Stress Management — Smoking, high-blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol-based diet are major culprits to heart diseases; however and unfortunately, modern doctors now include stress as a major contributing factor to the development of heart diseases. Stress can influence heart diseases in two ways: one, it can directly cause heart problems, and two, it can […]
Stress Management —
Smoking, high-blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol-based diet are major culprits to heart diseases; however and unfortunately, modern doctors now include stress as a major contributing factor to the development of heart diseases. Stress can influence heart diseases in two ways: one, it can directly cause heart problems, and two, it can heighten the risk of developing a heart disease among vulnerable individuals i.e. smokers, diabetics, and those with high blood pressure.
According to doctors, chronic emotional stress can lead to atherosclerosis that causes coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease and stroke. Also, periods of extreme stress can precipitate acute heart problems like heart attacks. With new evidences surfacing, it is now concluded that emotional stress, of any certain type, can amplify the risk of chronic heart diseases, and can even prompt acute cardiac crises.
Stress is normal and inevitable. Managing stress by eradicating or lessening your exposure to its triggers is vital to good health as is living healthily, having the right diet, exercising, or meditating, helps a lot in stress management. However, these are not the only ones to consider when it comes to stress management.
A very interesting research gives meaning and significance to the social factor of people’s lives. WDDTY wrote, “Every so-called lifestyle risk factor for cardiovascular illness has less to do with someone having a heart attack than does simple isolation – from other people, from our feelings and from a higher power.”
Social connection provides a sense of belongingness. It allows us to form a bond with someone or with people, which helps us generate our most genuine state of being. Belonging to a social group, whether for a cause or not, help us define who we are and what we are as a social being and as an individual. Being socially connected makes us happy and motivated to find our sense of purpose – something that “isolation” cannot do.
Isolation and extreme individualism make a person feel disconnected from his family, from spirituality and from the society. It makes him feel unwanted, sad and lonely, which encourages emotional stress that may eventually lead to a heart disease and or stroke. This claim is supported by studies among Japanese respondents. Japan has the lowest rate of heart attacks in the entire world and the most common assumption is that Japanese people have a low-fat diet. While this may be true, a study proves another vital aspect of having a healthy heart and that is… social connection.
Two professors of epidemiology at the School of Public Health of Berkeley, Len Syme and Reuel Stallones, wanted to study about the Japanese’s dietary choices and its relation to the risk of heart diseases. However, they were so fascinated at how social adjustments affect these Japanese respondents more than the change in their diet. At least 40,000 Japanese individuals have reached their 100th birthday without experiencing any heart problem! Most of them are smokers.
How do you improve your social connection when you love to be alone? Or how do you enhance it when you already have an active social life? If you already have social groups that you meet regularly, then well and good. Otherwise, you may want to join in a few groups or movements that you like or maybe you want to start your own. Research concludes that working together in a group for a common goal brings all mind together and in the same wavelength, which strengthens the bond within the group. Every individual desires for belonging. Even the most introverted person would need a connection outside his own hole to draw in energy. Stress management? Perhaps you only need a better social connection.
Aude is an ex corporate Lawyer with a passion for health, self development and independence which lead her to give up her former career to help others through health.
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