The Power of Ideas: Broken Heart? See How Your Emotions Change the Shape of Your Heart

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Uma Hiremath

By Uma Hiremath

INE TED Columnist

BOSTON–If your Valentine’s Day in 2021 was not all that you expected, your heart could actually take on the shape of a tako-tsubo. Huh? A tako-tsubo is a traditional narrow-necked, round-bottomed jar for trapping octopuses in Japan.

It is also the unmistakable shape of a broken heart! Or what is more prosaically called ‘takotsubo cardiomyopathy’.

In this riveting 16-minute TED presentation, cardiologist Sandeep Jauhar skillfully braids scientific data with historical metaphors and real life examples to demonstrate How Your Emotions Change the Shape of Your Heart. Age-old symbols of the heart as the metaphorical crux of humanity is justified, even though science has proven it is not the source of emotions. The physical heart, as he describes it, is directly impacted by human emotions in mysterious but unambiguous ways.

Click here or on the image below to watch Mr. Jauhar’s TED talk.

While descriptive, the talk is also powerfully prescriptive. Scientific medicine, he argues, has peaked in bringing down heart-related mortality. The sluggishness in accepting the reduction of emotional stress to be as potent a modifier of heart disease as cholesterol, needs to be explored and addressed.

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