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Anxiety and Stress Blog

Related terms: Acute Stress Reaction

Could Smoggy Air Raise Your Anxiety Level?

Posted 7 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 – Air pollution may take a toll not only on physical health, but mental well-being as well, two new studies suggest. In one, researchers confirmed a long-studied connection between air pollution and cardiovascular health – finding evidence that dirty air may help trigger strokes in vulnerable people. The other study looked at a newer question: Could air pollution also affect mental health? The answer, it found, is "possibly." Among over 70,000 U.S. women in the study, those who lived in relatively polluted areas were more likely to report multiple anxiety symptoms. The studies, published online March 24 in the BMJ, only link these factors; they do not prove that air pollution is the direct cause of either strokes or anxiety. There could be other explanations, said Melinda Power, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, who led the anxiety ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Health Tip: Caregiver Stress Can Harm Your Health

Posted 8 days ago by

-- Caregiving often is emotionally and physically challenging, and it can harm your health if you become too stressed. The website mentions these potential side effects of caregiver stress: Increased likelihood of anxiety and depression. Increased risk of a chronic health problems, such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer or heart disease. Greater risk of a weaker immune system, leading to more sick time. Slower healing from wounds. Greater risk of obesity. Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety and Stress

Parents' Attitude May Be Key to Pre-Game Jitters in Kids

Posted 12 days ago by

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 – Want your child to relax and perform well at that next school swim meet? Try not to raise the bar too high in terms of your own expectations, a new study suggests. "You might think that's a really positive thing for the child, but that's creating a lot of worry [for the kid] as well," study author Miranda Kaye, a professor in the exercise and sport sciences department at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y., said in a college news release. "I don't think parents are necessarily thinking about that kind of thing," she said. The study focused on athletes aged 6 to 18 involved in several types of individual events: gymnastics, tennis, wrestling, swimming, cross-country and indoor track. The athletes and their parents were surveyed a day before a meet to determine how they were feeling about the upcoming contest, how the youngsters wanted to perform, and how parents ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress

Green Space in Cities May Soothe the Heart

Posted 12 days ago by

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 – Turning vacant lots into attractive green plots may make life less stressful for city residents, a new study suggests. The research included people in two Philadelphia neighborhoods who wore heart rate monitors when they went for walks in their area. Some vacant lots in one neighborhood underwent "greening" – which included cleaning, debris removal, planting grass and trees and installation of a low wooden post-and-rail fence. The participants walked past the vacant lots three months before and three months after some of the lots received the greening treatment. Being near green vacant lots was associated with an average heart rate reduction of more than five beats per minute, compared with non-greened lots. Further analysis concluded that the total net reduction in heart rate when near and in view of green vacant lots was more than 15 heart beats a minute. ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Workplace Suicides on the Rise, Study Finds

Posted 15 days ago by

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 – Workplace suicides are on the rise in the United States, and people in protective services jobs – such as police and firefighters – are at the greatest risk, a new study found. "Occupation can largely define a person's identity, and psychological risk factors for suicide, such as depression and stress, can be affected by the workplace," said lead investigator Hope Tiesman. She is an epidemiologist with the division of safety research at the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The researchers analyzed national data from 2003 to 2010 and identified slightly more than 1,700 suicides that occurred in the workplace – or 1.5 per one million workers. People in protective services jobs had the highest workplace suicide rate at 5.3 per million workers. That's more than three times the national workplace suicide rate of 1.5 per million, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety and Stress

Health Tip: Balance Work and Home Life

Posted 16 days ago by

-- Stress not only affects your performance at work and home, it can also impact your health. The American Academy of Family Physicians suggests: Set your alarm a little earlier each day to have some quiet time. On weekends, take a break from work. Use your days off to do something different, such as learning a new skill. Use another word other than stressed (such as "stretched" or "challenged") for a few days to see if you feel different. Set all of your clocks ahead by five minutes for a little bit of cushion. Think of one thing you can do each day that will have a big positive impact on your personal life. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Some Emotions May Spur Urge to Pick or Pull at Skin, Hair, Nails

Posted 11 Mar 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 – Boredom, frustration and impatience can trigger chronic skin-picking, nail-biting, hair-pulling and other repetitive behaviors in some people, a new study suggests. The University of Montreal researchers conducted experiments with 24 people who had these types of behaviors and a "control group" of 24 people without any of the behaviors. The results showed that people with body-focused repetitive behaviors had a greater urge to do those things when they were bored, frustrated or impatient, compared to when they felt relaxed. This was not the case in the control group, the researchers said. In the study, the people were given a telephone screening interview and completed questionnaires at home that evaluated their emotional make-up. The study participants were then exposed to four situations in the lab, each designed to elicit a different feeling: stress, ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Stress, Depression a 'Perfect Storm' of Trouble for Heart Patients

Posted 10 Mar 2015 by

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 – Heart disease, depression and stress can be a deadly combination, a new study finds. Researchers looking at the effect of significant stress and deep depression on nearly 4,500 patients with heart disease called the pairing a "psychosocial perfect storm." "The combination of high stress and high depression symptoms may be particularly harmful for adults with heart disease during an early vulnerability period," said lead researcher Carmela Alcantara, an associate research scientist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. "We found that those who reported both high stress and high depression were 48 percent more likely than those with low stress and low depression to have another heart attack or die in the first 2.5 years of follow-up," she said. Longer follow-up did not show a significant association, however. People with both stress and ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety and Stress, Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Major Depressive Disorder, Myocardial Infarction

