Health News (Week 35 – 2017)
By Robert Redfern

We all get stressed. Yes, even me, especially when it comes to trying to get our new web sites running smoothly. Just when I think it’s all good, another problem jumps up, and it is back to debugging. It is partly being a not for profit company and doing all the work ourselves. However, I do have a solution to stop the stress from harming me and I will tell you later but first the important facts on stress.

Stress Is Normal And Has Always Been Part Of Life

Stress and anxiety are increasing in modern society, as many of us are working longer hours, dealing with more distractions and feeling less connected to each other than ever before. As a result, we are more likely to suffer from acute stress or anxiety and this in turns affects the quality of our wellness and overall longevity. There are good reasons to deal with this.

Stress Can Lead To A Shorter Life

The effects of constant stress on a deep lying area of the brain have been shown to increase the risk of heart attack according to a study in the Lancet. The study of over 300 people found that those people with a higher activity in the amygdala were more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and at a much faster rate.

US researchers meanwhile claim that stress could be the primary risk factor and just as important as smoking and high blood pressure. This news has lead heart experts to believe that at-risk patients should receive support to help them with managing stress. Emotional stress has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and this affects the heart and cardiovascular system in a way that may not have been properly understood.

The US study published in The Lancet and led by a team from Harvard Medical School points to heightened activity in the part of the brain where emotions such as fear and anger are processed, to explain this link.

Researchers have also suggested that these brain cells can send signals to the bone marrow and this produces extra white blood cells that can act on the arteries and cause them to become inflamed, eventually leading to angina, heart attacks and strokes. It therefore appears that stress can play an important role in cardiovascular events.

Your Emotional Health Could Be Killing You

More alarmingly, researchers have also discovered that it’s possible to die from a broken heart as the symptoms are very similar to a heart attack, including chest pain and shortness of breath. The main difference is that it only requires extreme shock or stress to trigger it, causing a dramatic rise or change in blood pressure. Losing a loved one is known as the ‘Bereavement Effect’ and there is evidence to suggest that spousal illness can increase the partner’s mortality risk.


A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found that the risk of death increased after a partner was hospitalised and some ailments had more of an effect than others. There are also many interesting links between mental and cardio health, indicating that people who have untreated depression or anxiety disorder have increased risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack.

To reduce any risk, it’s vital therefore to take care of any symptoms as they arise and when it comes to heart health, prevention is better than the cure.

The Basics For Reducing Stress And Fatigue

Here are some good wellness tips to stay healthy in the long-term which I personally will be incorporating into my life much more in the future…

  • Practicing a short 5-10-minute meditation focusing on relaxed breathing can quickly help to provide stress relief, calming anxiety and troubled thoughts, relaxing all of the muscles in the head, neck and jaw, and bringing peace of mind.
  • Practicing gratitude on a daily basis as studies show this can train your mind to find the best and to seek personal learning in any situation.
  • Walking daily as studies show regular walking (especially with a friend) can boost endorphins, while also showing a significant reduction in premature death when walking over 20km (12 miles) per week.
  • Connecting with friends and family as well as relating with other people who we are comfortable with can encourage us to feel happy.
  • Learning new things and focusing on your self-development can help you to keep growing and become a more knowledgeable and secure person.
  • Having a larger life purpose and being part of something bigger than yourself.