We use the word heart in conjunction with feelings of elation, sadness, kindness, love, and desire. All of these are simply words that we use to describe the emotions that come out of our daily experiences. The heart has for centuries been considered the seat of the soul and emotion but in a way that feels as if the heart creates these feelings or that our emotions somehow arise from the heart. Isn’t the heart just a muscle, an organ that moves blood through our bodies?

We know that lifestlyle choices contribute to the wellness or disease of our hearts but do our emotions affect the heart?

To get the answers to these and other questions about the heart I went to the source. (I did some research too but who better to explain things to us than the subject of our discussion?)

An otherwise shy and behind the scenes kind of player I managed to secure an interview with a healthy, midlife, women’s heart. And she’d like your attention!

First though she wanted you to know these figures but didn’t want to brag.
The heart pumps 100,000 times every day. (That’s 3 billion beats for the average 70 year life.) And moves 2000 gallons of blood daily to feed and oxygenate our bodies.

I’m duly impressed now let’s get talking.

GAC: Do you feel taken for granted?

HEART: “I know it’s easy to take me for granted, that’s ok, that’s how I like it. The last thing I want to do is interrupt your life with an episode just so I can get a little attention.”

GAC: What brings you to this newsletter today, what would you like to say to the readers?

Heart: “First of all I’m excited to have the opportunity to speak to these smart women because this is the time in their lives when more than ever they must practice all they’ve heard about healthy eating, exercise, not smoking and so much more.
And I know they won’t ask why they should listen to what a lowly pumping station has to say.”

GAC: Now come on, as a coach, I have to remind you that talking about yourself in that way—“A lowly pumping station”, is not very supportive and can even lead to unnecessary stress.”

HEART: “You are so right and stress is something we must talk about. I guess I was just saying what so many people live.
I recognize my place in the body, I’m a vital organ. Sometimes folks forget just how vital. They put pressure on me by playing the “no time” card over and over again rather than get to the gym. If I’m not in shape, no ones in shape and the huffing and puffing going up the stairs is like an IM from me to you asking you for a little help.

GAC: What kind of help?

HEART: “It’s a plea. For one person it might be please stop smoking, for someone else it might be drop a few pounds, but for so many it’s a plea to stop hurting.”

GAC: Hurting like my knees hurt? I’ve heard that pain increases blood pressure and makes you work harder.

HEART: “Well that’s one way I have to work harder and pain management is crucial to my health and our quality of life. But I was referring to heartache brought on by chronic negative situations or not getting help for the big scary ones like the death of someone we love, or divorce, or job loss.

GAC: Wow, like if I live or work with someone who disrespects me I could be hurting you in a physical way not just an emotional way?

HEART: “It’s that simple and much too complex to go into any further here but this is the bottom line. Science has proven that negative emotions lead to increased disorder in the heart's rhythms and in the autonomic nervous system, thereby adversely affecting the rest of the body.”

GAC: Does any kind of stress do damage?

HEART: “It’s not so much the stress but how you relate to your stress. My brain—yes I’ve got one too and a whole new science called neurocardiology studies it—sends out neurological, energetic and hormonal responses to how you relate to the stress in your life. I’m pretty good at adapting so that something that initially spiked your blood pressure no longer will after a period of time. But the stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline that must circulate in response to stress so you are ready to fight or fly away are not exactly helping your situation.”

GAC: How can we support you and limit the effects of our everyday stresses?

HEART:” For the most seriously stressed and we’re talking daily sadness, oppression, or loneliness, get help. Get counseling, get a group for support, get out of the place that you know, (you know cause I send you signals and you’ve got the same intuition animals do) you must get out of.”

GAC: I think I can back you up here. I was reading a report from Johns Hopkins before our interview and it said this, “Research in the last few years have thrown some light on the ill effects of anxiety, loneliness, and anger on the health of the heart. An "anxious heart" can lead to a fatal outcome. The observation that a "lonely heart" can be fatal is supported by the fact that heart attack patients who live alone are twice as likely to have another attack within six months as are patients who live with a partner.”

HEART: “ And you should mention the findings out of the U School of Medicine in Kawasaki, Japan on certain other hormones that are released during times of heart incidents. "This process is an example of the strong physical connection between the brain—how we think about what’s happened-- and the heart, in women especially."

GAC: I think I can speak for most of us here that we had no idea of the strong link between emotional health and heart health. Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?

HEART: “Listen to me when I whisper, a little pain here, a flutter there. Don’t wait for me to have to steal the show. You know what I need and it’s not much to ask. A bit of heavy breathing, (I’m talking exercise here), some delicious healthy food, share a glass of wine now and again, and most of all live your values and value yourself first. Feel deeply but release the feelings of pain. It’s the best way to keep me where I belong, behind the scenes, ticking away.

Author's Bio: 

Gregory Anne is a professional chef and certified life coach who has been dishing up all you can eat servings of health and wellness information for more than 15 years. Her speciality is midlife women's mind and body changes as well as helping women know just how powerful they are.
You can learn more at www.livebettercoach.com