chapter  10
26 Pages

Mood, Blood Pressure, and Heart Rate: Strategies for Developing a More Effective Ambulatory Mood Diary

The centrality of the cardiovascular system to the experience of strong emotions dates back to the times of the ancient Egyptians who believed that the heart was the sensorium commune-the center of sensation. To the early Hindus, the heart was the seat of consciousness and where all joy and pain was experienced. These ancient ideas have persisted for more than 2,000 years and still influence current thinking (Bonica, 1990). Emotional experiences are believed to play an important role in the etiology of stressrelated disorders and heightened physiological activity. With respect to cardiovascular disease, it is still assumed that intense negative emotions are associated with large cardiovascular changes and that these changes are of a pathogenic nature over time (Krantz & Manuck, 1984).