Study Links Anxiety To Increased Risk Of Stroke

If you are a "stress mess" you are not alone. We live in a fast-paced world and our daily lives can be fraught with frustrations, problems and demands that overwhelm us and stress us out. Phrases like "relax, chill out, calm down" are easy to say but difficult to heed. But we need to learn how because a new study suggests learning to let go may be vital for health and longevity. The study, conducted at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, confirmed a link between chronic anxiety and strokes. Researchers found that people with high anxiety levels have a 14 percent higher risk of stroke. Fortunately, there are certain all natural health supplements that may be able to help you reduce and control the level of stress you feel on a regular basis.

The study suggested that there are multiple factors involved in the anxiety/stroke connection. People with high anxiety levels sometimes turn to unhealthy "coping" behaviors which negatively affect the central nervous system. Anxious people are more likely to smoke cigarettes, drink excessive amounts of alcohol and engage in other behaviors that may contribute to their risk for stroke.

According to the American Heart Association, about 795,000 Americans suffer strokes each year. Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke results when a blood vessel which takes oxygen to the brain becomes blocked or ruptures. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the oxygen and blood it needs and brain cells die.

Although you cannot totally eliminate stress from your life, you can find ways to control it before it causes you harm. One of the most important things you can do is take some time for yourself. Regular exercise, a nutritious diet and adequate rest are important to both your physical and mental health.

In addition, you can try taking supplements to reduce stress.

Meditation has gained popularity in recent years as millions of people have reaped its benefits. Meditation soothes anxiety because it promotes a "relaxation response" by lowering blood pressure, reducing the heart rate and encouraging slower, calmer breathing. Meditation has been practiced by holistic healers for centuries and in recent years it has been embraced by modern medicine.

Meditation requires no special skill, equipment or training. All that is needed is the willingness to let go and let nature's healing energy flow through the body and soul. Deep, cleansing breaths relax the mind which sets the spirit free.

Because it requires full concentration, yoga is also a powerful stress-buster. Almost all forms of yoga emphasize deep, long breaths that allow your body to completely relax. Yoga helps release energetic blockages or "knots" so that emotional layers open and energy flows freely.

To summarize, the latest studies tell us: "Deal with your stress before it deals with you."  Finally, learn to relax to reduce stroke risk and improve your quality of life.

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