How Therapy Strengthens The Heart Through Mental Health

Matters of the mind, the body, and the heart are often perceived separately. We segregate logic and emotions, thinking and feeling, objectivity and subjectivity. However, you must keep in mind that physical health and mental health are strongly interconnected. Mental health is crucial to an individual’s overall health. Consequently, heart disease may negatively impact our mental health.

The Head–Heart Connection

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Depression, on the other hand, is the leading cause of disability on a worldwide scale. Often, heart disease and depression correlate.

Smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are not the only factors that increase your chances of developing heart disease. Depression is a known risk factor for contracting heart disease. Being anxious may not directly cause heart diseases. But people with depression often have anxiety, which may increase hormones that could impact their blood pressure and heart rate. Other mental health disorders can affect your heart’s health as well.

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Due to the unhealthy coping strategies, people with mental health disorders are often prone to adopting unhealthy lifestyle habits. Smoking, drinking, and a sedentary lifestyle can do more harm than good. Some medications could also increase weight, which contributes to the risk of heart disease. Though in such cases, usually, a change in medication and dosage would do the trick.

But depression and anxiety are not just causes of heart disease. They could also develop as effects of it, especially after a heart attack or diagnosis.

Cardiac events, such as heart failure and stroke, can affect a person’s attitude and mood. Some may feel grateful to be alive. But others might feel anxious about their future, have financial worries or fears of death, or experience embarrassment and lower self-esteem. Such thoughts and emotions may lead to depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

The effects of depression, such as demotivation and irregularities in heart rhythm, could interfere with heart disease treatment. Patients with depression are often less motivated to take their medication and follow healthy daily routines. Depression also makes them prone to falling back to harmful behaviors. Moreover, there are also physiological effects, such as hormonal imbalances, damage to the arteries, and high blood pressure.

How Therapy Strengthens The Heart Through Mental Health

By now, it should be clear that the heart’s health and mental health go hand-in-hand. So we should not dismiss one or the other. Properly addressing mental health disorders allows prevention of and treatment for heart diseases.

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Psychotherapy or “talk therapy” is a recommended treatment for people with depression. It often produces positive results for patients with heart disease and depression. This form of therapy considers medical causes and addresses the psychological and psychosocial aspects affecting patients’ mental health. It helps them:

    • Understand Their Behaviors, Thoughts, And Emotions

A therapist would help uncover the underlying causes that contribute to a patient’s depression. They would also discuss life problems, such as the loss of a loved one or major illnesses, which may also be affecting their mental health. After pinpointing these causes and problems, therapy would help them explore those aspects further and discover which ones are controllable. Doing so allows them to regain a sense of control.

    • Set Realistic Goals

After identifying the causes, the therapist helps the patient create reasonable, sustainable goals that would enable them to enhance their mental and emotional well-being. These may be long-term goals, such as identifying what exactly they want to gain from therapy, or short-term goals, such as making adjustments toward a healthier lifestyle.

    • Develop Positive Thinking Patterns

Therapy helps identify distorted thought processes and negative behaviors. These include learned and internalized thoughts and behaviors. A therapist would assist the patient in nurturing a more positive outlook on life and improving patterns of interaction with other people and themselves.

    • Adopt Healthy Coping Mechanisms And Problem-Solving Skills

The benefits mentioned beforehand focus on removing factors that would hinder the adoption of healthy coping mechanisms. As a result, a therapy client can learn problem-solving skills which would allow them to control their disorder in the long run effectively.

    • Find Pleasure And Enthusiasm In Life

Depressed patients often feel unmotivated, perceiving life as dull and not finding joy in anything, even things they used to be passionate about. Therapy allows people to gradually regain their sense of enjoyment and fulfillment in life through recreational activities.

The symptoms of depression and heart disease often overlap, so it may be difficult to diagnose depression in people with heart disease. But it’s advisable to be screened for depression during your first visit to your healthcare provider for heart disease. You may also undergo testing on your follow-up visits, two to three months after a cardiac event. 

