Dr. B's Blog

Link between psychological stressors and stroke risk

From the American Heart Association:

Higher levels of stress, hostility and depressive symptoms are associated with significantly increased risk of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) in middle-age and older adults, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

This research finding isn't new or news to those of us in the mental health community but whenever there's data to corroborate what is, at times, conventional wisdom, I like to take the time to post it. What was particularly telling from this study was that hostility was also found to be linked.

When I teach mindfulness, I tend to emphasize the connection I've found between judgemental thoughts and emotion, particularly anger. As we know, hostility is a type of anger, whether that be directed towards others or ourselves. As we strive to live more mindful lives, it's worth examining the connection between our judgements and our long-term emotional and physical health.