You’re driving on a busy highway in rush hour traffic. It’s been a long day, and you can’t wait to get home. Suddenly, some idiot cuts you off to make an exit… from the left-hand lane. You hit your brakes hard and cringe as you hear the next three cars behind you do the same.
Or you’ve waited in line at a store for 20 minutes on your lunch hour, only to have the clerk answer the phone just as you get to the counter.
Or maybe you’re at the theater on a rare night out… and the person in the seat behind you talks to their friend through the whole movie.
Whatever the cause, it’s the last straw. Your anger bubbles over. Maybe you shout at the disappearing driver, give the clerk a piece of your mind, or vent to your partner all the way home.
Stress is at an all-time high. More and more of us are having trouble dealing with everyday rudeness and stupidity. And your reaction may put your health at risk.
New research in the European Heart Journal says an angry outburst could almost quintuple your risk of sudden heart trouble.
If you react to something with an angry outburst and have risk factors for heart trouble, your chances of a life-threatening heart episode skyrockets in the next 2 hours. And the more often you’re angry, the greater your risk.
If something gets your blood boiling every day, your risk could increase by as much as 474%.1 That’s a little like playing Russian roulette with most of the chambers loaded.
You can lower your stress levels and calm any tendencies towards anger with a few simple steps.
Regular exercise is a great way to burn off stress. Walk, ride a bike, play basketball, tennis or volleyball. Almost anything that gets your heart pumping is good for stress. Choose an activity that’s fun and go do it.
Meditation can help, too. Just 20 quiet minutes a day can reverse the effects of stress. If you’re like most people, once you begin to practice meditation, it will become a high point of your day.
Nutritional supplements can help, too. B vitamins are key, since your body burns through them quickly when you’re stressed. So be sure you’re getting enough.
And be sure to get enough B vitamins every day. Your body can’t store up B vitamins, so a supplement with the full range of B vitamins is a good “insurance policy.”
You should try to get plenty of sleep, too. While you sleep, your body “resets” and regenerates, leaving you better able to deal with stress.
A number of herbs also fight stress. One of my favorites is passionflower. It’s safe, gentle and promotes both calm and healthy sleep.
In a 2011 study, people who drank a cup of passionflower tea before bed reported better sleep quality. And measuring their brain waves backed up the results. It wasn’t their imagination; they really did sleep better.2
Passionflower appears to be even more effective against stress. It’s even been tested in one of the most stressful situations imaginable: surgery.
Doctors split a group of 60 patients into two groups. The 1st group went through the normal pre-surgical steps. The 2nd group went through the same steps, but also had a passionflower drink 90 minutes before surgery.
They tested both groups several times before their surgery, and found the passionflower group remained calmer and more relaxed.3
Best of all, passionflower calms and relaxes without grogginess. So you can beat the stress that threatens your heart and still remain sharp and alert.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Mostofsky, E., et al, “Outbursts of anger as a trigger of acute cardiovascular events: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” Eur Heart J. Mar 3, 2014.
2 Ngan, A. and Conduit, R., “A double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects of Passiflora incarnata (passionflower) herbal tea on subjective sleep quality,” Phytother Res. Aug 2011; 25(8): 1153-1159.
3 Movafegh, A., et al, “Preoperative oral Passiflora incarnata reduces anxiety in ambulatory surgery patients: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study,” Anesth Analg. Jun 2008; 106(6): 1728-1732.
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