Dr Sarah Brewer (of the Telegraph) believes that we’re all conditioned to think of death in terms of ‘the big 5’: stroke, heart attack, cancer, respiratory failure and pneumonia. She says: “Once you start travelling, however, you encounter a smorgasbord of new ways to die”.
Here is a selection of Dr Sarah Brewer’s slightly less common ways to die, and how to avoid them:
1. Boredom: Heard of the phrase ‘bored to death’? It’s not to be taken lightly – research shows that civil servants experiencing a large amount of boredom in life are twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke within the next 25 years, than those who don’t feel bored. So get off Facebook and sign up to something new to prolong your life!
2. Heartbreak: Suffering from unrequited love or a broken heart? Put away the Ben and Jerry’s and stop pining- it could kill you! There really is such a thing as broken heart syndrome, known as ‘takostsubo’ cardiomyopathy after a Japanese octopus-catching pot. It is named after such a contraption because acute emotional stress can cause the tip of the left ventricle (part of the heart) to temporarily dilate, and apparently make it resemble a takostsubo. The abnormal heart rhythms that sometimes occur as a result of a broken heart can often be fatal.
3. Kitchen: Need an excuse not to cook tonight? We have one- you might not make it out alive. 42% of accidents happen inside the home. The kitchen, with heavy objects, hot surfaces and sharp implements, is particularly dangerous. In the UK, half the population experiences a domestic injury every year, with the risk of dying from it currently at 1 in every 1,500.
4. Night-time: It seems that hiding under the covers works- you are 3 times less likely to die at night than you are during the day. Among other reasons, this is due to the diurnal rhythms which influence blood pressure, heart rate and brain activity.
5. Mondays: We often feel like staying in bed on those dark, cold Monday mornings. Well, now we have even more of an excuse to- we are 18% more likely to die on a Monday than we are on a Sunday due to the stress of returning to work.
Until a cure for death is discovered, all we can do is delay the moment for as long as possible. This can be helped by maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle- and enjoying ourselves. If you are unhappy or unhealthy, you may wish to consult a life coach who can get you on the road to recovery and improvement. To find out more how a life coach could help you, please visit our Life Coaching Areas section.
To read Dr Sarah Brewer’s full list, please visit the original Telegraph article.