Researchers: work-related stress increases risk of heart attack

Researchers: work-related stress increases risk of heart attack

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Researchers in Sweden say men who store up work-related stress are five times more likely to have a heart attack.

Some counselors say men don't really open up about their work stress as much as women might. George Limberakis, LPC, with Associated Counseling Services says many guys feel they're not supposed to share emotions.

"Men also need to be able to present themselves as feeling confident and in charge and in control," he says.

Remember the stress tips we used to get like "hit a pillow" or "go find a place to scream?" Limberakis says that's not a good idea. He says the goal should be for men to calm down, not agitate themselves.

"If we get caught up in a spiral of agitated thinking and just let it run around, that's going to just create more agitation," Limberakis says.

He says there are some stress management tips that seem to work well for men.

"[They include] having a regular exercise program, having a means of reducing stress like meditation or relaxation [and] making sure you get adequate amounts of sleep. There's no big fix," he says.

Limberakis says many guys like to decompress by literally thinking about nothing after the work day. This kind of mental shutdown is fine, as long as it's not the only means men use to cope with stress.

"[It also} depends on what kind of ‘shutting down' we're doing. If we're talking about a totally unconscious shutting down, then that might not be of benefit," Limberakis says.

He adds that a mental shutdown won't work long term if men don't confront the problem causing the stress.


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Paul Nelson


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