Keep calm and carry on for a longer life. Chronic stress can raise your odds of having a stroke in the next decade, according to research from the University of Minnesota.
(Related: 5 Weird Health Effects Of Work Stress)
For every single-point increase in test scores measuring stress levels, study participants’ risk of stroke jumped 19 per cent. The authors speculate that the body’s reaction to chronic stress may send inflammatory responses into overdrive, possibly impeding blood flow to the brain. Try these Jedi mind tricks to chill out.
…in 60 seconds
Set a timer for a minute, close your eyes, and focus on breathing deeply and on observing your thoughts, says Dr Michael Irwin, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA.
…in 15 minutes
Stretch while seated: lean forward, back and to each side, and stretch your arms above your head. Hold each pose for six slow breaths, and then sit and breathe deeply with your eyes closed.
…in 30 minutes
Hit the gym. Just 30 minutes of exercise can reduce anxiety, and it may even help you handle future stressors.