Managing Stress
Protecting Your Health

Summary

Sustained over time, stress can undermine health in serious and sometimes deadly ways. In this Forum event, expert participants examined what we know about the effects of stress on health, including heart disease risk, and about the role social status plays in exacerbating or mitigating these effects. In addition, panelists explored ways in which positive well-being, mindfulness, exercise and nutrition contribute to a more resilient, healthier lifestyle.

Also see this brief video with Dr. Lilian Cheung, a Forum participant, conducting a short mindful breathing exercise. Follow along as she demonstrates how regular conscious breathing can be a quick and easy way to de-stress.

 

Part of: .

Presented in Collaboration with The Huffington Post

Background Articles

Image Credit: © iStockphoto.com/Dmitry Rukhlenko

  • Ray Thompson

    Great forum! Really learned a lot! :^)

  • FAMBAI SHASHA

    When is this? I would be happy if it will be on webnar for the benefit of us afar

  • Stephanie Dunn

    How do you deal with multiple changes all happening at once ? In past 2-3 months at work, we have gone through reorganization and down-sizing, entirely new floor plan, some privacy to no privacy, new boss, new database, new email accounts, new reports includes process and procedures, ect…And needless to so, the process has many glitches; change usually does. Thanks for your advice!

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    Thank you for your interest. Simply return to this website at 12:30ET to watch the webcast. No login or password is needed. The video also will be posted here later as an on demand video

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION E-MAILED FROM ONLINE VIEWER
    Can hyperlipidemia be linked to hyper and sustained levels of stress? Since one can have a vegetarian and low fat diet, normal weight and still have high cholesterol is there a connection? No one in the medical field seems to want too address this.
    –from Karma Martell

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION E-MAILED FROM ONLINE VIEWER

    I’m really eager to watch this event, and my question is that as an international student and studying at graduate school, how would I manage my homework stress and research papers dues? It takes long time for me finishing my writing comparing to my colleagues.

    –Adel Fatease

  • Robin Herman

    What is the biological mechanism that links stress to decreased concentration and distractibility? When I am under extended stress, I find that reading is difficult. Friends describe the same experience with reading.

  • martin youngleson

    ready to listen.

  • John Chambless

    Persons who have hypothyroidism have high levels of cholesterol. Need Iodine (Kelp) to furnish the thyroid gland in order to increase thyroid production.

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    Hello, the live webcast is today, March 6, from 12:30-1:30ET and the video will be posted on this site later today or tomorrow.

  • Richard Wong

    Eagerly waiting for it.

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION E-MAILED FROM ONLINE VIEWER
    How can technology help us to manage our stress?
    –Joel Fishbein
    [Note from Editor: Watch a YouTube clip from the event that answers this question: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWMmzyIxptI&feature=share&list=UUqiyDOiAW

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION E-MAILED FROM ONLINE VIEWER
    Do you have research on how hypnosis compares to meditation in reducing stress?
    And with specific problems that cause stress, does hypnosis have better results that just meditation alone?

    (I am a professional hypnotherapist)
    –Wendi Friesen CHT, Boulder, CO

  • Margie Conboy

    The cause of stress is the clutter of accumulated images which are continuously imprinted in the mind from early childhood. Once there was an understanding of the root cause of stress, there came the solution. When one subtracts the images from their mind with the Maum Meditation method, one becomes free of the root of stress. Thoughts, emotions, perceptions, concepts and behaviors come from what is in the mind. The key to change your life is to change your mind by emptying the mind and become free of the past. The way to peace, happiness, fulfillment and true living is to change
    the human mind (filled with the ‘self’) to the Universe Mind….filled with life!

