Doing This Significantly Increases the Risk of Heart Attack for Two Hours
Posted by GreaterGoodness
Renowned poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that “for every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” As it turns out, you could be losing a lot more than just peace of mind. Studies show that angry outbursts not only leave you more vulnerable to a heart attack, your risk of heart attack is approximately 8.5 times greater for two hours after the outburst. Although the risk of having a heart attack after a single outburst typically remains low, frequent angry episodes can up the ante.
1. Heart Attack Trigger: Rapid Heart Rate
Medical News Today notes that episodes of anger increase your heart rate, which may trigger heart attacks. The American Heart Association suggests that anyone experiencing frequent episodes of elevated heart rates, especially if it’s combined with weakness or dizziness, should talk to a doctor.
2. Heart Attack Trigger: High Blood Pressure
Nature World News reports that increased blood pressure is another factor contributing to the risk of heart attack after an intense episode of anger. High blood pressure makes your heart and arteries work harder, and can actually damage the walls of your arteries, causing scar tissue to form and harmful materials such as plaque and cholesterol to accumulate.
3. Heart Attack Trigger: Narrowed Blood Vessels
The flood of cortisol your body releases during anger, stress and anxiety can narrow your blood vessels and arteries. As a result, less oxygenated blood is able to travel to your heart, increasing the risk of a myocardial infarction, better known as a heart attack.
4. Heart Attack Trigger: Boosted Clotting
Intensely angry outbursts may also increase blood clotting in your body. No matter where the clots form, they can travel to your arteries, veins or other organs, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke, especially if the blood vessels are already narrowed.
5. Reducing the Risk: Anger Management
Obviously, anger is a normal emotion. Because intense anger and frequent outbursts increase your odds of having a heart attack, especially with repeated outbursts, you can minimize the risk by getting the anger in check. Talk with your doctor to create the strategies that work best for you. According to the American Psychological Association, some options may include relaxing with deep breathing and visualization, cognitive restructuring to calm the anger, and problem solving techniques to provide options other than having an outburst.
6. Reducing the Risk: Stress Management
Medical News Today suggest stress reduction as a method for preventing and reducing the likelihood of an anger-induced heart attack. Techniques for stress management vary, but typically include identifying your triggers and creating strategies to cope without having an outburst. Meditation and increased physical activity can also help reduce overall stress levels.
7. Reducing the Risk: Reduce Other Heart Attack Risks
To help lower your overall risk of having a heart attack, quit smoking and control your blood pressure. CBS News suggests that controlling other risk factors may also lower the risk of an anger-induced heart attack. Exercise more, eat a balanced diet, and consult with your doctor.
8. Reducing the Risk: Consider Medication
In some cases, your doctor may suggest taking medication such as a beta-blocker or aspirin during an angry episode. Medical News Today suggests that medical intervention may reduce the risk, but still requires further research and investigation. At the same time, if anxiety and stress trigger your rage, your doctor may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to help even things out.