Emotional health for a healthy heart
The power of our mind over our body is well known and we all believe and know that our thoughts mould our behavior and phenotype. The evolution of our individual self is depended on thought processes of our mind which help us in adapting to environmental threats and encourage developing surviving fitness skills. Thus the influence of the mind is immense and perpetual during our entire life span.
For long it was believed that the brain is the seat of all emotions that a person displays. The limbic system is the part of the brain which is responsible for producing and regulating emotions. However, surprisingly other body organs are also actually equally involved in emotional interactions. We all are too familiar with goose bumps on the skin, butterflies in the stomach, shaky hands and the gleam in the eyes. The body as a synchronized orchestra responds to the hormonal milieu of the blood in different emotional manifestations. The heart is no exception and behaves in a reciprocal manner to the emotional quotient of a person.
The health of our heart is also dependent on optimal brain functioning and our hearts tend to be as strong or weak as we make up our mind to be. It becomes identical with our habits and notions. Perhaps the heart is influenced more strongly than other body organs by cognitive, psychological and emotional processes of our mind. Emotional stress and happiness profoundly affect our hearts. Many of us are familiar enough with people getting a heart attack in the last over of a cricket match or rapid recovery from the death bed after hearing the much awaited inspiring positive news.
It has been noticed that people who are cheerful, positive and confident have stronger hearts. Those who can laugh at the most trivial of reasons and carry an infectious sense of humour are freer of disease than others.
Although various emotions though originate from the limbic system of the brain; it is primarily the heart that has to brace itself for the impact. The hormonal changes that arise after a surge of emotions have a profound effect on the functioning of our hearts. The deadliest of the diseases, the heart attack, has also been closely associated with these extreme emotive presentations. Researchers believe that prolonged harbouring of certain emotions is as much a risk factor as having Diabetes or active smoking for the health of the heart.
Not only do these negative emotions like depression, anger, hostility, anxiety and self-pity cause heart attack, they also portend poor prognosis of victims of this deadly disease.
It is seen that most heart attacks that occurred usually had a triggering negative tempestuous event before the illness. Suppressed emotions with a feeling of being victimized are perhaps the poorest of emotions and perhaps the worst triggers for heart attacks.
Perhaps some of us humans are immune to the opinions and beliefs of others and many live in a perpetual state of carefreeness and contentment. But the poor sensitive and touchy ones actually are standing with their hearts in their hands, vulnerable to attack. But surely like our body muscles, emotions too can be developed and nourished to be part of our temperament. Keeping an effort to nurture positive emotions is good for our hearts. For, being cheerful does not only improve the face value but may also save a messy and expensive heart attack!!