Having good cardiovascular health depends on many things, more than we can imagine. For starters, these are the four basic pieces of advice: watch your diet, do physical activity, don’t smoke and go to the doctor when necessary. But we have discovered that there are other habits which are equally effective and which apart from generating a sense of gratification at an emotional level, will help us to take care of our happy and healthy heart. Do you want to know about them?
Health is a complex subject influenced both by physical and environmental aspects. According to a study from the University of Maryland, in the United States, something as simple as laughing and being in good spirits protects our heart against heart attacks. But there are other habits that are not so well known which also help on an emotional level and keeps away depression, which is closely associated with cardiovascular disease.
- Keeping yourself active
Taking on projects, making plans and having obligations keeps the mind active and requires us to get into motion. According to studies from the National Institute of Mental Health in the United States, a sedentary lifestyle, the lack of activity and apathy are precursors to depression and a doorway to cardiovascular disease.
- Enjoying your hobbies
Anything goes, and if they involve moving even better: photography, gardening, dancing, painting, ceramics o bowling. What’s important is that you immerge yourself into an activity you find gratifying which gets you away from routine. Having a hobby we can enjoy reducing stress and improves heart health.
- Feeling the music
Who doesn’t have a special song that puts us in a good mood? Listening to happy music lifts our spirits. Likewise, when we need to relax or stop thinking, concentrating on calmer melodies provides a sense of well-being and a relaxing sensation that helps lower your pulse and improves blood circulation.
- Helping others
According to a study (in Spanish) by the University of British Columbia, in Canada, teenagers who go volunteer work have better cardiovascular health. What’s certain is that there are those who find profound gratification in tasks associated with helping others, feeling useful or having a significant life, because said activities keep away harmful thoughts and passive attitudes that negatively affect one’s health.
- Meditating and doing yoga
Meditate isn’t just a fad. Practicing conscious breathing and experiencing deep relaxation reduces blood pressure in patients with HTN (Hypertension). By just breathing exercises you can lower your heart rate at rest and increase the supply of oxygen to the heart and brain. Moreover, the studies carried out at Duke University, in the USA, show that doing yoga has a therapeutic role in preventing diseased related to stress.
- Fostering human relationships
Living alone increases the possibilities of falling to depression and multiplies the possibilities of suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction or obesity, behaviours that lead you straight to bad heart health. Dedicating a part of our time to getting on with friends and family is fundamental to keeping our minds and bodies in harmony.
- Expressing emotions
Repressing sensations can make you seem very well mannered but in the long-term your heart pays the price. Talking, arguing and even shouting sometimes is an escape route which allows us to release internal pressure, this pressure that sometimes you feel in your heart. Far from making snap judgements or giving free rein to anger, we should learn to express our feelings without embarrassment.
- Laughing more
Surely you’ve heard talk about laughter therapy (in Spanish) and its beneficial effects. Roaring with laughter is not only beneficial to your mental health but it protects us from heart illnesses. According to the FEC or Spanish Heart Foundation (in Spanish), laughing exerts a vasodilatory function on the cardiovascular system, relaxing the endothelium (the inner layer of the blood vessels) which helps improve blood circulation and decreases blood pressure.
- Thinking positively
Experts tell us that being optimistic is a very necessary attitude to preserve our health. Negative thoughts or unhealthy attitudes such as envy, bitterness, or worrying too much endangers the heart. On the other hand, thinking positively when it comes to yourself and others, avoiding cynicism and trying to looking on the bright side of life improves heart health.
If we integrate all of these aspects into our lives, we get the reward of improving our physical health, we will prevent possible heart illnesses and we will increase our mental well-being without the need to take any pill. Doing it costs nothing and in exchange it contributes a lot to you cardiovascular health. We suggest that you make a list with them and hang them in a visible place in order to remember them and therefore put them into practice in your day-to-day life.
Sources: The Science of Health. Editorial Planeta, Dr. Valentí Fuster; Quality News Network