The recent death of Brittany Murphy has thrown my hypochondria into overdrive.  Though the cause of death is not certian, there is speculation that her cardiac arrest was linked to a weak heart related to anorexia and/or drug abuse.  That's incredibly scary to think about: At age 32 you could just drop dead.

It especially freaks me out because I developed an eating disorder at age 13.  Sure, I'm healthy now, but who can see what damage I brought on myself internally? 

And to make matters worse, I noticed this past weekend that my heart was acting all sorts of funny.  At least ten different times on Sunday I felt my heart papilate.  I feels like my heart skips a beat or two ... or fifty.  I know it's fairly common to have such things occur, but this is the first time I've noticed in awhile (since I was an anorexic 14 year-old, actually) and had it happen for over a 24 hour time period.

To be on the safe side, my husband and I scheduled an appointment with a cardiologist in January.  It's the same cardiologist I was referred to last winter when I had unexplainably high blood pressure.  Yes, imagine how comforting it is to know I was supposed to have already seen this doctor for my heart.

We both have a sneaking suspicion that any erractic behavior my body is exhibiting can be blamed on stress.  I should probably be given a trophy for how poorly I handle my life stress.  Work stress I handle incredibly well.  In fact, I thrive on it. (Rushed deadline? No problem! Cranky client? Sure!) However, personal stress (finances, being an adult, relationships) will send me in a whirlwind of crazy and leave me cowering in the corner waiting to drop dead from a heart papilation. 

I work out regularly, I don't eat junk (much), I drink moderately, and I don't smoke.  I don't possess any habits that could cause a serious health problem - except stress and my exessive worrying.  I'm pretty convinced that my high blood pressure last winter was the direct result of planning our wedding.  I put myself in a tizzy over that and I am so thankful that I'm only ever getting married once.

My husband's been begging me to learn how to relax and sit still for ten minutes, and I think as a Christmas present I'm going to do that for him.  What could be better than the gift of sanity?

I'm looking around for good stress-relieving activities and excercises to calm my body and ease my brain.

I went to this website to research some techniques ...

Tonight I plan on putting some of these ideas into action.  I'm going to start off small.  I'm going to pick up our bedroom (clutter stresses me out), and lay in bed and listen to relaxing music for 20 minutes with the light off.  If I fall asleep, that may just be an added benefit.

I'll keep you posted.