I have a confession…
Sometimes it doesn’t take much to set me off. I can blame it on my Italian temper. Or the horrible drivers on the South Florida roads (especially this time of year). But the truth of the matter is, if I want to take better control of my health, I’ll have to get a better control of my temper.
Now research confirms angry outbursts can increase your risk of a heart attack by nearly tenfold. It doesn’t need years to build up. In fact, it can take as little as two hours to reach that deadly point… And having history of heart disease only makes it worse.1
An Australian study surveyed patients hospitalized for acute coronary occlusion. That’s a blood clot in the main heart artery. Researchers asked them to rate their levels of anger within the past two days. They used a scale of 1-7.
The survey found people at a five or more were 8.5 times more likely to have a heart attack.2 And angry outbursts nearly quadrupled their stroke risk.3
The way you deal with frustration or rage can be small… Things like clenching your jaw or squeezing your fists. But more dramatic actions—like hurling things across the room—will do it too. In my case, it’s beating up the steering wheel and yelling at other drivers (from the safety of my own car and with the windows rolled up, of course).
These responses release adrenaline and norepinephrine. They’re stress hormones. These are natural responses… But too much increases blood pressure and narrows arteries. It can even form blood clots.4 Any of these are dangerous on their own… Stress is the secret cause of up to 90% of doctor’s office visits. But working together, they create an even bigger threat to your heart.
Your doctor may turn to aspirin to try and lower your heart attack risk. But Health Watch readers know these pills do more harm than good. Besides, there are natural alternatives you can use to get a handle on your stress levels…and your heart health. It begins with the foods you eat.
Try starting your mornings with a cup of green tea. It contains an amino acid that can lower your heart rate…and ease anxiety. Don’t forget to add exercise into your daily routine, either. That’s my favorite way to cope. It doesn’t take much to see results… Just five minutes of cardio can help relieve stress.5 And running ten minutes a day helps cut your heart attack risk in half.
I try taking deep breaths and counting to ten before I reach my boiling point. One of my researchers here suggested spraying lavender essential oil in my car…although I still haven’t tried it. Let us know what you do to lower your stress levels and keep calm. It could save someone a heart attack.
In Good Health,
Publisher, INH Health Watch