Stress Over Christmas: Avoid a Physical Illness

stressToo much stress is bad for a person. Many people know that, but recent studies have shown that it can lead to physical illnesses like heart attacks. Over Christmas is the worst time for many, and it is important to avoid stress to avoid a physical illness. With some simple planning that is possible for families of all sizes.

The recent link between the psychological stress and the physical illness came after doctors linked Justina Pelletier’s signs of mitochondrial disease to a psychological disorder. A recent study has also shown that there is a certain gene that links emotional stress and the higher risk of heart attacks.

Reducing stress in extremely important, and can be done in various ways. Over the Christmas season, it is important to start planning early. With just a few days left until Christmas 2013, it can seem like a tall order, but it is still possible.

Spend some time planning any food and presents that still need to be bought. The best thing to do is make a long list of gift ideas for each person, so there is a choice while in the shops. Create a list of the things being prepared for the Christmas Day lunch, so nothing is missed out accidentally—usually the Yorkshire puddings or cranberry sauce!

The breathing patterns change during a stressful period. Breaths become short and sharp, which tells the body that it needs to be on alert. When a person notices this and decides to take a long and deep breath, the nervous system relaxes. People naturally feel calmer and will avoid stress and a physical illness over Christmas.

Exercise is another excellent way to reduce the emotional feelings of stress. It will not completely remove it, since it does not remove the reason for it, but it will help to remove the negative thoughts. It is also good for avoiding other physical illnesses that can develop due to chronic stress, including low energy levels and cardiovascular disease.

There are certain events that cannot be changed. It is important for people to accept that is the case, even over the Christmas period. The perfect gift may not be found or the dinner may end up a total disaster. That does not mean the whole day is ruined. Take a deep breath, accept that it has happened, and then move on. To help deal with this, it may be worth having a backup plan. Consider what would happen if the turkey was burned, or have a backup option for dessert in case there are no Christmas puddings. A backup plan means that it is easier to remain positive throughout the day, and not let these things become worse than they really are.

The Christmas period is a hectic time, but it is important to avoid physical illness due to stress over it. Stress can lead to ailments like heart attacks, and is also linked to the development of signs of serious health conditions. Avoiding it is much easier with some planning and positivity.

By Alexandria Ingham

NHS Choices

The Buffalo News


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