Tuesday,17 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1139, 14 - 20 March 2013
Tuesday,17 October, 2017
Issue 1139, 14 - 20 March 2013

Ahram Weekly

The heart of the matter

Al-Ahram Weekly

These are times that try men’s souls.  As we swim in a sea of uncertainty, we long for the warmth of the blazing sun rays, and the serenity of clear blue skies.

It is the heart that pays the highest price for this state of turbulence and torment.  Stress is the silent trigger for cardiac decline.  As we constantly deal with stressful emotions, with  frustration, irritation anger and anxiety, our stress hormone levels increase, blood vessels constrict, blood pressure rises and the immune system is weakened.  Maintaining the health of the heart should be our primary concern, as it is in scientific research and modern medicine. The reason is simple---heart is still the No. 1 killer, worldwide.

The risk factors developing heart disease are physical, mental and emotional. When all these elements attack our lives, it is near impossible for us to cope, but cope we must!

Once a male prerogative, a sick heart no longer discriminates between the sexes. Heart diseases are many and varied, the most common being the heart attack. Most heart attacks are caused by cholesterol being deposited in the coronary arteries which develops a plaque that forms the clot, blocking  the flow of blood to the heart muscle.  Lack of oxygen and nutrients suddenly stops the pump from pumping.

Early detection is the best cure, forcing a change of life-styles.  By-pass surgeries, balloons, stents, pacemakers etc, all help, but heart disease is now considered a global epidemic, claiming victims every second.  Prevention is a far better method than all available, half-measure cures.

If we can change from a sedentary to an active lifestyle, if we can restrict our diet from fatty foods, if we can quit smoking or excessive alcohol intake, we can arm ourselves with solid weapons that can protect our most precious organ.

We can do ourselves a great favor if each living day we can find something to feel genuinely thankful for…..and there are lots of things to be thankful for….our children, our work, our friends.  What about a renewed appreciation of our senses, to see our loved ones, to read a great book, to hear a fine symphony, to taste a perfect meal…. We take such things for granted, until we lose them.

Experts suggest recalling a past memory conjures warm, comforting feelings.  Dr. Rollin McCrary, of the Institute of Heart Math explains:  “It is not a mental image of a memory that creates a shift in our heart rhythm, but rather the emotions associated with the memory”.

Positive emotions such as love, compassion or appreciation produce harmonious heart rhythms leading to cardio-vascular efficiency, nervous system balance and overall heart benefits.  The brain knows that the heart feels good and creates a warm gentle feeling in the heart area, shifting it into a more efficient state, increasing our ability to think clearly and positively.

There must be something in your daily life that makes you smile.  Why not smile?  Why not even laugh?  A joke heard years before can still tickle your funny bone…think of it and laugh again. It will pleasure your heart, hence your life.

Though shaped like a pear, the symbol of the heart is drawn in a more stylized shape with double curves more accurately depicting features of the female body….mother of the races, queen of all hearts.  The color red suggests blood and passion. We see it everywhere in jewelry, clothes, pillows, beds, chocolate, cakes, and even swimming pools.

Since we cherish it so much, should we not therefore give it more care, for without it, there is no life!

 

“Life is not just being alive, but being well”.

              Martial (AD. c 40-c.104)

 

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