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Treating depression will make it easier to make the lifestyle changes and adjustments necessary for your recovery. These may include:

    • sticking to an exercise regimen, 
    • adopting a healthy diet, 
    • taking daily prescribed medication, 
    • reducing alcohol consumption and smoking, and 
    • enjoying recreational activities that would otherwise be difficult for patients with depression.

Ensuring Stronger, Healthier Hearts

Wellness is an active process geared toward a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life. That’s why it’s necessary for patients at risk of heart disease to pay attention to and care for their mental and emotional well-being. Similarly, patients with depression must work actively toward bettering their mental well-being alongside their heart’s health.

It’s generally better to seek therapy before a cardiac event or being diagnosed with heart disease. It’s always easier to prevent and manage the symptoms of the disease rather than cure it after getting diagnosed or suffering from heart failure. Therapy is available for everyone, not just people diagnosed with mental disorders. It can help effectively manage stress and other psychological and psychosocial factors that may lead to heart complications.

Depression, whether it occurs before a heart condition or after, requires prompt and proper treatment so that it won’t lead to further problems. The effects of therapy are not instant, and it may even take months before you find significant changes. However, evidence suggests that therapy provides more long-lasting benefits than any fast-acting medication does. Most importantly, it leads to better overall health and healthier and happier minds and hearts.

Maintain A Healthy Heart And Mind With The Help Of Therapy

Our mental, emotional, and physical well-being are all connected. After all, we have one body, and what happens to one part affects the condition of the whole. By taking care of your mind, you’re helping nurture your heart as well.

Of course, that’s not all there is to it. There are numerous heart diseases out there, and you should treat each one with the proper medical care. These illnesses spring from various causes. They may be present from birth, hereditary, or caused by environmental factors. In addition, you can develop heart disease from practicing unhealthy habits.

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You might be thinking, how can mental health therapy even do anything for your heart? Shouldn’t you only rely on medical treatment and nothing more? Well, the answer lies on the first point: your physical and mental health are linked.

How Does Your Mental Health Affect Your Heart?

Your mental health conditions affect your brain the same way outside factors can affect your other internal organs. That means your mind reacts to situations and experiences similar to how your stomach behaves from consuming different types of food. Trauma and shock can cause adverse effects on your mental health, like how cigarettes can impact your lungs.

When you undergo stress, your body is in a state of fight or flight.  Experiencing mental health concerns over a long period causes these physiological effects to become more pronounced.

You may have an increased heart rate and blood pressure, along with reduced blood flow to your heart. In addition, your cortisol or stress hormone levels may heighten. Over time, these effects can lead to heart disease. These can also cause other similarly alarming conditions. Some examples are metabolic disease and calcium buildup in your arteries.

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What Mental Health Conditions Can Affect The Heart?

Those who experience depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD have higher risks of seeing physical effects. Individuals who have these conditions short-term may not feel drastic effects. However, it’s entirely different for those who face these mental health concerns for a long time.

Stress is another leading factor that can negatively affect your heart. Short-lived stress is not harmful; it becomes fatal when continuously experienced. It affects your body the same way serious mental health concerns do. Stress can also lead to heart disease.

It’s also important to note that these mental health conditions can cause heart complications indirectly. For example, someone with depression may find it hard to get up and work out. This lack of motivation prevents them from getting the exercise their body needs. While not a direct cause of heart disease, their depression influences them to skip habits that benefit their well-being.

Think of someone with mood disorders as well. They may resort to stress-eating and binging on sweets to attempt to make themselves feel good. They may even skip their meals entirely if they’re not feeling well. These habits may negatively affect your heart’s health, especially if they last over a long period. After all, it needs proper care and maintenance, just like your other internal organs.

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These conditions may take a toll not just on your mental health but on your physical and emotional well-being too. If left untended, they may negatively affect your heart and even cause heart disease.

