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10 Ways to Reduce Inflammation (Page 8)

Keep Stress at Bay

Photo: Maryellen Baker

Keep Stress at Bay

Frequently frazzled? You may be opening the door to inflammation. A recent study in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity found that people who have a strong emotional reaction to stressful tasks (you bite your nails when you have to make a presentation at work or get tense when someone presses your buttons) experience a greater increase in circulating interleukin-6 during times of stress than those who take stressful tasks in stride. While stress harms your body in many ways, Cannon puts it like this: “Stress increases blood pressure and heart rate, making your blood vessels work harder. Essentially, you’re pounding on them more often and creating damage. If that damage happens over and over, inflammation persists.”

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