Doctors have identified the type of character that destroys blood vessels in middle age

Find out the details of the study

Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

A new study in health psychology at the University of Pittsburgh found that self-compassion is good for cardiovascular health. Scientists have excluded other risk factors for such diseases. These risks include high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and insulin resistance

This study involved 200 women aged from 45 to 67 years old. They completed a short questionnaire, which helped scientists to assess the characteristics of their behavior :

  1. the frequency of feelings of inferiority

2. the frequency of self-disappointment due to their own shortcomings

3. the manifestation of self-care in difficult life circumstances.

After questioning, the women were asked to undergo an ultrasound examination of the carotid arteries. The carotid arteries are the vessels in the neck that carry blood from the heart to the brain.

The study showed that women with the highest self-compassion scores had more thin carotid artery walls. Also, their vessels had fewer plaques than the group of women with the lowest scores. Indicators with a high level of self-compassion are directly associated with a lower risk of stroke and heart attacks in the future.

Is all self-neglecting bad for mental and physical health? I think an analogy can be made here with stress. Stress itself does not always destroy us.

What destroys us is rather an inability to cope with stress, or the wrong attitude toward a stressful situation. We can approach self-criticism in the same way. Self-criticism that leads a person to depression, anxiety, neurosis, or phobias is definitely harmful and unhelpful.

This question can also be approached from a philosophical point of view, which I wrote about in more detail in a philosophical review here

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