Do you scream in your car at drivers who drive slower in the fast lane? Do you throw your purse or other nearby objects when you are angry? This is not you, we know, but you probably know or heard of people who express this behavior.
They have an increased risk for heart attacks and heart disease. Unfortunately, more and more of us can fit into the “Type A Personality” category. Whether you place the blame on the economy, divorce, relationship problems or the fast paced society, the future outcome can almost be predicted: heart disease.
Numerous studies found that negative emotions, such as anger, increase harmful hormones in our bodies. Prolonged exposure of these substances damages our blood vessels and organs, increases blood pressure, and are possibly linked in interrupting electrical pathways of the heart. So, your emotions may contribute to heart disease, according to an article published by Harvard Heart Letter.
In addition, those who exhibit negative emotions may not take care of themselves in other ways and increase other risk factors as well. For example, lack of exercise decreases blood circulation, and poor food choices increase the risk for atherosclerosis.
Common risk factors for heart disease:
1. Negative emotions (anger, depression, loneliness, chronic stress, anxiety)
3. Sedentary life style
4. High cholesterol
7. High blood pressure
How many of these risk factors are you able to control/change?
What can we do about controlling our emotions? Here are a few tips:
1. Talk with your doctor about your emotions
2. Increase vacation time
3. Start a hobby
4. Practice relaxation techniques
5. Seek stress management help (through the internet, work, doctor, social networks such as church)
6. Listen to music
7. Get a pet