What Can Therapy Do For You?

The goal of therapy, first and foremost, is to make you feel better, especially mentally and emotionally. Your therapist may do a combination of things to help you achieve this goal. They may talk you through your experiences, suggest lifestyle changes, or advise you to attend support group sessions. They’ll assess your condition to help you take steps forward. 

You can rest assured that your therapist has your best interests at heart. You may talk to them about your life, experiences, and emotions. They’ll be beside you to process all of those to help you understand your situation. If you’ve been through some traumatic events, you may tell them about it. It may feel overwhelming to be vulnerable with another person, but there’s nothing wrong with feeling that way. 

Remember that your therapist is there to help you feel better. Their sole purpose is not to treat your mental health condition. Beyond that, they aim to help you work toward a healthy mind. That involves facing your trauma, understanding your situation, knowing about your options, and healthily moving forward.

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Together with addressing your mental well-being, your therapist will also suggest lifestyle changes to improve the quality of your life. They will nudge you towards exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and developing healthy sleeping habits. All of these behavioral shifts will help you take care of both your heart and mind. By following these recommendations and removing stress factors from your life, you can begin your journey to a healthier you.

To Wrap Up

Taking care of your mind isn’t and shouldn’t be separate from nurturing your heart. After all, your entire well-being is interconnected. Whatever happens to one part of you always affects your entirety.

Several mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD can cause physiological effects. These have the potential to contribute to heart complications, especially if left unchecked for a long time. The correlation is not just one way, too. Having heart conditions can also cause you to develop mental health conditions.

Fortunately, therapy can help you address these concerns. Your therapist can help you take care of your mental and emotional health. They’ll treat your condition by talking to you about your experiences and feelings and getting to the root of your concerns. They’ll also recommend habits that promote healthy outcomes. You’ll eliminate the risk of developing heart complications because of mental health concerns by sticking to those.

You won’t be alone in this journey because your therapist will be with you the entire way. Always keep in mind that you’re doing all this for your well-being. Also, remember that your body is composed of multiple systems. Take care of each part to take care of the whole. 

Won’t Get Fooled Again!

This was how I vowed that I won’t get fooled again. During my college years, I fell in love with a guy named Chuck. He was friendly and great in the beginning, always trying to make me laugh. However, he also gave me the biggest heartbreak of my life when he cheated on me with one of my best girlfriends.

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I could still remember the incident as if it happened yesterday. I was on my way to Chuck’s dorm after my classes because we were supposed to go on a weekend trip. When I knocked on the door, though, my friend Jaimie answered it. Chuck tried to excuse his way out of it, but the defiant look on Jaimie’s face said everything I should have known from the start.

Won’t Get Fooled Again!

I returned to my dorm immediately, blinded with tears. While I could not recall how many hours I sobbed on the floor, I remembered when my chest constricted, and an ache began to spread on my left arm. Luckily, my roommate returned on time, and she got to call 911 and brought me to the hospital.

Once I woke up, the doctor explained that I experienced “broken heart syndrome.” It often occurred when someone – typically women – dealt with extreme emotional stress. And in some occasions, it could make the heart give out, albeit temporarily.

The entire time that the doctor was talking, I thought, “That’s so spot-on!” The breakup and the cheating put me in too much distress, which might have caused me to experience the symptoms of a heart attack.

I stayed in the hospital for a couple of days more due to my parents’ insistence to have me thoroughly checked. During that time, too, Chuck tried to contact me, saying he’s so worried about my welfare. But after the medical scare that I went through, I couldn’t take him back. Besides, there would always be that nagging thought that he could cheat on me again, and I feared going down the same path.

That really woke me up and I said to myself, ” I won’t get fooled again!”

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In case you were in a similar situation as I was, here’s how you can ensure that your precious heart will not get fooled again – the same way twice.

