2013-12-04 19:43:05 - Don't ruin the holidays by becoming a statistic. The mortality rate in the United State rises during the holidays because of the added stress. Here are some simple ideas to reduce stress quickly.
Family, gift giving, celebration and a festive atmosphere are many of the things that people think of during the holiday season. However, if you work in the medical profession you may also think of the “Holiday Heart Syndrome” or the “Christmas Coronary,” as the additional stress from the holidays also causes an increase in heart attacks.
Research published in the American Heart Association’s Circulation Journal has shown that cardiac mortality is highest during December and January. Per the study: “For cardiac and non-cardiac diseases, spike in daily mortality occurs during the Christmas/New Year’s holiday. The spike persists after adjusting for trends and seasons and is particularly large for individuals who are dead on arrival at a hospital, die in the emergency
department or die as outpatients.” The study goes on to quantify that the mortality rate increases as much as 5% during this period.
For many people, the holidays tend to overwhelm them as they take on extra tasks such as holiday decorations, shopping and entertaining. Plus, the economic conditions of the last several years can add the extra stress of the additional cost of the holidays.
“It is important to realize that stress is a state of mind,” says Rob Malone, local stress management expert and founder of the Metro Hypnosis Center. “Stress is not a tangible thing. It is an emotion that is generated by our thoughts and can cause tangible physical consequences, such as high blood pressure or heart disease.”
“But the good news is that since we create it in our minds, we also have the ability to control our stress levels,” Malone continued. “Though it is not realistic to think we can be 100% stress free, most people do have the ability to reduce their stress levels at will.”
Malone suggests the following techniques as ways to quickly reduce stress:
• Take a deep breath, hold it to a mental count of three and release it slowly. Repeat several times to reduce your stress level.
• Simply talk to yourself and say over and over, “I am in control and I am relaxed.”
• Keep perspective and know that the thought of doing something is almost always worse than the actual act of doing it – just taking action on something you have been putting off can reduce stress.
• Physical exercise can reduce stress.
• Control your thoughts. You have complete control of the thoughts you think. When you find yourself thinking thoughts that increase your stress, just say to yourself “stop” and then replace the thought with a happy memory or a more optimistic outcome of what is stressing you.
• Learn self-hypnosis or meditation.
• Take 5 minutes a day, a couple of times a day and visualize a peaceful scene.
• If you are overwhelmed, make a list of what you need to do and then cross things off as you complete them. The act of crossing them off is a stress reliever, and as you see the list decrease the feeling of being overwhelmed should also decrease.