Anger and Hostility can Increase Risk of Heart Disease
Everyone knows that too much cholesterol and high blood pressure can kill you. Well, here's something you probably didn't know: loneliness, anger, and hostility can kill you too. Especially if you're a man.
By Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH
A recent study investigating the association between anger and hostility and coronary heart disease was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study found that anger and hostility were associated with increased cardiovascular problems in healthy people. People who already had heart disease and were experiencing anger and hostility had increasingly poor prognoses.
And here's the kicker: the harmful effects of anger and hostility were greater in men than women.
Can Happyness Save Your Life?
If loneliness, anger, and hostility can kill you... can happiness save your life? A
imilar study conducted by the same team examined the association between positive psychological well-being, and physical health and mortality.
The researchers found that positive psychological well-being, including such factors as optimism, humour, and joy, were significantly associated with reduced cardiovascular mortality in healthy population studies, and with reduced death rates in patients with renal failure and HIV/AIDS.
Optimism, humour, and joy SIGNIFICANTLY reduced the incidence of people dying of cardiovascular problems -- like heart attacks.
Love and Survival
All this is old news to Dr. Dean Ornish, MD, well known as the doctor who has researched and publicized natural ways to prevent and reverse heart disease for the past 30 years.
The author of several best-selling books, including "Love and Survival," Dr. Ornish is now Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California and also leads the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California.
Dr. Ornish maintains that our good health - and our bad health - depends upon the amount of love and intimacy in our lives. In fact, he believes that our very survival depends upon the healing power of love, intimacy, and relationships.
We need the healing power of love and intimacy physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We need it as individuals and as communities. We may even require it as a species.
Love, Intimacy and Heart Health
It's a wonderful revelation to learn that love, intimacy, optimism, humour, and joy really CAN improve not only our lives, but our heart health and longevity too.
Unfortunately, these loving antidotes to anger and hostility may not appeal to those who need it most until they are literally on their death beds.
Not to mention that doctors don't usually hand out prescriptions for love and intimacy. (Not unless you happen to date one, that is!)
It's time for men of our generation to stop and think about our angry fathers who died of heart attacks, our hostile grandfathers who battled heart disease and all the men we know who shunned love and intimacy in favour of an unhealthy, unhappy existence.
After all, a more positive, more loving outlook on life will not only make you healthier it's guaranteed to make you a whole lot happier, too.
So pass me that steak, darling, and kiss me.
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH, Naturopathic Physician, Victoria, BC
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH, Naturopathic Physician
West Sooke, BC, Canada
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-6 and alternating Saturdays from 10-4