We all know that it hurts to be on the receiving end of someoneâ€™s hostile intentions. Iâ€™ve often thought, though, that it must also hurt to be carrying around that much anger and aggression. It turns out I was right.
Researchers from the University of Utah studied 300 couples who were middle aged and older and had no previous history of cardiovascular disease. For the study, Dr. Smith and his team defined antagonism using four components; the tendency to be suspicious of others, being argumentative, level of competitiveness and being emotionally distant.Â
The participants were asked to answer questions regarding their own temperament as well as that of their spouses. Those that were rated by their partners as having high levels of antagonism had higher levels of calcium build-up in their arteries indicating the presence of plaque. It is known that plaque hardens and narrows the coronary arteries and these high levels of calcium reveal an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.Â
It’s believed that the link between chronic hostility and heart disease may be due in part the increase in blood pressure and elevation in stress hormones caused by negative emotions. I also suspect that hostility causes a â€œblockâ€ in the heart chakra, thereby harming the heart on an energetic level. It seems to me to be just one more reason to lead a balanced life – both physically and emotionally.