Can your personality affect your heart health? Many experts say the answer is yes. However, if we are cognizant of our personality tendencies, we can learn how to mindfully respond rather than emotionally react in stressful situations. With your own heart element in mind, can you identify with any of the personality characteristics below?

Air: Anxiety or fearful thoughts

Fire: “Hot blooded,” irritable

Earth: Depression/feeling stuck

Heart disease, like other degenerative diseases, generally develops over many years and is the result of many different elements. On the emotional level, chronic stress, depression and the lack of a supportive social network correlate with heart disease. Physiologically , these emotional tendencies, over time, contribute to changes and/or dysfunction of the hormonal/chemical and nervous systems. 

Type A personalities have garnered a lot of attention over the past several decades as being more likely to suffer from heart disease because of their stressful, driven approach to life. But recent research indicates that many other personality traits, including chronic anxiety and depression, are also damaging to the cardiovascular system and may increase the risk of heart disease.

Reframing your reactions, learning to recognize that certain emotions are damaging to your health, while others can be healing can help to shift your perspective and, along with other lifestyle changes like yoga, meditation, exercise, and healthy eating, can literally save your life!

The secret to reframing or moving from reaction to a calm, more positive response is BREATH.

Promotes Cardiovascular HealthContributes to Cardiovascular Disease
optimismpessimism and depression
kindnessanger and anxiety
patienceimpatience and frustration
forgivenessresentment
laughter and joysadness and weeping
community and family tiesisolation and loneliness
lovehatred
from the book Adaptogens: Keys to Optimal Health by Donald Yance
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Heart Health: Series 6

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