Take Care of Mental Health to Keep Your Heart Healthy

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Having A Healthier Heart by Taking Care of Mental Health American Heart Month1

Dr. Mehmet Oz has always been serious about indulging in yoga and meditation in life. It is important to realize how important is mental health, for overall health of a person. Dr. Oz says that yoga and meditation can help in calming and relaxing even in stressful situations. Think about the times when you were really stressed because of strict work deadlines or having a loved one who is really sick. You would have felt your heart pounding, your breathing quickening, and your blood pressure elevating. This February, which is also American Heart Month, Dr. Oz sheds light on how to take care of your heart.

Our mind and heart are closely working for proper functioning of our body and to ensure appropriate blood supply throughout the body. The heart sends signals to the brain whenever there are any changes in the blood flow. The brain in turn sends signals to the heart about what might be required of the heart in the near future. You can imagine this as watching a couple dancing. Now, if someone speeds up the music, the dancers would try to dance in accordance with the music. With time, their steps will become disorganized, they would get tired, trip or even fall trying to match up with the soundtrack’s speed. Therefore, with stress signals the heart gets really worked up trying to match with the brain. This might result in damage to heart and its blood vessels.

It is Not All in Your Mind:

Everyone knows that work, family problems or stress due to an illness are all causing problems in the heart, but they don’t admit this fact. We are still stuck with an old belief that everything is in our heads. We are still trying enough to pull ourselves from believing this. All these diseases are indeed real and not just in our heads. Mental conditions such as anxiety and depression, if left untreated, can have significant biological impacts on our body.

Problems in Your Mind Can Lead to Several Heart Diseases:

Surprisingly, a little amount of stress can be indeed useful for our health. Several researches have revealed that short-term and manageable stress can help us perform much better. The problem arises when this becomes long-lasting and persistent stress. This overwhelming amount of stress will rather become slow-poison for your health. When you are under prolonged stress, it makes your heart work overtime, your blood pressure shoots up and heart rate increases. It might also result in plague formation and damage in the blood vessels, eventually resulting in cardiovascular disease. You might experience irregular heart beat during significant stress and the blood vessels contract as they try to shunt blood to the other body parts. It is not only stress which can cause heart damage but other mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression can also lead to several cardiovascular diseases. All these studies reveal that having a healthy brain can help in achieving a healthy heart as well. If your brain is not functioning properly, you must know your heart is also not working efficiently.

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Women More Prone to Cardiovascular Diseases:

Women suffer more from anxiety, chronic stress and depression, this might explain why women are much more prone to develop heart diseases. Having these mental conditions can predict impending cardiovascular diseases in much advance than testing for obvious predictors such as blood pressure or cholesterol level. Some scientists believe that this can explain why women who experience heart attack have different symptoms from men experiencing the same.

Take Action for Healthy Heart:

The best part is that you can improve your heart’s health considerably by reducing stress. Dr. Oz suggests some natural ways to get on-track towards a healthy heart:

  • Meditation: Meditation is not just for monks; it is for everyone. It is a great way of reducing your stress level and enhancing a state of calmness within you. Start meditating for around 5 to 10 minutes a day.
  • Exercise: A workout for around half an hour a day can reduce your stress and elevate your mood. Alternatively, you can opt for a dance class with a friend or simply walk in a nearby park.
  • Connect with friends and loved ones: Connecting with loved ones and friends is the best way to unwind and relax. It helps in reducing the stress level and boosts mental health. Meet your people over a cup of coffee or evening tea.
  • Practice deep breathing: It is quite difficult to meditate while you are under a stressful situation. You should practice deep breathing for calming your mind. It will make you prepared to continue with your tasks.
  • Have a sound sleep: Several studies have linked poor sleep with various mental illnesses, stress and in worst cases. Dr. Oz advises a sound sleep of seven to eight hours daily.
  • Visit your doctor in case of mental illness: In case you experience prolonged stress, anxiety or depression, you must visit your doctor as soon as possible. At times, they can provide proper medication, therapies or suggest alternative ways to treat these mental conditions.

Let’s work towards a healthy heart by following these easy steps this American Heart Month!

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