Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically people of older age, lower education levels, and higher procrastination scores were more likely to experience HT and CVD than their more accomplished and task minded counterparts.   

While the study focused more on the link between heart disease and procrastination and less on the why; it can be surmised that people who tend to put things off until the last minute would also tend to have a more stressful life. The affects of stress and inflammation in the body are widely known, and if someone is procrastinating daily, they just may be causing unnecessary inflammation. In addition to inflammation, these individual is also more likely to put off important check ups and physicals. 

Procrastinators also tend to put off going to sleep.  When we sleep our body repairs itself through a cascade of crucial healing processes. The brain secretes human growth hormone when we sleep which heals our organs and rejuvenates our bodies.  Recent research has also proven that the brain actually removes dangerous toxins during sleep and just may help prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.  

Any behavior can be changed, but in some cases the behaviors that make up our personality are genetic. While psychologists and scientists are not saying that procrastination is genetic, they do agree that our genes influence procrastination.  

The good news is that our genes influence all of our other personality traits as well, and we can get help and exercise our will to change those along with our tendency to procrastinate.  

One crucial step that most experts agree needs to be accomplished in order to stop procrastination is to get organized. An unorganized desk or home is a sure fire way to avoid accomplishing tasks. 

Creating a to do list the night before helps people who tend to procrastinate. Studies also show that the higher someone’s stress level, the more likely they are to procrastinate. By taking steps to reduce stress in ones life, they will be more likely to attack a project head on. Finally, setting up some type of reward system upon accomplishing tasks also helps to stave off procrastination. 


 (Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 323.935.3420. twitter: @CristianoWFR)






Vol 13 Issue 52

Pub: Jun 26, 2015