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May 15, 2019

Good Morning,

We all get stressed out from time to time, that's life. But don't worry - Healthy Living is here to help you relax.

Lately, it seems like stress is getting the better of me. I'm really trying to reduce my tension, especially after I read this article about how it may trigger an irregular heart beat; I've included the article.

I've also included a list of helpful tips for reducing your stress. So if you're feeling irritable, rushed, resentful, lonely, or overwhelmed, keep these strategies in mind to help boost your mood from mad to glad.

You'll feel better all around. I know I feel better.

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Comments? Questions? Email Steve

Stress may cause heart arrhythmia, even without genetic risk

Emotional stress may trigger an irregular heart beat, which can lead to a more serious heart condition later in life, new research shows.

New research shows how two proteins that interconnect in the heart can malfunction during stressful moments, leading to arrhythmia, according to a study published Wednesday in Molecular Cell.

"The big picture of our work is to understand how stress signals affect a protein in the heart muscle that is critical for heart contraction," Filip Van Petegem, a research at University of British Columbia, said in a news release.

During stressful situations, a heart protein gets tagged by another protein helping it pass along calcium. That exchange helps heart contraction.

If the tag lasts too long or occurs too frequently, however, it can disrupt the heart's electric signals and cause arrhythmia.

"Normally, the protein is tagged, the heart rate goes up, then the tag is removed and all is fine. This process allows the heart to adapt to the needs of the environment," Van Petegem said.

Over time, arrhythmia can progress and cause more serious health problems.

The new study supports previous research suggesting stress brought on by post-traumatic stress disorder can also cause an irregular heart beat.

The most common type of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation, which affects up to 6.1 million people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We've identified a lot of areas where we think a small molecule could be used to interrupt the excessive tagging," Van Petegem said. "It's hypothetical, but it's definitely an avenue worth pursuing."

*-- Tips for Healthy Living --*

New 4 Below
Helpful Ways to Reduce Your Stress

1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP: Sleep deprivation is a major disturber of people's moods. Jet lag, traveling, parties, and over-excited children all make it hard to get your usual number of hours. Making an effort to get to bed at a decent hour really pays off.

2. EXERCISE: Studies show that one of the quickest and surest ways to boost your mood is to exercise. If you're away from home and can't do your usual routine, even a short walk will help. Even better, exercise outside, where the sunlight will help improve your mood and focus.

3. CONTROL YOUR EATING: Watch what you're eating because over-eating or binge-eating can be a major source of the blues.

4. PLAN AHEAD: Hurrying to pack, last minute party planning, rushing through stores, sprinting to make a flight - these are sure to put you in a bad mood. Try to give yourself plenty of time to do what you need to do.

5. LEARN FROM THE PAST: What has made you unhappy in years of old? Think back. Avoid your triggers. Stay out of the kitchen, stay out of the mall, stay away from annoying people - sometimes there's a weird triumphant satisfaction in getting worked up, yet again, by a particular situation. Don't do it! Don't expose yourself to known happiness risks.

6. MAKE FUN ACTUALLY FUN: Sometimes vacations, which are supposed to be "fun," are actually a huge hassle. Figure out ways to have fun. Include time for things YOU like to do: going to a movie, taking a nap while everyone else goes out, going to the gym, etc.

7. BEHAVE YOURSELF: If you sulk, snap, tease, or shirk, you're not going to feel happy. It may feel good, but only for a moment. Then you're going to feel bad. Instead, try to help out, bite your tongue, clean up, or run to the store. Look for opportunities to say, "Don't worry, I'll take care of it," or "This is fine," or "What should I be doing?" Do good, feel good - this really works! The way we act shapes the way we feel, so if you act in an affectionate, thoughtful way, you'll feel more affectionate and thoughtful.