Michelle Albert, MD associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, reported on a study linking work stress and cardiovascular health.  The research was done on 22,000 women whose average age was 57.  The findings of the study indicated that women with the most high-stress jobs were 38% more at risk to suffer heart-related events such as stroke or death than women with less stressful jobs.  The high stress jobs included those with extremely high demands and those with little opportunity to use creativity or make decisions.  In addition to greater risk for strokes, women were also at 70% greater risk for heart attacks.

    If you or a woman you know are working in high-stress conditions, it is time to take preventative action.  See your doctor to be aware of your blood pressure and heart condition. Your doctor may prescribe medication if anything is out of the ordinary.  You should also begin effective coping strategies for the stress.  

    Sometimes you can make actual job changes occur and sometimes that is not possible.  If your employer is unwilling or unable to help you reduce the demands or give you more opportunity to be creative or make decisions, you may decide your health is more important than the job and begin to search for other career opportunities.  

     Coping strategies you could add into your life include:  adding relaxation and enjoyment to your non-working hours.  That could be anything from spending more time with friends, to taking a bubble bath to adding a creative project into your leisure time.  Deep breathing is a great way to relax.  Listening to relaxation CDs or some beautiful music may help as well.  Exercise is a wonderful way to relieve stress.  Think about when you were a kid.  If you liked to run and play, get outside and take a walk or ride a bicycle.  If you liked to swim, go to the Y or a Rec Center.  If you liked team sports, join an adult group your own age.  Or take a class - an exercise class, a yoga class, a dance class.  Get up and move and release the endorphins to help you deal with the stresses in your life.

    Hypnotherapy can be a great way to deal with stress.  I always suggest people record their sessions, so they can listen to them again and relax any time they want.  Reduce job stress and the risk of heart disease by using hypnosis and BE WELL.