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Chill Out: Anger Is Bad For the Heart

National Heart Health Month may be drawing to a close, but keeping your ticker healthy is daily affair. In fact, matters of the heart are affected by what goes on in your head; chronic negative emotions, like anger and stress, might damage the heart.

In a recent Yale University study, anger appeared to interfere with the electrical signals of heart patients. When the electrical signals of the heart become erratic, the heart can abruptly stop beating, leading to cardiac arrest. Emotional stress can tax the heart in the same fashion as physical stress, and in already vulnerable populations, this can lead to trouble. While the direct affects of anger on the heart in populations with healthy hearts has yet to be studied, this test helps us all understand the emotional connection between our emotional life and the health of our heart. If you tend to run a little hot-headed, now might be the time to learn how to cool off before you overheat your heart.


Join The Conversation
emalove emalove 8 years
Good thing I'm an optimistic person!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I've been trying to get better about this. My dad's father had severe heart disease (he suffered 4 heart attacks during his life) and I think part of it was that he never, ever let anyone know when he was angry. Actually, I think men in general hold their anger in more than most women do. Maybe that's part of why men are the ones that typically suffer from heart disease.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
wack, great idea. I tend to let things ferment and dwell, then dwell some more. I have a hard time letting go of things, esp when the people I try and talk to about it seem to do nothing. Ha.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
You know what's bad for your heart? Holding in your anger until it eats you inside and you wither and die from never expressing your true feelings. I have an absolutely squeaky clean, healthy heart and I decided after my dad's second or third heart attack when I was younger that I wouldn't hold back my anger like he did and like everyone in his family does. They all have heart disease. They all hold their tongue and never tell people that they are angry. So I decided to be like my mom's family who have absolutely healthy, strong hearts - they unleash their anger on the person who caused it then they move on and neither hold a grudge nor dwell on what they did. I think. Then I unleash. Then I move on.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Yes, I think this is true, too.
briannaNicole briannaNicole 8 years
I wonder what the outcome would be if they factored in emotions of men vs women? Interesting that heart disease is such a prominent issue for women.
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