Your 9-Point Health Bailout Package
Stressed by the Economy? Don't Let It Wreck Your Health
WebMD News Archive
6. You just want to go home and shut the door. continued...
"But the other side of the coin is that when people are isolated, they
tend to get stuck in their own thought patterns, and sadly, when you get stuck
in your own thought patterns, it makes it much harder to socialize, so you want
to be more isolated, and that makes you more stuck in your own though
patterns... a vicious cycle," says Raison.
"One of the great ways to cope with stress is to have meaningful
positive social connections," says Raison. That doesn't mean that a little
alone-time is a bad thing. It's just a matter of balance.
Also, think about the people you're spending time with -- will they make you
feel better or feed your fear? "Surround yourself with the right people who
can actually be soothing and helpful and can be anchors in a storm for
you," Ruge suggests.
7. You're angry about the financial crisis.
That's understandable, but seething anger can be bad for your heart.
"Practically everybody is feeling the heat" from the financial
crisis, says Diwalker Jain, MD, FACC, FRCP, FASNC, a professor of medicine and
director of nuclear cardiology at Drexel University's medical school.
Anger may be riskiest for people with heart disease and angry, hostile, or
type A personalities, Jain notes.
"It is likely that the people who already have a pre-existing heart
condition and are prone to be angry or hostile or type A behavior, they are
more likely to be adversely affected by all this news," Jain says.
His advice: Look for healthy ways to channel your anger. That might include
working out to blow off steam or lobbying for changes you think the system
"As a cardiologist, I can't say, 'Don't get angry,' because this anger
is very appropriate. But all I can say is this anger can affect their heart,
particularly if they have heart disease," Jain says.
Also, if you have chest
pain, palpitations, or shortness of breath, call 911; don't just talk it up
to stress. "You don't want to take a chance," says Jain. And if the
economic crunch is making it hard to pay for your medicines, Jain suggests
talking to your doctor to see if lower-cost generic drugs might be appropriate.