Stay calm, anger can trigger heart attack

Lata Jain

There was once a saint who felt like having a bottle of beer. He asked his disciples to get him one. When the shocked disciples did as they were told, the saint simply folded his hands and stared at the bottle.

lata jain

Lata Jain

Later, he asked his disciples to take it away. When one of them asked him, “What was it that you did?” the saint told him something that we all need to understand. He said, “I cannot control the feelings, the emotions, or the temptations but I can definitely control my actions.”

As long as I keep my hands folded, there is no way I can grab this bottle of beer, and even though I cannot control my temptations I can control my actions.

While anger is something we cannot control, what we do when we are angry is something that we definitely can control say the teachings of Buddha.

Anger can be uncomfortable. Our culture’s view of anger may contribute to our difficulties with this complicated emotion. We often regard anger as the ugly stepchild of emotions, making it less acceptable to express than sadness or anxiety.

Anger is a friend to heart attack. It might actually happen. And about 1½ percent of heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths are triggered by anger. A new analysis has found that outbursts of anger can significantly increase the risk for irregular heart rhythms, angina, strokes and heart attacks.

Researchers combined data from nine studies of anger outbursts among patients who had had heart attacks, strokes and related problems. Most of the studies used a widely accepted anger assessment scale; one depended on a questionnaire administered to patients.

They found that in the two hours after an outburst of anger, the relative risk of angina and heart attack increased by nearly five times, while the risk of ischemic stroke and cardiac arrhythmia increased by more than three times. The findings appeared in The European Heart Journal.

The researchers stressed that the actual likelihood of having an anger-induced heart attack remains small. Still, for people with other risks for heart disease, any increase in risk is potentially dangerous.

The senior author, Dr. Murray A. Mittleman, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said that little is known about ways to prevent anger from causing heart problems. “Are there specific behavioral interventions that would be effective? Medicines?” he asked.

Many people believe the myth of “accumulating anger:” if they don’t express their anger, somehow it will “build up” and they will develop high blood pressure, have a heart attack or a stroke.

Bhagavad Gita, the holy book sums up clearly the different stages of degradation, which follow anger: “From anger springs delusion, from delusion arises confusion, from confusion proceeds destruction of intellect and in consequence of destruction of intellect, the person perishes.

Concepts in modern management and self-improvement techniques also recognize the need to be clear headed and equanimous even in those situations which may be provoking by being proactive and not being reactive. Challenges and injustice lead to anger.  In this concept is in-built the need to channel, transform and transmute anger to constructive, healthful and evolutionary purposes.

Stay calm, anger can trigger heart attack.

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