Rein In Your Emotions (so you won’t get fooled again)

The first thing you must do is to avoid wearing your heart on your sleeve. If the split was still fresh, it’s highly possible that you were still in love with your ex. That’s okay – there’s nothing you could do to change it right away. However, it would be best to keep the guy from knowing about it because he might take advantage of that fact.

Although it might sound too extreme, you could think of cheating guys as hyenas. They would prey on you and attack your weak points. Hence, if you could not protect yourself from them, you’re practically toast. Think about this so you won’t get fooled again!

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Make The Man Earn Your Love And Trust

I would not put it against you if you thought you could still get back with your ex ( but no way – you won’t get fooled again!). Even if it’s not for me, I understood that some women might be willing to forgive and forget for the sake of love. But before you accept that man again, I would suggest making him earn your trust and love back.

You see, giving your ex both freely could never help you find out if his intentions were pure this time. Still, if you made him work hard to regain your love and trust, his efforts could indicate if he’s worth another chance.

Give The Man The Boot If You No Longer Want Him

Cheating had always been a serious matter, especially if you were on the receiving end of it. As I mentioned above, some women could be more forgiving than others, although not for me anymore (because I won’t get fooled again!). They could say, “Oh, it happened once. He promised not to do it again, so I’ll take him back.” However, if you no longer believed in that crappy line, tell the man no right away.

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One telltale sign that you didn’t want to do anything with the guy was that you cared for him but no longer wanted to see him. That care or love might remain for a while, but it’s not worth risking your heart again if your head didn’t agree with it.

Final Thoughts

What happened to me became a hot topic for years among my inner circle. My friends could still not fathom how a man who was loved so much by his girlfriend could cheat on her with one of her best friends. I sometimes wondered about it as well, but I merely charged everything to experience.

It was a testament that love could kill – and I genuinely thought I would kick the bucket when I had the “broken heart syndrome.” But I guess God still had other plans for me, such as sharing my story to the world to save other women from doom.

Counseling For Young Adults With Newly Diagnosed Cardiovascular Diseases

My best friend Jen was only 20 years old when she married her high school sweetheart, Joseph. Their families accepted their decisions wholeheartedly, even if they were only juniors in college because they saw how in love those two were. They were also very open to their loved ones regarding their relationship, so they did not need to do much to convince their parents to let them get married early.

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Story Of How Cardiovascular Diagnosis And Therapy Can Save Love

Despite the acceptance that Jen and Joseph received from their immediate families, the young couple experiences some backlash from the more traditional community members. I personally heard some people say that my friends were setting an awful example to the kids in town, considering they were indirectly saying that it was okay to get married early.

In reality, though, Jen and Joseph were not saying anything at all. I firmly believed that they just happened to be soulmates who found each other immediately, so they were wasting time to do what they were meant to do: become one in the eyes of the law and the eyes of God.

The Highs

I was one of the happiest people in the world when I found out that Jen was pregnant with her first child. The news came only a year after the wedding. I knew that they had been planning to expand their family soon, but I didn’t realize that it would be THAT soon. I was so excited since it also meant that I would have a baby to dote on in the coming years.

 I was in awe of Jen when she continued to go to her classes, even when she was already pregnant. I could not imagine how difficult it was to get up every morning and be out and about, especially during the first and second trimesters of the pregnancy. She powered through it all until she received another fantastic news on her third trimester about being able to graduate with all of us.

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While Jen did not manage to march during graduation as she intended to do because her water broke the night before, the new baby proved to be a blessing to the couple at once, given that Joseph got accepted at a high-paying construction firm in the city as a civil engineer. It pretty much meant that their family’s future was already secure.

The Lows 

Cardiovascular Diagnosis And Therapy

Since my parents did not raise me to be superstitious, I believed that Jen and Joseph would be the most blissful couple that I would ever meet. Their fights were always too cute to count as such; they cared deeply for each other. More importantly, they were all about healthy living.

