Have you ever noticed how the work week does not really begin on Monday morning, but instead on Sunday night?
You know what I’m talking about – the stress level that rises and rests in the pit of your stomach, the slight tension headache, the race to make certain clothes are clean, homework is done, lunches are prepared and ready. Don’t forget the mental list of all the things that must be done on Monday morning when you get to the office which replays constantly into the wee hours of the morning robbing you of precious, needed sleep.
Of course when the alarm bell rings, jarring you to life from your meager slumber, there seems to be an unwritten law that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong on Monday morning. Whether it be traffic jams, flat tires or lost homework; is it any wonder that Monday morning is prime time for heart attacks? People are 20% more likely to have a heart attacks on a Monday morning than any other day of the week.
I’m not surprised.
When we think of heart disease prevention, most of us think in terms of the physical things that we can do to prevent the onset of developing heart disease (lose weight, exercise, stop smoking, etc.). What we don’t consider is the role that other areas of our life such as our emotional health, personality as well as psychosocial factors (sudden and chronic stress, anxiety, depression, anger, happiness) may contribute to the development of heart disease.
It’s not surprising that most of us only look at the physiological aspects of heart disease. After all, here in the West, the physical and mental are separated into two different and distinct categories of disciplines. We treat them differently, as if they were wholly disconnected and unrelated. We don’t tend to look at health from the perspective of cure depression and also cure heart disease.
Perhaps, we should reconsider our approach in this area.
New research suggests that our minds, emotions, and psychosocial factors may have a direct impact on our heart health, both in terms of developing atherosclerosis and heart disease as well as triggering a sudden event heart attack.