STRESS FROM WORK AND HOME CAN HARM A WOMAN'S HEART

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Even with supportive spouses, many women still struggle with balancing work and home tasks like helping the kids with homework and cleaning up household messes, while scrambling to make dinner after a 10-hour workday filled with deadlines. According to studies, all these stressors could put women at higher risk of a stroke or developing diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions than men.

It is unclear how job strain causes cardiac problems, but the stress may aggravate inflammation in coronary arteries, leading to blood clots that can trigger a heart attack. Stress also makes it harder to practice heart-healthy habits, such as exercise, a good diet, not smoking, and adequate sleep. According to the American Heart Association, women who reported high levels of work-related stress were 38 per cent more likely to have a cardiovascular event than coworkers with low levels of stress. But it is hard to tell what proportion of heart attack risk is due to psychological stress as compared to smoking or lack of exercise.

Stress that is induced by excessive demands and too little control is not unique to the workplace. At home, women play the roles of daughters, wives and mothers – caring for children, aged parents or other relatives, and running a household — often without the resources to manage them all.
WHAT CAN WOMEN DO TO RELIEVE STRESS?
5 ways to reduce yourself from stress:
1. Foster mutually supportive relationships with friends, family, and coworkers.
2. Get regular exercise. It is good for the heart, reduces anxiety and depression, and improves sleep.
3. Limit intrusions (such as work-related emails) on your life outside of work.
4. Practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, progressive relaxation, or visualisation.
5. If you're feeling overwhelmed, seek help from a mental health professional.
Watch our Zoom Webinar on "Emotional Stress and Heart Disease in Women" by Dr Goh Ping Ping and Ms Janice Chen.