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    COMMENT FROM ELLEN LANGER:

    Is it a tragedy or an inconvenience?
    I was recently part of a panel on stress at HSPH speaking about
    mindfulness. I stated that if we take a close look at stress we’ll find
    that mindlessness is the culprit and thus mindfulness may be the
    solution.
    For the past 40 years I have researched mindfulness without
    meditation. No matter how mindfulness is achieved, the end result is
    basically the same. For the eastern perspective, mindfulness results
    from meditation, an important practice. Mindfulness as we study it, is
    the simple process of noticing new things , When we notice new things
    about people or ideas that we think we know, we come to see that we
    didn’t know them as well as we thought we did and they become interesting
    again in the present. Everything is always changing and looks different
    from different perspectives. Since uncertainty is the rule, when we
    think we know, our mindlessness is In charge. The simple act of noticing
    is engaging and reveals that events don’t cause stress. It is the
    mindless view of events that leads to stress. Stress relies on two
    thoughts: First that an event will happen and second, that when it does
    it will be awful. If we consider reasons it may not happen and also how
    it might have hidden advantages if it does happen, stress diminishes.
    There are advantages to most of what we initially take to be negative.
    When we taught this to people about to undergo major surgery, they became
    less stressed, took fewer pain relievers, and tended to leave the
    hospital sooner than participants in control groups not taught to be
    mindful.
    A negative view of an event causes stress. By opening our minds to
    alternative views, we may find that some of those “tragedies” are merely
    inconveniences.

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION FROM LIVE CHAT
    jfish: My question: How can technology help us reduce our stress?

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION FROM LIVE CHAT
    wjw1000: Also, please share what non-pharmacologic approaches to use when in the midst of a “panic attack”… fight/flight in full force and elevated pulse rate… sweating. Can breathing or mindfulness make an impact or is medication (ativan, etc.) the only way out of that acute storm?

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION FROM LIVE CHAT
    tura: Is there a link between stress and blood pressure?

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION FROM LIVE CHAT
    fbenedict: Q. for David, can he explain in more detail how he brings mindfulness into he kitchen? Through nutrition education in addition to meditation practices? Can he explain a bit further?

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION FROM LIVE CHAT
    John Chambliss: Do breathing methods such as Buteyko help with stress? Slower breath rate??

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION FROM OUR LIVE CHAT
    kathrynnn: I’m interested in hearing more about the relationship between stress and depression/low self-esteem.

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION FROM OUR LIVE CHAT
    HSPH_alum: Q. for panelists. Can each one describe briefly, how they identify and deal with stress in daily work life?

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION FROM OUR LIVE CHAT
    Honesti: What can cause stress to then develop into anxiety and/or panic disorders?

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION FROM OUR LIVE CHAT
    Honesti: How does the role of low nutrients (such as magnesium, Bs, DHA/EPA, blood sugar, etc.) and how they can effect the body/stress level?

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    COMMENT FROM OUR LIVE CHAT
    wjw1000: I’m hoping to hear evidence for improving marriage relationships to decrease stress and improve overall health/well-being. Marital dissatisfaction is sustained stress, for sure. Improving marriage relationships through skills training can make an important impact.

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION FROM OUR LIVE CHAT
    ibrahla: Any thoughts on pregnancy and stress?

  • Bob Lee

    Managing stress starts with elemental mental and physical awareness whether we’re talking about breathing, muscles, and attitude. Most individuals don’t haven’t been trained as to what to pay attention to before they can eliminate unnecessary stress.

    Kind regards,

    Bob Lee
    Head Instructor
    3rd Degree Black Belt
    http://www.bodymindsystems.com

  • Eliana Herrera

    Hello, I am new in this type of online forum, please could you post it the link to enter to the webcast for hear the forum today, (or give me some advise how I can enter) thank you very much I am really interested in the topic!

  • The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

    QUESTION FROM LIVE CHAT
    mharg: I am a believer also in eastern alternative medicine approach such as acupuncture. Most all health plans exclude paying for these types of alternative treatments and limit services such as chiropractic. In light of health care reform, will we see in the future a shift in payment for these types of services that could be beneficial for those who currently cannot afford to use these services. Thanks.

  • Robin Hicks

    Coming through a profound emotional breakdown (including extended hospitalization) and wondering how I can better manage my stress (and improve my APPETITE) as I move through my recovery!