A new study has found that people working in high-stress jobs are more likely to have health issues and die early, compared to those who have flexibility and are allowed to use their own judgment at work, Medical Daily reports. The study showed that people who had little control over their jobs had a 15.4 percent increase in the likelihood of death.
This is further confirmation that stress doesn’t just stay in your head, work-related or not. Other studies have shown that anxiety over marital problems, financial troubles and other types of mental and emotional stressors can trigger systemic low-grade inflammation in your body, increase your blood pressure and risk of chronic disease such as diabetes, and even increase the risk of heart attacks by as much as 21 percent.
The fact that more heart attacks and other cardiovascular events occur on Mondays more than other days also has led to the conclusion that heart problems can be work-related. On the brighter side, positive emotions like happiness, hope and optimism can prompt changes in your body’s cells, even triggering the release of feel-good brain chemicals. Amazingly, the same endorphin and dopamine high you get with drugs and alcohol can be achieved via healthy habits like exercise, sex, laughter, hugging and kissing, or bonding with your child.
Short of changing jobs, if you’re looking for a stress reliever that you can employ anywhere, anytime, try the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which can actually reprogram your body’s reactions to the unavoidable stressors of everyday life.
*Article originally appeared at Mercola.