In addition, an unhealthy or sick heart is associated with many emotional states such as, grief, depression, anxiety and anger.
What Can You Do to Keep Your Heart Healthy?
Tips for keeping your heart healthy
1. Exercise – Exercise is important to maintain a healthy heart and a healthy cardiovascular system. Exercise helps to relieve stress, reduce weight and decrease LDL (bad) and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. Weight bearing and cardio exercises are great for heart health. Also, we always like to remind you to use activities of daily living as a way to add exercise to a busy schedule. For example, try walking instead of driving to do your errands.
2. Eat Right – The standard American diet (SAD) is high in complex carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. Eating a whole foods diet consisting of whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins is the key to a heart healthy diet. Eat foods high in omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon or raw unsalted nuts. Also eat berries, like blue and black berries that are rich in antioxidants. These berries are packed with nutrients that helping to reduce inflammation leading to better cardiovascular health.
3. Detox – A detox serves as a good health tune-up for your body including your heart. A detox involves establishing a period of time, such as a few days or a couple of weeks, where you give your body and digestive system a break from unhealthy eating. During a detox, you load your body up with nutrient rich, delicious, health promoting foods that are cleansing to your body including your arteries, veins and heart.
Tips for keeping your heart emotionally healthy
1. Meditation – Try meditation. Meditation has been shown to relieve negative emotions such as stress and anxiety. Negative emotions can be very toxic to the body and stressful to your heart.
2. Practice gratitude – Keep a gratitude journal. This is a simple yet powerful activity of periodically, such as daily or weekly, writing down what you are grateful for. A gratitude journal is another way of intentionally refocusing your emotions from negative to healthy. It’s a way of energetically opening up your heart.
3. Breathing exercises – Practice breathing exercises when you wake and before bed. Breathing exercises help to reduce stress and bring oxygen to your lungs, heart and tissues, as well as remove toxins through the gas (carbon dioxide) that you exhale.
4. Practice forgiveness – It is not easy to be saintly, but holding on to grudges can do a lot of damage to your health. Bitterness, hurt and anger, the emotions you experience when you have been emotionally wounded, are not merely emotions that you mentally experience, but you also experience them in your body. While to experience them is part of being human, holding on to them may result in a chronic condition and is bad for your health.
How do you begin to forgive? The Mayo clinic offers these tips.