Here’s How You Can Look After Your Heart Health And Emotions

Here’s How You Can Look After Your Heart Health And Emotions

We have long understood the complex interactions between our physical health and mental wellbeing in the world of healthcare

Dr Jagjeet DeshmukhUpdated: Sunday, November 12, 2023, 10:17 AM IST
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We have long understood the complex interactions between our physical health and mental wellbeing in the world of healthcare. It should come as no surprise that our emotional state might affect how our hearts are doing. I feel obliged as a cardiologist to explore the interesting connection between our emotions and cardiovascular health. The significance of this relationship cannot be stressed, particularly in light of the negative effects non-communicable disorders including coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease have on overall health.

Power of positive emotions

Research has illuminated the significant role that emotions play in our overall health. Over the course of a decade, studies have shown that positive emotions are associated with increased survival rates. Additionally, a positive emotional state enhances the body’s immune system, making it more resilient against common illnesses. Moreover, a positive emotional outlook can reduce the risk of developing diabetes and hypertension.

Conversely, negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, depression, and hostility are closely linked to a higher risk of coronary artery disease and other non-communicable diseases. These emotions place undue strain on our hearts and bodies, making it essential to manage them effectively.

Heart & the mind

A Symbiotic Relationship: Positive emotions, it turns out, hold predictive value in assessing one’s cardiovascular health. The effects of these emotions are discernible in the body’s parasympathetic response and heart rate. When we experience positive emotions, they promote stable blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic, and help regulate the body’s noradrenaline levels. These factors play a crucial role in protecting the heart from disease, in addition to other potential mechanisms, such as the promotion of good sleep habits and the ability to break harmful habits like smoking.

Three pillars of heart health

To maintain emotional well-being and promote a healthy heart, a multifaceted approach is essential. The foundation of this approach consists of three key elements: diet, physical activity, and hydration.

First and foremost, we must nourish ourselves with a balanced diet. A diet rich in essential nutrients, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, is fundamental. This not only fuels our bodies but also positively influences our emotional well-being.

Regular physical activity is another cornerstone of a healthy heart. Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Physical activity not only enhances your cardiovascular health but also has a profound impact on your emotional state by releasing endorphins and reducing stress.

Hydration is often underestimated but should not be overlooked. Adequate water intake is vital for optimal bodily function, ensuring that our cells and organs are properly nourished and functioning at their best.

The social connection

Our social lives, too, have a profound impact on our emotional well-being and heart health. It’s not just about adhering to good social values but also about cultivating meaningful connections with family and friends. Building a robust social support system provides a safe space for self-expression and emotional well-being. These positive connections play a vital role in shielding us from cardiovascular diseases. By fostering these bonds, we fortify ourselves against the emotional strains that can harm our hearts.

The link between emotional well-being and heart health is undeniable. Nurturing positive emotions, maintaining a balanced lifestyle, and fostering meaningful social connections are not just steps toward better emotional health; they are critical measures for protecting our hearts from the devastating impact of cardiovascular diseases. In our journey to well-being, we must remember that a healthy heart goes hand in hand with a joyful spirit.

(Dr Jagjeet Deshmukh, Cardiologist, Sahyadri Super Speciality Hospital, Hadapsar, Pune)

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