Unfortunately, I was made to believe that people could not be too happy all the time when Jen called me one day, crying. I asked her why; she said that Joseph was diagnosed with diabetes.

I thought it was a prank or something. For one, Joseph was too far from being overweight. He always ate healthier stuff than all of us whenever we hung out. In truth, even Jen drank more alcohol than he ever did in his life. So, you would know that I meant it when I told her, “Get out of here. Why are you really calling me?”

Cardiovascular Diagnosis And Therapy

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Cardiovascular Diagnosis And Therapy

But Jen was not pulling my leg – her husband genuinely got diagnosed with diabetes at 21 years old. The doctors could not tell what caused it, considering his family did not have a history of having the said condition. Still, they said that it was most likely because of Joseph’s love for fruits. According to Jen, he could eat a big watermelon on his own in one sitting every day.

After Cardiovascular Diagnosis And Therapy

After that diagnosis, Joseph had to go on a stricter diet and take some pills to regulate his insulin production. We all thought that everything would get better once he was on medication, but Jen told me that his blood sugar level would often go three or four times higher than usual. Worse, he kept on losing weight, thus making him look sickly.

I recommended changing Joseph’s doctor and giving them the number of my dad’s doctor. What’s different this time was that the latter required Joseph to do an executive checkup to see his overall health. Sadly, it turned out that blockages were beginning to form in his heart, and it could be the side effect of his diabetes.

Cardiovascular Diagnosis And Therapy

The news naturally devastated the new couple. When I visited them at home, my best friend said that Joseph was worried primarily about dying early and not seeing their only son grow up. That’s why it is important for people to understand how cardiovascular diagnosis and therapy could save their lives.

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Counseling My Friends

Cardiovascular Diagnosis And Therapy

As a counselor, I felt like it was my duty to give them some mental health relief by helping them see such a challenging situation in a different light. After all, it was a blessing that they learned about Joseph’s new condition early. Otherwise, the man could have suffered from a heart attack, and they would be too shocked to do anything to save him. It is critical that they understand cardiovascular diagnosis and therapy.

“It’s a troubled time, I know, but this is when you need to be more optimistic than ever. You can afford the best treatment, but it won’t work if you feel worried and depressed all the time,” I said. 

Cardiovascular Diagnosis And Therapy Is Indeed Warranted

Both Jen and Joseph promised to try to be a little positive despite the circumstance. And it seemed to be working, considering my best friend just informed me right before publishing this blog that her husband was responding well to the insulin injections and heart medications.

It goes to show how early cardiovascular diagnosis and therapy and positive mental health can do wonders, even for your physical health.

Thoughts About Cardiovascular Diagnosis And Therapy

Many people around the globe suffer from cardiovascular diseases, and lives could be saved by cardiovascular diagnosis and therapy. If only we initiate to take care of our physical health even if we don’t feel any symptoms. When we age, it is important that we check and take care of our body and early cardiovascular diagnosis and therapy can give us a lot more years with our dear loved ones.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Heart And Anxiety

I had been diagnosed with congenital heart disease when I was an infant. After birthing me, my mother said that I had to stay in an incubator for two full months with various tubes attached to my little body. The doctors apparently asked them to prepare for the worst in the first month because my condition was not getting better. However, by some miracle, I became strong enough to go home.

The hole in my heart was still there, you know. My parents asked if I could go under the knife around that time, but the doctors told them no because my body could not handle the procedure. Hence, when I came home, Mom and Dad felt a little paranoid that something wrong might happen to me at night, so they set up my bassinet in their bedroom. They also limited the number of people who could see me because my immune system was lower than that of an average baby at the time. Then, I had my first surgery after 13 months, and my parents said that my health improved incredibly. However, the doctors still advised them to be cautious for possible cardiovascular disease manifestations in the future.

