Taking Care Of Our Heart
According to researches and many heart specialists, it is now becoming clear that the more outgoing and social you are, the better your chances of keeping away heart diseases. I was reading a medical journal and this is what one of the heart specialists from a prominent hospital in Bangalore had to say- the merrier you are the stronger your heart remains! As more researches being conducted on heart diseases and heart health, it has now been proven beyond doubt that the state of one’s mind definitely affects the heart. Getting stressed beyond a certain limit can have an adverse effect on our mind, body and our heart. Like all other organs heart too has its own limitations and when it is stressed beyond limit, it can easily give up many a times beyond repair!
Letting go of negative feelings like stress, anger and depression helps our body while holding on to them only hurts it. It is not an easy task to become immune to your emotions, people and surroundings but one can decrease the damage to a great extent by learning to control one’s emotions and reactions to negative situations. Did you know that a person who talks fast, walks fast and lives life to the fullest and is in the fast lane is perfectly healthy and is happy? This is what modern day researchers say, this is because they have no time to sit and brood over negativities of life and they take life as it comes. Such people neither worry over losses nor do they make much of gains. A balanced outlook definitely helps you keep your balance and your heart healthy and ticking.
Testing our personality/personalities
At the outset I wold like to point out that many of us don't necessarily fall under any one category since we may have more than one personality traits in us. The ones given below are some of the prominent personality traits in general, that have been identified among human beings.
The Brooding type
The more you sit and brood the more you are likely to be felled by a heart attack or stroke. Some people take a long time to recover from illness or a distressing incident that has taken place in their life making life difficult not just for themselves but for those around them as well. According to studies, such people are 84% more likely to lose at least 5-10 years of their life span. We see some people always muttering and grumbling about everything and this type of attitude can lead to depression which increases heart beat rate , higher level of stress hormones which don't sync with their physical activities. Depressed and unhappy people are also more likely to take up unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking excessive liquor or become drug addicts, which again make their condition worse.
The Worrying Type
No doubt that we all worry to a certain extent or the other, which is quite normal in most people. It is how much you worry that matters. You may worry about the price of onions or petrol or about the increasing household expenses, but normally forget about your worries when you are spending time with your family or when you are with your friends etc.
On the other hand if you worry all the time , you are only worrying yourself to death. Constant worry has the same effect as acute anxiety causing increased blood pressure and increased levels of adrenaline and other hormones that cause the heart to beat faster and signaling the cells to dump fat into the bloodstream for quick energy. Repeated Blood pressure surges can damage the arterial linings, which in turn leads to a blockage of the coronary artery. The end result is that high anxiety can speed up a heart attack in a person 4 times more than in a person who is normal and is able to keep his worries and anxieties under control.
The Anger addict
Anger is our body's normal response to being threatened or frustrated. When you are angry you breath harder, your heart beats faster, your blood pressure rises, your pupils dilate and your digestion gets suspended and finally your blood sugar levels soar. The combined effect of all this is that blood gets diverted from other organs to the heart, the central nervous system and muscles. The brain sends a message to pump action hormones which kick starts fatty acids from your fat deposits. So we see how a single reaction sets about so many chemical reactions within our body, all of which lead to a near heart attack.
Anger, we should realise is a very powerful poison to our system since it is a emotion that combines hostility and cynicism all of which are negative reactions linked to the heart. However, according to modern day researchers blowing out once in a while is far better than bottling up your anger and emotions and letting it steadily and slowly poison you. Harboring anger not only strains the heart but can affect the blood's clotting ability, constrict arteries and slow down blood flow into different organs. A person who is perpetually angry with others and the world in general is more likely to seek solace in nicotine and alcohol and we all know where that can lead to - straight to the heart and its well being which gets threatened.
The person who Stifles his/her feelings
We like to keep certain things to ourselves and there is nothing wrong in that, but there is a limit to the levels of being able to stifle your feelings to yourself. Most of the emotions that contribute to heart disease can be buffered by interactions with other people who are close to us .Social support could be had by opening out to a trusted friend or a family member, who could be your spouse, sister, brother or your parents or a close friend. Even superficial chatting can help since you are interacting and feel that there are people who understand you .The more social you are the happier and healthier you remain and the less isolated you remain and the less contact you have with others , the worse is your heart disease prognosis.
The person who has lost Control over life
This may not always happen but does happen to some people when life has been very trying for them. They may have lost their job, had a failed marriage or had some harrowing experience which has left them feeling dejected, lost an important court case etc. This causes a chain reaction of negative emotions which play a major role in how you respond to stress. Such people are very likely to have a heart attack when things further go wrong or have some added stress.
How to get over it - a few useful and practical tips
1. Do not let your self be consumed by one single aspect of existence - be it work , rearing children or being a housewife or getting addicted to any one activity. Lend your talents to a cause and more importantly explore yourself and see what your potentials are , set realistic goals and try to work towards achieving them. The good old saying Jack of all trades, master of none can now be rewritten Jack of all trades master of some!
2. Remaining busy with some activity or the other at all stages of your life is very important and essential for the well being of your heart. It also diverts your mind from pressing worries, if any!
3. Loosen up a bit instead of remaining rigid and stiff. Learn to let go and laugh at yourself and enjoy every moment of life. There is no point in being critical and judgmental of others instead overlook minor defects, since none of us is perfect and make others feel comfortable and wanted by your interactions with them. This will be a rewarding experience since you get what you give.
4. Self analysis always helps - when you are stressed , angry or depressed, sit quietly and go through your emotions and go into the root of it. You will have a better idea as to how you should handle the situation once you have analysed it impartially from every angle and this exercise in itself brings our positivity in you.
5. Strengthening family ties is very important since we need an anchor. A happily married person is less likely to have a heart attack than a person who is single. Having children and maintaining a happy and healthy interaction with them gives us strength, support and structure.
To conclude, most studies have shown that individuals having strong ties with their parents, spouse and children, also have a reduced risk of heart disease. There is a solution for every problem in our life so instead of brooding, taking the positive way out, by analysing and finding the right solution helps immensely. Negative emotions like physical pain are a signal to the body that there is something wrong and the issue should be addressed at some level right away.
Most heart diseases are the result of neglect over a long period of time. The proverb " A stitch in time saves nine " applies here too, since the more we neglect the more far reaching the health effects would be and with regard to our heart, we cannot afford to take any chances at all..
(image - wiki images)
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