Destress Your 2013

If you're hoping to have a little less stress in 2013, that's a good thing. Though, some stress may actually be good for you in small doses but experts say chronic stress can do serious damage.

"In the short term it increases cortical and some other hormone levels but in the long term it actually depletes those and it's that depletion, that chronic stress that is really aging us. It increases our risk of cancers. It increases our risk of inflammation and the plaque rupture which causes heart disease, stroke, memory loss and by diverting us increases our risk of accidents," said Dr. Michael Roizen.

Dr. Roizen says both chronic nagging stress as well as major life stress, like the death of a loved one or a job loss, can even weaken the immune system making you more susceptible to becoming ill.

There's no way to avoid stress, but how you manage it makes a big difference.

Dr. Roizen recommends deep breathing, meditation and having a good circle of friends for support.

He says empathy is important as well.

"Someone might cut you off and you want to give them an awkward gesture or swear at them but empathize with them so the first thing to do about anxiety and stress is to empathize with them, that poor person is running to the emergency room to be with their spouse because he or she has a significant problem."

Dr. Roizen says if a presentation or meeting is stressing you out, practicing the interaction a few times with a friend or spouse will help ease your stress.


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