Employees Often Angry Over After-Work Texts, Emails

Posted 9 Mar 2015 by

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 – Many employees get mad when they receive after-hours emails or texts from work, and that anger can interfere with their personal lives, a new study suggests. Researchers followed 314 working adults over seven days to track their responses when they opened work emails/texts after they had left the office. "People who were part of the study reported they became angry when they received a work email or text after they had gone home and that communication was negatively worded or required a lot of the person's time," said study author Marcus Butts. He is an associate professor in the College of Business at the University of Texas at Arlington. "Also, the people who tried to separate work from their personal life experienced more work-life interference. The after-hours emails really affected those workers' personal lives," he said in a university news release. There ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Stress May Undermine Heart Benefits of Exercise

Posted 5 Mar 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 – Teens who have trouble coping with stress may face an increased risk for future heart trouble that even exercise can't erase, a new study suggests. "It looks like the inability to cope well with stress contributes to the risk of heart disease," said lead researcher Scott Montgomery, a professor of epidemiology at Orebro University in Sweden. Montgomery said what he found "striking" was that physical fitness did not protect teens with poor stress-coping skills from developing heart disease later in life. "Exercise is important," Montgomery said. "But maybe we have to think about exercise and physical fitness in the context of coping with stress, particularly with people who have had a heart attack." For these people, both exercise and developing strategies to reduce stress might be needed to prevent more heart problems, Montgomery said. But one expert noted ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

After Blowing Their Stack, a Heart Attack

Posted 24 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 – Intense anger or anxiety greatly increases the risk of heart attack, a new study warns. "While the absolute risk of any one anger episode triggering a heart attack is low, our data demonstrates that the danger is real and still there," said Dr. Thomas Buckley, a senior lecturer and researcher from the University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital in Australia. The increased risk of heart attack after intense anger or anxiety is "most likely the result of increased heart rate and blood pressure, tightening of blood vessels and increased clotting, all associated with triggering of heart attacks," Buckley said. In the study, Buckley's team assessed more than 300 heart attack patients and asked them to use a 7-point scale to rate their levels of anger over the previous 48 hours. On the scale, 1 was calm, 5 was intense anger, and 7 was enraged/out of control. ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis

Stress May Make Recovery From Heart Attack Harder for Younger Women

Posted 9 Feb 2015 by

MONDAY, Feb. 9, 2015 – When younger people have heart attacks, stress may lead to a worse recovery. This problem may be of particular concern among women, a new study suggests. Although stress affects both men and women, researchers found that women had higher levels of stress than men. Those higher stress levels may have played a role in their worse recovery in the month after suffering a heart attack. Women had more chest pain, poorer quality of life and worse overall health than men, the researchers found. "People need to be aware of the adverse impact on health of mental stress, and in this particular case, it may affect recovery after heart attack," said lead author Xiao Xu, an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine. "Also, younger women experience greater stress than younger men. This may put women at higher risk for ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

Money Tops Americans' List of Stressors

Posted 4 Feb 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4, 2015 – Money continues to be the leading cause of stress for Americans, a new survey finds. Overall, stress in the United States is at a seven-year low, and average stress levels are declining, the American Psychological Association poll found. But money worries continue to nag at the American psyche, despite the ongoing economic recovery, the association says in its report released Feb. 4, entitled Stress in America: Paying With Our Health. Financial worries served as a significant source of stress for 64 percent of adults in 2014, ranking higher than three other major sources of stress: work (60 percent), family responsibilities (47 percent), and health concerns (46 percent). Nearly three out of four adults reported feeling stressed about money at least some of the time, and about one in four adults said they experienced extreme stress over money during the past ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Expectant Dads May Also Have Hormonal Changes, Study Suggests

Posted 17 Dec 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 – While women's hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy are well-known, new research shows that men experience swings of their own as their partner's pregnancy progresses. "There are hormonal changes going on with men as well, and they occur earlier than other studies have suggested," said lead researcher Robin Edelstein, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. "What we found is there is a gradual decline in men's testosterone," she said. The study was published online Dec. 15 in the American Journal of Human Biology. Edelstein and her team followed 29 expectant heterosexual couples, all expecting their first child together. They looked at four different times throughout the pregnancy, evaluating salivary testosterone, cortisol, estradiol and progesterone. They looked at the levels of those hormones at weeks 12, 20, 28 and ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Constant Email Checks Can Leave You Stressed

Posted 15 Dec 2014 by

SATURDAY, Dec. 13, 2014 – Looking for a way to help reduce your stress? Try checking your emails less often, researchers suggest. The new study featured 124 adults – including students, financial analysts, medical professionals and others – who were divided into two groups. During the first week, one group checked their emails only three times a day, while the other group checked their emails as often as they liked. The groups then switched for the second week of the study. "Our findings showed that people felt less stressed when they checked their email less often," study author Kostadin Kushlev, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the University of British Columbia in Canada, said in a university news release. However, changing email habits proved difficult for many of the study participants, the investigators found. "Most participants in our study found it quite difficult to check ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

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