I have been wondering what laughter and sadness—up and down moods—can do to my heart. My emotions surely affect my heart in ways that are good, or maybe not so good. I’ve always assumed that positive moods help my heart and negative moods hurt it. But, I decided to look online for enlightenment about moods and heart health.
One surprise was finding Laughter Online University. I love the site name! It explains that laughing helps blood vessel function by stretching the vessels with increased blood flow—keeping the circulation flexible and increasing oxygen in the blood. After reading that, I plan to see more funny movies and read more comical writing.
I also found information about how sadness can hurt my heart. A WebMD article tells me quiet emotions of loneliness, isolation, and depression “..can be as toxic and damaging” as loud anger and hostility. That’s surprising, but maybe it shouldn’t be. Surely the mix of chemicals flowing through me when I feel down can’t be good for any part of me. I don’t want them hurting my heart.
I also read an alternet.org article about how a range of wide emotions can affect my health. Its “Mood medicine—how to manage your emotions” section gave me realistic, practical ways to turn off negative emotions. I plan to use them when I feel sad or mad.
Lastly, I found a helpful scientific article in PubMed Central in the nih.gov site. It describes the medical science of moods and heart dysfunction. I dug in and read it too, to satisfy my medical curiosity.
What do you know about your moods and your heart health?