1. Controlling anger could save your life

    How not controlling anger can kill you

    When you're stressed, anxious or just plain ticked off, controlling anger can be difficult.

    Get down on your knees and pray instead of raising your voice in anger -- because a few moments with God can calm you down, bring peace and help the moment pass.

    More importantly, that calming prayer could save your life.

    New research confirms that even a minor angry outburst could trigger a heart attack, stroke or other serious cardiovascular problem.

    If you give into your anger and let your temper erupt, your risk of angina and heart attack jumps by nearly 500 percent and your risk of ischemic stroke and cardiac arrhythmia climbs by 360 percent, according to the Harvard analysis of nine studies.

    Now, we already know that stress, anxiety and (especially) anger are major risk factors for serious problems such as heart attack and stroke.

    But what makes the new study in the European Heart Journal stand apart is the timeframe: It didn't simply connect angry people to a higher long-term risk of heart attack and stroke.

    No, this study finds that the risks are very real and very immediate -- because it finds the risk is highest within two hours of an outburst.

    And if you're tightly wound and prone to exploding rather than controlling anger, already suffer from heart problems or have a disease such as diabetes, your risk within those two hours shoots into the stratosphere. Your heart attack risk, for example, can climb by as much as 730 percent and your stroke risk by up to 760 percent.

    The study doesn't show why the risk jumps by so much, but there's no real mystery to this one.

    Anger and stress raise blood pressure and cause the heart to race like a spooked horse, inducing angina or even causing a heart attack. It can also set the stage for a clot and cause a stroke.

    Other studies have shown that the chronically angry have thicker artery walls, especially in the carotid artery, which also lays the groundwork for heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

    That's why it's essentially not to give in to your temper.

    Along with the power of prayer, other safe and natural calming treatments include exercise, ginseng, ashwagandha and GABA. In addition, homeopathic remedies can work wonders -- but the remedy that works best for you will depend on the cause of your anger and stress.

    Do some homework, or speak with a skilled holistic medical doctor about controlling anger and stress.

  2. Anger and stress cause heart attacks? You don't say!

    The connection between emotional overload and heart attack has been known since... well, forever.

    But in case you had any doubt, a new study puts it to rest: Heart attack survivors with anger and stress issues have a dramatically higher risk of a second attack.

    The researchers gave psychological tests to 228 heart attack patients -- including 200 men -- to measure levels of anger and stress, then tracked them for 10 years.

    Or most of them, anyway -- because of the 51 patients who suffered a second heart attack in that time, 28 died... and I think you already know who was more likely to be among them.

    Overall, the researchers say more than half of the patients who scored high for either stress or anger eventually suffered either a fatal or nonfatal second heart attack, while more than 75 percent of the patients with low scores managed to avoid it.

    Breaking it down, anger turned out to be worse than stress -- although not by much. The researchers say patients with
    high anger scores were 2.3 times more likely to have a second heart attack than those with low scores.

    Patients who battled stress, on the other hand, were 1.9 times more likely to suffer a second attack, according to data presented at the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting.

    But of course, the important thing here isn't the study -- we've known all along how anger and stress can wreck havoc on your health, especially when it comes to your heart.

    What's more important is that both anger and stress are completely within your control -- and if you've been living with too much of either (or both), it's time to turn yourself around, whether you've already experienced a heart attack or are still working your way towards one.

    I know that's easier said than done -- some old habits really do die hard, after all. But if you don't make those changes to your own life, those habits might not be the only things that die.

  3. Fats beat sadness

    Looks like the old maxim "fat and happy" isn't too far off -- but it's not fat in your body that'll lift your mood. It's fat in your diet.

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