Maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle doesn’t just equate to eating healthy, exercising regularly and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check; it also means maintaining optimal mental health.
Studies have shown the risk of developing heart disease is significantly increased in individuals who often experience stressful emotions such as irritation, anger or frustration.
On the other hand, often feeling positive emotions, such as love, care, appreciation and compassion can increase your heart rhythm coherence, reduce stress and improve your overall health.
Coherent heart rhythms are considered to be indicators of good cardiovascular and nervous system function. Use this Valentine’s Day as a reminder to evaluate your current relationships and overall mental well-being.
If you are in a relationship that constantly evokes feelings of anger and frustration, realize you aren’t just harming your mental health but you are also putting your heart health at risk.
Also, think of the people that matter most to you—your mother, father, sibling, spouse—and be sure to let them know how much you truly appreciate them. By doing this, you may ultimately play a role in increasing their overall health.
For individuals who often have feelings of depression, stress and anxiety, it is important to seek treatment to prevent more serious health conditions down the line. Cone Health has an exceptional network of behavioral health professionals dedicated the mental health needs of individuals throughout the community.
Dr. Curtis Graves is a licensed professional counselor and a member of the Cone Health Medical Staff.
Dr. Graves earned a Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling from the University of Houston in 1984, and earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in Berkeley.