Amma Bhagvan Sharnam: Anger can cause Electrical Changes in Heart

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Anger can cause Electrical Changes in Heart

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Feb. 24, 2009 -- How the heart handles anger seems to predict who's at risk for a life-threatening irregular heartbeat. Negative emotions like hostility and depression have long been considered risks for developing heart disease, and deaths from cardiac arrest rise after disasters such as earthquakes.

But research released this week goes a step farther, uncovering a telltale pattern in the EKGs of certain heart patients when they merely recall a maddening event -- an anger spike that foretold bad news.

In already vulnerable people, "anger causes electrical changes in the heart," said Dr. Rachel Lampert, a Yale University cardiologist who led the work. When that happens even in the doctor's office, "that means they're more likely to have arrhythmias when they go out in real life."

At issue is cardiac arrest, when the heart's electrical system goes haywire and heartbeat abruptly stops. Survival requires a fast electrical shock from a device called a defibrillator.

To track anger's effect, Lampert gave EKGs to 62 patients who had defibrillators implanted in their chests because of preexisting heart disease. When they recounted something that had made them angry, some patients experienced beat-to-beat EKG alterations that were similar to irregular heartbeat-predicting alterations that doctors can spot during treadmill testing. read more

Contemplative Questions

Here is a set of questions that would provoke you and put you through some soul searching. They are not about religion nor about ethics. They are merely about you.

They are not meant to serve as solutions nor are they meant to lead you anywhere. These questions are meant to serve as tools to discovering yourself.

1) Do you perceive the Presence of a benevolent force guiding, protecting and shaping your life? What name do you give that Presence? When did you best feel this Presence?

2) What is your opinion of God? Is your opinion drawn from religion, books, parents and or your personal experience of life?

3) Do you pray? Do they get answered? How often?

4) Do you think it is possible to relate to the Divine? What relationship would you opt?

5) Here is a story for you - Two fierce enemies once did a penance to placate god and receive boons vying with each other. God appeared to the first man and asked what he wanted. He said "give me twice of whatever you give my enemy". Then God appeared to the second one. Even before God could say anything he asked, "God, would you please tell me what my enemy asked for? On knowing his prayer request, he said, "then God, blind me in one eye."
Now what would you wish for yourself, your best friend and your worst enemy if God gave you a chance?

6) Have you ever experienced a coincidence or chance that seems to have involved so many people and factors that you can't stop wondering if a mastermind was behind this operation? If yes, do you savour the experience often and have you shared it with someone close to you?

Namaste Amma Abhagvan Sharnam

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