The reality was that I did not have a memory of all my heart issues when I was still an infant. I merely asked Mom about it when I was around five years old because of the scars I had on my chest. My mother explained what happened, but it made me realize that that’s why my folks did not want me to overdo myself whenever I was playing with my friends. Other than that, it sounded more like a cool story than anything.

That was until I got my first heart attack.

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Experiencing My First Heart Attack

I had a pretty normal childhood, thinking that my congenital disability had already been fixed. During the summer, I went to all kinds of camps, became a Girl Scout, and participated actively in school activities. I was always bubbly, too, so whenever I told people I had heart surgery as a baby, they would jokingly say, “Get out of here! That’s not possible!”

But then, one morning, I woke up with a weird feeling on my left chest and arm. I began stretching; it seemed to help a little, so I went on with my day without telling my parents about it. That was a jam-packed Friday, considering I had to practice softball in the morning and cheer in the afternoon – both under the sun. 

I felt that achy sensation on the left side of my body again mid-morning, but I kept going during training and gave every swing of the bat my all. When I had lunch, I was already having cold sweat, but I still acted like nothing’s wrong when I hit the field for cheerleading. However, come 2 p.m., I collapsed on the ground, clutching my chest. The last thing I heard was my teammates screaming.

The Effect Of My Heart Attack

I woke up at the hospital. I felt confused because it was filled with flowers and balloons, but I eventually recalled the events that led to all that. Mom roused from the couch immediately and called the doctor before giving me a tight hug and telling me she felt scared to death. I was about to ask what happened to me when an elderly man in a white coat knocked and came in.

“Hello, Ms. Cooper. We’re glad to see you awake. You’ve had your first heart attack at the school grounds,” he informed me. “How do you feel?”

“Uh, okay, I guess,” I answered. 

The doctor nodded thoughtfully and proceeded to tell me the do’s and don’ts to make sure that I won’t have a heart attack again. My mother asked if I needed another surgery, causing me to feel scared, but the doctor said that I would be okay if I moderated all my activities.

After my hospitalization, I grew a bit more anxious about my health as the days passed by. I asked my cheer coach if I could be her assistant instead of dancing and training too hard again. I backed out of the softball team entirely. I hardly ever went out to have fun with my friends, afraid that I might suffer from another heart attack.

That led me to the following questions: 

How do you treat anxiety by yourself? 

  • Confide in your partner, family, or friends about your anxiety. They can tell you if your anxious thoughts are valid or offer reasonable solutions to handle them. In case you are not ready to share your issues yet, you may contact support groups.
  • Face your fears. The reality is that you need not do that when you are in the middle of a panic attack. It is best to conquer or try to understand them during your downtime or when you feel calm. Furthermore, you may write them down as a way of removing the anxiety-inducing thoughts from your system.
  • Take care of your physical well-being. It is not enough to eat healthily or exercise regularly. You also need to get a sufficient amount of sleep and avoid accepting too much work. Otherwise, your stress level will go up and trigger your anxiety.
  • Learn how to breathe as a way of relaxing your mind and body. You may download self-help meditation books or audiobooks if you cannot attend classes in person.
  • Know your triggers. It should not be difficult, considering you may fear similar things. For instance, if you have social anxiety, you tend to feel overwhelmed when you go to crowded places or even find yourself sitting in traffic. In that case, you need to find ways to avoid such situations. 
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What is the most reliable symptom of depression? 

The most reliable symptom of depression is a hopeless outlook in life. When you experience this symptom, you may find it challenging to see a way out of your issues. No matter what kind of solution other people suggest, you tend to say, “What’s the point of doing that? I’m doomed anyway.” 

What causes a lack of self-care? 

The primary reason for the lack of self-care is a neurological condition. For instance, if you suffer from brain trauma or injury or dementia, hygiene may go to the back of your mind. It can also happen when dealing with mental disorders that zap your energy or motivation to do anything.

How do I improve my mood and anxiety? 

