Positive Emotions Can Affect Your Heart Health

By Lois TCA Latest Activity August 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm Views 5,475 Replies 26 Likes 3

Lois T

When I look back at the years before my own heart attack in 2003, I realize that my emotions were out of control. I had tremendous stress and no idea how to control it. That is why I am so passionate about staying healthy inside and out now.

Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health found after reviewing dozens of studies examining a positive outlook on heart health, they discovered that the most optimistic people had half the risk of a first heart attack comparing to the least optimistic. People who are upbeat and optimistic might prevent them from getting heart disease.

According to the findings, positive emotions might prevent heart disease by influencing on heart-rate variability, sleeping patterns and smoking cessation. The reasons behind the argument are positive affect might have longer periods of rest or relaxation physiologically and those with positive emotion might recover more quickly from stressors and might not spend too much time ‘re-living’ them, which in turn could cause physiological damage.

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Replies (26 replies)

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  • LouStu
    LouStu July 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm   

    When I am very anxious, which seems to come on more often I want to sleep more. At night that is fine, but not during the day. I'm trying not to feel so guilty about everything I do. I think way too much about everything. Good posts here. I do think it's just who I am, know that I'm 57 and haven't changed a whole awful lot.

  • Lois T
    Lois TCA July 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm   

    Seems like this guilt is one of the lots in life women have. I know I do.

  • 100 Acre Woods
    100 Acre Woods December 7, 2012 at 10:04 pm   
    Edited December 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm by 100 Acre Woods

    How did you turn your thoughts from negative to positive?

  • Lois T
    Lois TCA December 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm   

    Oh my word, me personally? What a journey I had. Honestly, the best thing that happened to me was grandchildren. And even that didn't get me completely okay for a few years. But, slowly I realized the things that were upsetting me did not change one thing when I was with my grandkids. I'd look at their faces and we'd play together and the news, my past hurts, simply didn't matter. At night I'd find myself smiling thinking about them. After my heart attack at 47 years of age, in good health, no real risk factors except hereditary heart disease, which I had never put into the equation of my life, I became super depressed. (is that a run on sentence?) After about six months of crying way too much, all my doctors at one point gingerly said I needed to see someone. It's funny; I went to my first appointment with the psychiatrist and told him everything I thought could lead up to my sadness. My dad’s death, my brother’s suicide, and some other good ones, and barely mention my heart disease, and he stops everything and says, oh that is a drag. Like nothing else was a drag. Needless to say, that visit gave me a white slip of paper to lead on the path to regain some of my serotonin. I also believe in therapy.
    I’m really hard on myself, and have spent way too many years telling myself not the greatest things. I never understood how bad that was to do in front of my own daughters.
    So how did I do it? Choosing, slowly what to say out loud to myself, choosing to think about things that brought me pleasure and joy. And after I was diagnosed with heart disease, and got past the sixth month mark, I began writing and that lead to my speaking engagements. I realized I was helping people, and making people laugh, and educating women. I was at the crux of the AHA creating the Go Red Program, and they love volunteers, at which I became pretty darn good at.
    I think that’s why these communities are so helpful. We’re not trying to sell anything, or sway anyone in a certain direction. We are all striving to life healthier, be happier, in turn hoping we get a longer healthy life out of that!!!!
    Oh sorry, guess that was long winded.

  • Smilee1
    Smilee1 December 13, 2012 at 11:03 am   

    Hi Lois…I just wrote you…under Anonymous . I made a typical error. I meant to say my two daughters..it came out as druthers somehow. I am using an iPad keyboard!

  • EM_ME
    EM_ME December 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm   

    it's funny to see all the things we do on our keyboards on iPad, and iPhone!!

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous December 13, 2012 at 10:35 am   
    Edited December 13, 2012 at 10:37 am by Anonymous

    Hi Lois
    I see some similarities in us in that I always see the not so nice sides of things and am trying really hard to change that. But I see I need some help. I also never thought that negative thoughts over the years might have done to my two druthers. I wish I had known all these things years ago…can you tell me how I can help myself stay positive ALL the time? This has also caused to bring down my self esteem. I do see my blood pressure going up in the last couple of years. Thanks.

  • Lois T
    Lois TCA December 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm   
    Edited December 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm by Lois TCA

    You have a "catch all" in there. Stay positive all the time. I'm not positive right at this moment, but working on it. I just caught the worse cold, and my daughter is going to be calling me today, tomorrow or the next day to help with my two granddaughters while she delivers her third. I'm doing my best, but bummed.
    I know that I was way too negative as a mom about myself and also when I went through bad times would cry in front of them. If I could go backwards, I'd change it. But, my girls 33, 30 and 28 have turned out to become lovely women, so who knows.
    Blood pressure is affected by stress. But, also it is part of getting older, and sometimes we just need to take a small little pill to help lower it. My husband resisted up until about two weeks ago. His was always teetering around 140+. Today it's 120. Amazing.
    My best advice is to focus on NOW. And focus on the things that bring you joy. Also, I got out of my comfort zone and starting playing tennis after not playing for over 20 years. When I first went over to the court and saw all these groups of women, I was so intimidated. I was assigned a couple different partners by the club (open to public) and played with them, but wanted to play with a group. Eventually I started playing with other people and being invited to play. But, I HAD TO start the process and get out of my rut. Exercise no matter what shape you are in, is good for our emotions.
    I am still a very good judge of things, and can easily find the negative, but realilze what good does that do? It doesn't make me or anyone else feel better inside. Also, I am very deliberate and give more thought to what I say when I am with my daughters. Wasn't easy, and a few times I had to hear them say, Mom we don't want to hear about that, but I realize all I can do is build them up and encouarge them. My words can add life to them. I also try and give compliments. If I think it I try to say it. Who doesn't like a compliment. And if I know the person and they argue with the compliment, I tell them, just say thank you. Or I'll tease and say "It's better to give than receive", so allow me to give you the compliment.
    Does any of this help?

