Emotions that (Literally!) Change the Shape of your Heart

“Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, and don’t put up with people that are reckless with yours.”
—Mary Schmich

These words take on new meaning when I watch Dr. Sandeep Jauhar’s TED Talk. As a practicing cardiologist, he knows hearts inside and out. But did you know that your emotional state can actually CHANGE THE SHAPE OF YOUR PHYSICAL HEART? Have you just broken up with your significant other, lost your job, or been grieving a loved one? Your heart can actually balloon out in an unhealthy way.

Similarly, but different: are you elated about a new romance, hired for a fantastic opportunity? Your heart can physically expand in an entirely different manner.

Crazy, huh? This brings Mary Schmich’s quote about recklessness into starker contrast. How often do we let others play tennis with our self-worth, with our emotions, with our wellbeing? How often does our heart end up as the ping-pong ball for other people’s sport?

The more I’ve come to know myself inside-and-out, the less this happens. I’m definitely still affected by others’ behaviors, but I’m getting better. How have you cultivated resilience in the wake of hardship; how have you protected your heart (figuratively, but also–maybe–literally)?

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