Is Heart Rate Affected by Attitude?

Your heart rate is the number of times that your heart beats within a period of time, usually calculated in beats per minute (bpm).  Your heart rate varies according to your physical activities; however, researchers have discovered that your attitude affects your heart rate as well.

Attitude Impact

The heart responds differently to the various emotions and attitudes you go through during the course of a day. A normal (resting) heart rate is 40 to 60 bpm for healthy adults. When the rate reaches well below 40 bpm or exceeds 60 bpm, it can be a sign of a serious health condition.

Knowing how your attitude affects your heart rate will allow you to make a conscious decision on how you react to situations in your life. There is a clear connection between negative emotions and attitudes that contribute to damage to the heart. Since this connection is known, yone should learn ways to change your behavior in order to lead a more productive, happier lifestyle. The first step is learning how various attitudes and emotions affect your heart rate. Once you learn the affects of the attitudes, you must then learn how to handle them so they do not become detrimental situations.


Anger is an emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. Some experience it more often than others. Anger has an adverse affect on one’s attitude, therefore causing various reactions in the body. The heart handles anger by causing the heart to beat irregularly. So when you are angry your heart begins to skip beats, causing an irregular heartbeat. Anger causes the heart to beat in a pattern that resembles physical activity. Studies show that people who are constantly angry have a risk of developing heart problems because of this irregular heartbeat. 


Ever hear the statement that happier people live longer, more productive lives? Not only do negative attitudes affect the heart, so does positive emotions. Emotions such as happiness, love, and admiration all have a positive effect on the heart. These emotions cause a steady increase in the heart rate, but it is similar to good exercise.


Stress can also have a negative impact on the heart rate. When people become stressed, their heart rate has the same pattern of a heart that is in distress. Learning to handle stress is beneficial to keeping a healthy heart. No life is stress free; however, learning to deal with stress can be the difference between life and death.

What Can You do?

The key to a long, healthy life is linked to having a good attitude. The most important thing to do is learn how to manage your emotions. This can be done by learning techniques on managing and dealing with anger. Before reacting to unpleasant situations, try counting to 10 slowly or try breathing techniques aimed at relieving stress. Learning to prioritize your schedule will alleviate stress related to poor time management or feeling overwhelmed. Invest time in activities that are fun and relaxing.



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