Warn Americans About Chronic Stress

Target: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Goal: Alert Americans to the harmful and potentially deadly effects of chronic stress

Stress is a contributing factor to many of the world’s leading causes of death—heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, asthma, and many others. In fact, stress has been shown to accelerate aging from nine to seventeen years, depending on the person and the amount of stress. It is imperative that the public be thoroughly informed of the ill-effects of stress—that it could possibly take your life—so that people may begin to learn to manage their stress better, and to remove themselves from stressful situations when possible.

Premature death is a common outcome of stress. A recent study shows that elderly caregivers looking after their spouses, and under a great deal of stress, had a 63% higher rate of death than people their age who were not caregivers, and therefore not under the same stress.

Stress also causes smaller nuisances such as acne, high blood pressure, and headaches. In fact, stress is considered the most common trigger for headaches– not just tension headaches but severe migraines as well. Stress is also a common factor in chronic heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome. Jay Winner, MD, Director of the Stress Management Program for Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara, California, says, “Stress doesn’t only make us feel awful emotionally, it can also exacerbate just about any health condition you can think of.”

By managing stress, many of these harmful health effects can be reversed. A recent study showed that patients who have had a heart attack who took a stress management class as a part of their treatment plan were 74% less likely to have another heart attack. There is also evidence that stress management may help to increase immunity against disease in the first place.

There are many simple ways to relieve stress every day, like deep breathing, consciously relaxing your muscles with every exhale. Focusing on what you are grateful for instead of what you are upset about is important, as is regular exercise. Stress has become a way of life for many overworked Americans. Demand that the Center for Disease Control campaign against stress to make people aware that stress can lead to serious disease and even death.


Dear Center for Disease Control and Prevention,

Stress is a top contributor to many serious diseases, and can even lead to premature death. Many Americans do not understand the seriousness of stress, with stress being part of everyday life for many overworked Americans. Many diseases, and deaths, could be prevented by raising awareness about the harmful impact of stress and providing resources to help people of all ages manage stress better.

Stress leads to high blood pressure, which often leads to heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems and asthma. It can cause severe migraine headaches, tension headaches, acne, chronic acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome. Stress has been shown to cause an increased chance of premature death. Stress management, however, can prolong life by potentially boosting the immune system against disease.

Please create a campaign initiative to raise awareness about the deadly impact of stress, and provide simple ways for people to manage their stress, and save their lives. Things like deep breathing, muscle relaxation, regular exercise, and gratitude can significantly reduce stress. Save lives by informing the public about the frightening reality of stress, and the impact stress management can have on our futures.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Peter Hellberg via Flickr

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