Bad News Can Make You Sick!

by DavalosMcCormack on May 5, 2008

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine. He has walking pneumonia, but that’s the least of his problems. There are circumstances that are out of his control making life stressful, making him worry and creating tension in his household. My friend has circumstantial illness. His circumstances are robbing him of his health.

Life can be overwhelming at times. We’ve all gone through ups and downs and times that take an emotional toll that make the simplest task seem overwhelming. When your mind is sick with worry it’s very likely that your body will be too. It happened to me when my father was dying. It can be money problems, relationships ending, no work or family troubles.

The fact is that stressful life events , depression and behavior disorders, nearly triple heart attack risk. Depressed people are four times more likely to have a heart attack or die. There is even a study from Johns Hopkins University that hearing shocking news, such as learning of the death of a loved one, can really break your heart.

Researchers examined 19 patients who came into the hospital with symptoms similar to a heart attack – chest pains, fluid in the lungs, shortness of breath and heart failure. The patients, mostly elderly women had no blockages or other clinical signs of a normal heart attack. The patients had one other thing in common, they had all experienced a shock of some sort. One was a victim of armed robbery, the others had heard of the death of a loved one. The heart was literally stunned into cardiac arrest. It’s called broken heart syndrome the technical name is cardiomyopathy. The good news is that there is usually no permanent damage to the heart muscle and the prospect for a full recovery is good.

When you lose your way it’s easy to lose your health, and if you lose your health you can easily lose your way. So I was wondering if it can work the other way around too. My friend sees no end in sight to his troubles. Frankly, I don’t see what he can do to alter the outcome either. What he can do, however, is to take care of himself. It may not change the big picture…or could it?

That’s why perspective is such an important insight to have during troubling times. Having friends to talk to can help. So can finding time to take care of your health, whether it’s going for a long walk or creating quiet time through meditation, hypnosis, or just quieting the mind to give yourself some respite from worry and mind chatter.

All this can calm you down enough to give you time to reassess your problems. It won’t make bad news any better, but by giving yourself some perspective it may help you prevent your own health from taking a turn for the worse.

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