02/07/2012 10:51 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Day Seven: Angry? Lonely? Tired? Ask Your Heart What it Knows


Photo via Getty.

"Go to your bosom: Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know"
--William Shakespeare, "Measure for Measure"

Many times I've been faced with problems -- the answers to which I don't have a clue.

Shakespeare's quote reminds me to stop for a few minutes and look into my heart for the answers that are already there, waiting for me.

When I'm under stress, I have to remind myself to be mindful, grateful and to get enough sleep.

According to Psychology Today:

"Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience."

The American Psychological Association suggests counting blessings instead of burdens: "... Positive emotions broaden mindsets and build enduring personal resources. These resources function as reserves to be drawn on in times of need."

And sleep is a total mood changer. The National Institute of Health says:

"When healthy adults are given unlimited opportunity to sleep, they sleep on average between 8 and 8.5 hours a night. But sleep needs vary from person to person. Some people appear to need only about 7 hours to avoid problem sleepiness, whereas others need 9 or more hours of sleep. Sleep needs also change throughout the life cycle."

On the seventh day of 29 days of "Go Red" blog posts, this heart blogger looks forward to the New York Giants parade at 11 a.m. EST in NYC (and the related overall reduction in mortality the Giants won for their fans).

Patriots fans, take good care of yourselves -- fans of losing teams in major sporting events have been known to experience higher risks of heart attacks for a couple weeks following an emotional championship game. Don't kill the messenger!


Please take a few minutes to visit the Yale Heart Study site and complete the heart attack survivors survey or forward it to someone you know who has survived a heart attack.


Disclosure: Suzanne O'Malley is a Senior Research Associate for the non-profit NIH-funded Yale Heart Study, a Faculty member of the Yale Writers' Conference & Associate/Director of Yale Summer Film Institute.

For more by Suzanne O'Malley, click here.

For more on personal health, click here.