P.S. This week in the U.S., we celebrate the founding of our country with the July 4, 1776 signing of our Declaration of Independence. (BTW: Patti found this photo and writes: “Our family’s Fourth of July picnic celebrations always include a cold slice of watermelon.”)
We met Emmett Finch, The Malibu Poet, when we researched his personal A-Fib story for our book, Beat Your A-Fib. (“40-Year Battle With A-Fib Includes AV Node Ablation With Pacemaker” on pp. 166-169.) Now in his 90s, Emmett’s story illustrates the evolution of A-Fib treatments from drug therapy to PVIs, and from AV Node ablation/Pacemaker to the Watchman device.
Emmett honored us with a special poem ‘A-Fib’s Demise’. It’s for people of faith who look for hope and help from the Divine but also see doctors, medicines, supplements, etc. as manifestations of the “creative power we call God.”
We hope ‘A-Fib’s Demise’ will inspire you to Seek Your Cure!
Note: Want a hard copy? Download and print the PDF.
Neville (from Australia) wants to share his experience with our A-Fib.com readers:
“I recently bought cardiologist Stephen Sinatra’s book, “The Healing Kitchen” from Amazon.com using your [A-Fib.com portal] link.
I recommend it to your readers as a big help in finding foods that promote heart health and avoiding those that are harmful. There is a wealth of useful advice in the book including information on clinical studies that back up his arguments.”
Thanks, Neville, for sharing your book recommendation. And thank you for using the A-Fib.com portal link to Amazon.com to make your purchase. Each sale generates a small commission which we apply to the monthly costs of publishing A-Fib.com. All at no extra cost to you.
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Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author of The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It, has challenged the conventional view that stress is bad for you. I found a few insights from her book encouraging for A-Fib patients.
Researchers who followed 30,000 US Americans for eight years found that the risk for death from any cause rose by 43% among participants who had high levels of stress. But that number applied only to people who believed that the stress they were experiencing was bad for their health.
Study participants who reported similar levels of stress but who did not consider it to be bad for their health, had survival rates that were actually better than those of people with relatively stress-free lives.
Dr. McGonigal recommends telling yourself “I’m excited” rather than stressed. Try to look at stress as simply your body’s response when something you care about is at stake. The pounding heart or faster breathing is your body’s way of heightening your senses so that you are mentally focused and motivated to do well.
Look at stress as a challenge rather than a looming threat.
So What Does this Mean for A-Fib Patients? Stress, by itself, is not usually a trigger for an A-Fib attack. (You could be totally stress-free, lounging on a swing on a tropical isle and still have an A-Fib attack.)
But stress can play a role in the intensity and duration of your A-Fib attacks.
Beyond the physical, A-Fib has psychological and emotional effects as well. Recent research indicates that “psychological distress” worsens the severity of A-Fib symptoms.
Give Dr. McGonigal’s Advice a Try. So, when feeling stressed, try mentally ‘reframing’ the stress as a ‘challenge’ rather than as a looming threat. Tell yourself “I’m excited” rather than stressed. It may help lessen your A-Fib symptoms. (Let me know if this works for you! Email me.)
Sounds like this approach could help in many areas of our lives.
For other ways to cope with your stress, see our A-Fib.com article, Coping With the Fear and Anxiety of Atrial Fibrillation.
For more about stress from Kelly McGonigal, read her The Washington Post interview, or her book, The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It.