Who stresses you out more, your spouse or your kids? A new report says spouses win hands-down. While it’s been well-documented that social ties can improve heart health, the worry often caused by family and friends can hurt you.
A study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, performed by Dr. Rikke Lund at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark says that family stress can increase angina, and in particular the closer you are to the person, the more damage they can do.
With the pressure of shopping, finances, and family get-togethers, nervous tension is especially on the rise during the holiday season. As most parents are running around trying to plan the perfect holiday, it’s a recipe for tension.
Interestingly according to the study, the more you care about the person, the more your health is affected:
When the source of these worries/demands was a spouse or partner, the angina risk was increased more than threefold, while for children it was more than twofold. Other family members nearly doubled angina risk. By contrast, excessive demands or worries caused by more distant family relations or from friends and neighbors were associated with little or no risk.
Since angina may be a risk for future heart disease, it makes sense to let things slide over the holidays, rather than allowing yourself to become stressed.
Does this study beckon the question, who are parents closer to: their spouse or their children? Maybe. But perhaps moms and dads just don’t get as stressed out by their own kids because they are just that: kids. After all, when a spouse does something inconsiderate or ill-mannered, as an adult, they are held responsible. Kids, however, to a certain extent are released of that culpability.
On the contrary, the good news is that the less you care about someone, the smaller chance they have of risking your health. So eat, drink, and be merry this holiday season, and when the snide remarks surface from in-laws and/or acquaintances, just let them roll right of your shoulder…and away from your heart.
Image: Flickr: Inside Heart