  • Lady J.
    Lady J. December 9, 2012 at 5:17 am   

    So much you have been through Lois and i applaude you for finding how to make it better. Don't worry about being long winded as you educate so many!

  • Lois T
    Lois TCA December 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm   

    Appreciate it. I must have wrote and rewrote my respnose to 100 Acre Woods five times. I have so much to share, and I know I have not experienced all that I have if it were not to help others. I believe this community is wonderful. I am also so thankful to be at a great, healthy, happy, and content place in my life to be able to share. :)

  • 100 Acre Woods
    100 Acre Woods December 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm   

    Lois, nothing to be sorry for. I found it quite interesting. I think I am too negative and want to be much more positive. Find things to laugh about. Enjoy life rather than just endure it. If it is not rude, why did your brother commit suicide? I know from looking at the Depression Group that many people think about it but very few actually go thru with it.

  • Lois T
    Lois TCA December 9, 2012 at 9:32 am   

    I will share for sure. My grandfather started the suicide. I'm writing it in word first and will post in a bit. We all can learn from each other and this is why I'm here.

  • 100 Acre Woods
    100 Acre Woods December 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm   

    Thank you. I know that can be very painful but as you say, we can all learn from other people; including those who have passed on.

  • Lois T
    Lois TCA December 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm   

    There were big circumstances in my brother's life before he took his own. I know that we can never fully understand why someone would think it's easier to die than live. My brother was the oldest in our family, and after graduating college was enjoying living with his girlfriend in Pismo Beach. She became pregnant and their lives of course changed. They got married, moved back to OC and he got a job with a big corporation. The whole scenerio was not him. I know his marriage wasn't doing well, and I also know there was huge pressure on him, being the oldest son. There's more to the story, but I believe if any of my brothers, more than me, knew he was feeling like that, they would have intervened. All my brothers were close. What was horrifically sad, was when his wife got home and he wasn't there, she called my brother and informed him that she believed he went to kill himself in his favorite hiking spot about an hour away. The police found him there, too late. He had shot himself in the chest, while sitting in his VW. My brother had to identify him. There's so much more to the story. I would welcome anyone you know from the depression group to come on over. I will open up about everything as needed. My grandfather and brother committed suicide. I've gone through dark days when I was in my late 30's that make me shiver. This is an introduction on quite a lot of sites for me, and writings: A two-time survivor of life-threatening disease, and a woman who has lived through bankruptcy - not only financially but physically, psychologically, and spiritually - Lois knows what it is to be bankrupt in every way. She has risen above these circumstances; her passion now is to give others the courage to do the same. I will generate a discussion and please welcome others to check it out. Lifelong Health is as much mentally well and any other part of our being!!!

  • 100 Acre Woods
    100 Acre Woods December 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm   

    What a wise, wonderful, strong, courageous, have a great sense of humor, woman you are. It is truly an honor to sit at your feet and learn from you!

  • Lois T
    Lois TCA December 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm   

    That's really kind. I appreciate your words, more than you know.

  • 100 Acre Woods
    100 Acre Woods December 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm   

    Do you have any ebooks on Kindle?

  • Lois T
    Lois TCA December 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm   

    http://www.amazon.com/SURVIVING-ebook/dp/B005... Is the link. But one thing, a company wanted me to reprint my book for them, with back page about long term care insurance… which I believe in, but do not qualify for… I kind of regret it, but know that if someone can get approved for LTC insurance, that's a good option for them. Sometimes I get caught up in trying to help people and need to stick to what I know!!! And what I know is that I barely know me and am still learning everyday!

  • 100 Acre Woods
    100 Acre Woods December 10, 2012 at 7:10 pm   

    I think many of us can say the same things about ourselves too.

  • 100 Acre Woods
    100 Acre Woods December 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm   

    Ah! I found your book and it has now downloaded into my kindle system. Thanks for the info!

  • Lois T
    Lois TCA December 10, 2012 at 7:43 pm   

    Okay… it's for sure a quick view of my life… but the women heart health advocate side. Thank you.

  • 100 Acre Woods
    100 Acre Woods December 10, 2012 at 7:54 pm   

    What is Christianity's Executioner about?

  • Lois T
    Lois TCA December 10, 2012 at 11:48 pm   

    Nothing good. Remember the part about being bankrupt in everyway? A big part of that was caused by that time in my life. However, I do not know who is selling that book, or charging that. I wrote it in 1997. I was invovled with a very unhealthy church and Pastor. The only book I'm personally involved with right now is Surviving. However, the other two are almost the same. The first on, Help there's an Elephant.. I self published, the second one Lady in the Red Dress, was published, and I re-self published Surviving.

  • 100 Acre Woods
    100 Acre Woods December 10, 2012 at 11:53 pm   

    Oh! They are all available on Amazon.com in book form. Thanks for the info.

  • Lois T
    Lois TCA December 11, 2012 at 12:06 am   

    Yes, only new one on Kindle. :)

  • 100 Acre Woods
    100 Acre Woods December 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm   

    Actually, all of your books are available on Amazon. The new one as an Ebook. The rest in regular book form.