Musings & Research

in Psychology

NY Times: Emotions are Major Determinants of Heart Health and Vital Organ Functioning


50 years ago medicine dismissed a psychosomatic link between our emotions and physical health as pseudoscience. Now, our thought patterns and emotions are understood to play an overarching role in determining physical wellness and resilience, as described in this recent New York Time article and book by Dr. Sandeep Jauhar.

“In ‘Heart: A History,’ Dr. Sandeep Jauhar argues that doctors need to devote more attention to how factors like unhappy relationships and work stress influence heart disease.

Studies now show that stress and despair can significantly influence health, especially that of the heart. One of the most striking examples is a condition known as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or broken-heart syndrome, in which the death of a spouse, financial worries or some other emotional event severely weakens the heart, causing symptoms that mimic a heart attack.

The link between emotional health and heart health is the subject of a new book, “Heart: A History,” by Dr. Sandeep Jauhar. Dr. Jauhar, a cardiologist, traces the history of cardiovascular medicine and explores its remarkable technological advances, from open-heart surgery to the artificial heart. But while these cardiac innovations have been transformative, Dr. Jauhar argues that the field of cardiology needs to devote more attention to the emotional factors that can influence heart disease, like unhappy relationships, poverty, income inequality and work stress.”

Yakov Barton, PhD