Everyone has a negative side and yours could be behind your cardiovascular problems. For Angela Peris, hearts and minds cut both ways, with the heart affecting emotions but also vice versa – understanding this can aid recovery and prevent a relapse.

As much as a cardiac event can cause emotions such as fear, anxiety, shock and disbelief [see Vol 54, pages 16–7], the real cause of the cardiac event may also be due to emotional issues such as hurt, sadness and resentment. Extreme negative emotions can contribute towards a sudden heart attack. Being hurt badly through separation or breakup, or losing a loved one, can also contribute towards a sudden cardiac event.

Therefore, recovery from a cardiac event can become very much a personal re-evaluation. Reflecting on life, why the event happened and what contributed towards it or how it could have avoided are some of the issues people struggle with during rehabilitation. It is important to make the time to review your lifestyle and understand the emotions that may have contributed towards the event — and release these emotions.

Forgo blame and forgive

When we harbour negative emotions, they can affect our health in many ways. We face emotional challenges within families, friends and communities every day, and learning how to forgive people and let go of hurt, sadness or anger may lift a huge emotional weight.

Many people find it difficult to forgive people who have done ‘wrong’ or hurt them in some way. When we continue to blame others and not take responsibility for what happened, we suffer more than the other person. Forgiveness is a very powerful and empowering exercise – but as difficult as it might be, it will release you from many of life’s challenges.

You may never forget the incident or people involved, yet if you can forgive and let go, your life will be lighter and happier. And although people sometimes think they have forgiven people, they can still hold some negativity, no matter how rationalised. Forgiveness needs to be unconditional. When you can love and accept unconditionally those people or situations that you resented, you know you have forgiven them.

Healing your heart is up to you and can be powerful. You are the only person ultimately in charge of your feelings, thoughts and life so take control and be responsible.  

10 STEPS To Healing Your Heart:

  1. Accept people for who they are
  2. Forgive and let go of your past
  3. Surround yourself with positive people
  4. See the glass half-full - not half-empty
  5. Reflect on your life
  6. Be grateful for everything in your life
  7. Find your passion in life
  8. Know your purpose in life
  9. Have a vision of your dreams
  10. Do what you love and love what you do

Angela Peris is Director & Founder, Peris Cardiac Health & Lifestyle Retreat, Berrigan


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