syndrome was originally dubbed takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

The most common exercise among people with arthritis

U.S. adults who report being physically active say their most frequent forms of exercise are walking, gardening, and weight lifting, according to a study published online Oct. 8, 2021, by the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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