Cool Down When Anger Heats Up
When you feel your pulse begin to rise, I urge you to short-circuit the stress response by concentrating on a past moment of intense joy.
This is vitally important because anger is one emotion that wreaks havoc on your body. It can cause your blood pressure levels to rise which, in turn lead to a myriad of cardiovascular problems. In extreme cases, anger can even lead to heart attack and stroke.
Like all of the other muscles in your body, your heart has a memory, and it’s particularly adept at retaining emotional ones. So, when faced with a stressful moment, visualize a time when you felt out-of-this-world happy. It doesn’t matter what the occasion was. It could be the birth of a child, an engagement or marriage, an “A” on your report card, or being recognized for an accomplishment. The key is to choose an event that brings up positive feelings. Then put yourself back in that moment—feel it, smell it, taste it, and live it all over again.
The upshot of reliving positive emotions is that you effectively cancel out the negative ones caused by the stressful situation. This effect is due to the unique way in which the heart and brain interact with each other.
Whereas it’s often thought that the brain tells the heart what to do, the heart’s function is also influenced by its own memory and its own simplified nervous system. Normally, the heart and brain send signals to each other that affect how both of them function. But when faced with stress, the heart’s signals tend to override the brain’s signals. That’s one of the reasons why, in stressful situations, your heart keeps racing even though your brain is shouting, “Be calm!”
The key to defusing stress is to redirect your heart’s focus away from the negative emotion and toward a fantastically positive memory. So choose your memory and keep it at hand. You never know when you may need to call on it!
For more information on natural ways to prevent cardiovascular problems, visit www.drsinatra.com.
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Meet Dr. Sinatra
Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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