Until recently, docs mostly worried about men’s tickers caving in to job pressures. 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?
–Don’t mutter “calm down.” Move. The best way to counter the fight-or-flight stress response is to get active. Do pushups against your office wall. Hike the hallways or walk around the block. Activity is a BOGO: You relieve tension and condition your heart.
–Add color. Take charge of your space. Splashes of color from a poster, 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 or 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 lots. Instead of upsetting family life every night by taking work home (50 percent of people do), declare one night 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 the tension fade and your family draw closer.
The YOU Docs — Mike Roizen and Mehmet Oz