Women’s stress increases when we are in contact with other people who are stressed. It seems both sides of the aisle are stressed these days. The non-stop social media postings of overwhelm and doom can spiral into a feeling of despair. This downward spiral, which I call “awfulizing,” keeps the focus on the negative and stops us from seeing opportunities for improvement.
Regardless of their place on the political spectrum, professional women may find themselves, and their hearts, in danger due to stress around Inauguration Day. A previous post about election stress, revealed the unprecedented level of turmoil in the 2016 presidential race combined with already high job stress levels were a recipe for disaster. While the election is over, the turmoil seems to have increased, intensifying stress and increasing the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
So, be kind to your heart and let’s deal with the stress of Inauguration Day.
Facebook algorithms are built to show you more of what you click. It is easy to be pulled into a spiral of dire predictions and raw emotion. Set a timer, limit your number of clicks, avoid reading comments, or devise some other way to manage your contact with stressful posts and articles.
Our country isn’t going to implode on January 20th, nor will all of our problems be magically solved. It is one day. One ceremony. Yes, our country is deeply divided. Yes, we have work to do. It won’t all happen in one day. We all need to move forward and do the best we can.
One of my favorite quotes is from Diversity Expert Jess Pettitt
Doing the best you can with what you have is better than doing nothing.”
Her point revolves around choosing to use your strengths and opportunities now rather than waiting for the right leader, right time, or right frame of mind. This lesson has been instrumental in my own stress management. Rather than complaining on Facebook, I’m picking up the phone and getting to know my elected officials (local, state, and national — those I voted for and those I didn’t). Jess is right, doing something is better than doing nothing. By recognizing stress and taking an action, it is possible to release some of the tension.
As January 20th comes and goes, keep in mind we are all part of the process. You Are Good Enough Now. Do something and reduce your stress.
P.S. Jess’ book Good Enough Now is a fantastic guide to getting over being terrified of messing up and get into action. Check out the video below and order your copy NOW here: www.GoodEnoughNowBook.com
January 13, 2017
Minneapolis Convention Center
Register here by January 3!
During the holidays, this is a particular problem.
According to our job stress research, the sheer volume of work to be done is the single largest stressor for a vast majority of people. Eliminating things which steal time and energy from what is important is a central point in The Trouble With Busy.
Think about it.
Deleting what you don’t need several times per day takes time and energy you could use better elsewhere. Take a couple extra moments to scroll down and click the link to unsubscribe. Better yet, use a tool such as unroll.me to do it all at once. Today, using unroll.me I found 132 subscriptions. There are far fewer now. We all “sign up” for activities and relationships that may work in the beginning, but over time we outgrow them or our needs change. Any time we buy something online, the merchant has permission to email us.
It’s okay –- unsubscribe.
Think about it this way.
Unsubscribing is freeing. You don’t have to feel guilty about it. As a person who sends out a regular email newsletter, I only want subscribers who find value in what I provide. If you don’t have time to read it, if it doesn’t fit your needs, if it is just cluttering up your inbox, please unsubscribe. I won’t take it personally, really!
Unsubscribe for productivity, low stress, and great success this holiday season.
Due to election stress caused by an unprecedented level of turmoil in the 2016 presidential race, professional women may find themselves, and their hearts, in danger. More than 60 percent of professional women report a high level of stress on an average day, and nearly 20 percent report an acute level of stress in our job stress study. Stress at these levels already increases the risk of heart disease and heart attack, which is one reason workplace stress induced cardiovascular disease is recognized as a global epidemic. Election stress increases these risks.
More than half of American adults are experiencing significant stress as the result of news stories, social media posts, ads, and arguments about the election, according to an American Psychological Association survey. Regardless of party affiliation, this election is ramping up stress levels. For already at-risk professional women, this increase in emotional stress is of particular concern.
Decreased blood flow to the heart, or myocardial ischemia, causes heart attacks. While the decrease in blood flow is often caused by blockages in the arteries leading to the heart, it can also be caused by emotional stress. Women are twice as likely to reduced blood flow to the heart due to stress than men. Even more concerning, physical exertion while angry, or emotionally stressed, can triple the risk of heart attack. The increased pressure on already constricted blood vessels can be deadly. In other words, an intense run may not be the best way to deal with anger or stress created by election coverage or conversation. Paying attention to stress levels and watching for danger signs is critical.
Symptoms of heart attacks in women can be very subtle, but most women report some signs that something is wrong. Women with additional risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and smoking should be especially vigilant.
Don’t ignore danger signs such as:
Any of these could be a sign of a heart attack. Play it safe and call 911 to get help right away.
Fortunately, the stress caused by the election is likely temporary. However, the high stress levels of professional women will still need to be addressed. Putting good stress recovery strategies in place now, and paying attention to stress levels, will build good habits for the future.
Mammograms are effective in detecting breast cancer in the early stages. It turns out mammograms may also be able to detect the early stages of heart disease as well. This could be another tool for doctors and women with heart disease risk factors to evaluate treatment needs. In addition, women with heart disease may have special needs when having a mammogram.
A mammogram is a specialized x-ray of the breast. Mammograms can show two types of changes in breast tissue: calcifications and masses. Calcifications are small deposits of minerals in the tissue that appear as white spots on the x-ray. The mammogram cannot predict whether these calcifications are cancer, only that they are present in the tissue.
Calcification in blood vessels is a significant indicator of the hardening of the arteries type of heart disease, called Atherosclerosis. This type of calcification can appear as lines on a mammogram.
First, don’t panic. Finding calcifications on a mammogram probably isn’t a sign of an impending heart attack, but it is and indication that more investigation should be done. Tests such as a treadmill stress test, which monitors your heart during exercise, and blood test should be done to determine the progression of heart disease in your body. Caught early, heart disease can be treated and well managed with lifestyle changes and medication.
If you are at high risk of heart disease ask the radiologist examining your x-rays to pay special attention to possible calcifications in the blood vessels. Having multiple years of exams to look at may be helpful in determining the progress of heart disease or the effectiveness of treatment.
Women with significant heart disease or those who have had heart surgery have special concerns when having a mammogram. Ask your doctor if you should stop blood thinning medications for several days before your exam in order to prevent bruising. Discuss the placement of any implanted devices, such as pacemakers or internal defibrillators, with the technician before you begin the mammogram. Special care should be taken to not dislodge wires or create too much pressure. Women scheduled for heart surgery should get a mammogram. Scar tissue from blood vessels being harvested in the chest for bypass or from an open heart procedure can be very tender for the first few years after surgery. Scheduling a mammogram before surgery allows the maximum amount of time for recovery between exams and allows for comparison of x-rays before and after surgery. A mammogram is an effective tool for managing your health, both breast and heart health. Make sure you share your complete medical history, including heart disease risk, when having a mammogram. Discuss any concerns with heart medications, scar tissue, or implanted devices before you begin. Schedule regular mammogram screening appointments and protect your heart.
A mammogram is an effective tool for managing your health, both breast and heart health. Make sure you share your complete medical history, including heart disease risk, when having a mammogram. Discuss any concerns with heart medications, scar tissue, or implanted devices before you begin. Schedule regular mammogram screening appointments and protect your heart.
Eliz Greene survived a heart attack at age 35 while seven months pregnant with twins. Her down-to-earth strategies to manage stress and improve heart health are used by thousands of busy women all over the world. She is a great fit as a Women’s Leadership Speaker and Women’s Wellness Speaker. Find out more at www.ElizGreene.com