Hometown newspaper asks readers to let it know how they are keeping their hearts healthy. My 81-year-old mother responds:
On my father's side of the family, my grandparents and most of my aunts and uncles died of heart issues in their mid-sixties. I've surpassed their lifespan due to several advantages they didn't have. I learned to meditate in 1971 and made it a daily practice, an excellent means to diminish stress. I've never economized on vitamins and herbs, buying only from the most reliable companies. I dislike walking, so I work out at Curves, do Tai Chi, and get as much reflexology and massage as I can.
Knowing there is usually a mental and emotional component to disease, and especially heart disease, I lean heavily on two rules from the Desiderata: (1) Avoid loud and aggressive persons for they are vexations to the spirit and (2) Do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. That means I must monitor what I allow into my environment, so no Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter or Fox News within earshot. I listen to NPR, PBS, and voices of reason.