Four ingredients in the heart patient’s recipe for stress

by Carolyn Thomas

While what stresses you is different from what stresses your neighbour, the recipe for stress is universal. So are the four ingredients in this recipe, according to McGill University’s Centre for Studies on Human Stress at L’Hôpital Louis H. Lafontaine in Montréal.

This Centre, by the way, is a remarkably helpful resource if you’re one of those people who have become so chronically stressed day to day that you no longer think this state of being is even abnormal anymore.

Your body’s natural response to psychological stressors – the release of stress hormones – can lead to poor health outcomes if it becomes chronic.

It struck me that the Centre’s list of four ingredients that reliably elicit this stress response are also those that make a heart disease diagnosis itself so continually stressful.  They include:   Continue reading “Four ingredients in the heart patient’s recipe for stress”

In praise of slowness: how ‘la dolce vita’ can help our heart health

slowness coverby Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

When I worked in corporate PR, I was on a plane at least two mornings most weeks, flying off to Very Important Meetings with Very Important People to discuss my Very Important Projects. At the airport book store one day, I picked up what I thought would be just the perfect thing for somebody as busy as I was:  one of those ‘Ten Best Business Books Condensed on Tape’. What a great idea! I could save time while cramming all this Important Business Savvy into my overstuffed brain while driving to the airport and back each week!  But something hit me, somewhere between Total Quality Management and Seven Habits:

“This is exactly what’s wrong with my life!” 

I realized that I was so busy that I felt no longer able to enjoy settling in with a good book anymore. Even reading – my great love – had turned into just another item on an overloaded To Do list.

I was a heart attack waiting to happen.  Continue reading “In praise of slowness: how ‘la dolce vita’ can help our heart health”

Poor marriage = poor heart health for women

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

Did you know that men who are married – happily or not – are generally far healthier than their unmarried buddies?  A man’s physical health apparently benefits simply from the state of being married, whether or not he rates it as a good marriage.

But a woman’s overall health can be significantly threatened by trouble at home, according to researchers at the University of Utah.(1)  Women respond to unhappy marriages by being three times more likely to develop metabolic syndrome – a cluster of serious cardiac risk factors that can lead to heart disease.   click here to continue reading