  • Start exercising. You need not join a gym to do that. In truth, walking up and down the stairs or hiking in the mountains is technically an exercise.
  • Get some vitamin D naturally. Bask in the sun before the UV rays come so that your body can break it down into other useful compounds. Considering you do not get enough sunlight in your location, you may eat mackerel, salmon, and other foods rich in vitamin D.
  • Stay in nature as often as possible. Aside from breathing in the fresh air, doing so allows you to have peace of mind.
  • Get a pet. It can be a dog, cat, or any animal, to be honest. What matters is that you can interact with it, especially when you feel anxious. In case your housing situation does not let you own one, you may visit loved ones and play with their pets, volunteer at shelters, or request an emotional support animal.
  • Write your worries in a diary. It may no longer be common for adults, but it does not mean that it is not effective for improving your mood and reducing your anxiety. The idea is that using a diary as an outlet for your thoughts can be as helpful as sweating out the toxins in the body.

How long until exercise helps anxiety? 

Exercise works faster than any drug or therapy when it comes to helping a person deal with their anxiety. Studies suggest that doing it for less than 15 minutes is supposed to improve your mood and make you feel less stressed than ever. Nonetheless, if you wish for better results, you should exercise from 30 to 120 minutes.

What is the best exercise for anxiety? 

Any aerobic exercise is the best for anxiety. That can mean running, swimming, jogging, walking, cycling, or even dancing. After all, increased physical activity increases mental energy and endorphin production and reduces a person’s stress level.

The sole caveat is that you should not exercise for more than 120 minutes. It will be called overexercising, and it may heighten your anxiety instead of lowering it. 

Is going for a walk good for anxiety? 

Yes, going for a walk when you are dealing with anxiety is an excellent idea. The reason is that walking slows down your heart rate and relieves your stress. That is especially true if you take the scenic route and stay away from the busy streets. 

The ideal duration for walking is 30 minutes every day. However, in case you do not have much free time, ten minutes will also do.

How long does anxiety take to heal? 

The sad truth is that anxiety is one of the many psychological disorders that you may never be able to heal from permanently. You may feel fine once you manage to move on from a triggering event, but you may deal with the symptoms again when another event makes you anxious. Then, it may take a few hours to get over it.

Can exercise get rid of anxiety? 

Yes, exercise can get rid of anxiety. Based on research, exercising for at least 30 minutes regularly can reduce your anxious thoughts for a few hours afterward. If you want a prolonged effect, you should consider following an exercise program of your choice.

What gets rid of anxiety? 

Exercising is one of the most recommendable activities to get rid of anxiety. The reason is that physical exertion reduces the toxins in your body and relaxes your mind. You can also gain the same effects by avoiding drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol or trying meditation, deep-breathing exercises, or aromatherapy.

What is a good vitamin for anxiety? 

Vitamin D is most likely the best vitamin for anxiety. According to various studies, people who have been diagnosed with this mental disorder do not have a sufficient amount of calcidiol, which is the result of breaking down vitamin D in the body. Hence, to increase its production, you should expose yourself to sunlight for a few minutes every day, eat fish, or take vitamin D supplements.

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Is anxiety all in your head? 

Given that anxiety is a mental disorder, yes, anxiety is nowhere else but in your head. 

In reality, anxiety is not supposed to be an awful thing. Your brain induces anxiety to prepare you for dangerous or risky activities and help you think of how to overcome them. It only turns into a disorder when you feel overwhelmed by your anxious thoughts, to the extent that your daily activities become negatively affected.

What is the fastest-acting anxiety medication? 

Benzodiazepine is perhaps the fastest-acting anxiety medication at the time of writing. It is typically known as a tranquilizer. Various drugs that can be categorized as such are Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin. Standard dosage may take effect after an hour or two. 

Is head pressure a sign of anxiety?

Yes, head pressure is a sign of anxiety. It is typically caused by excessive stress and worries, which can cause tension headaches. Aside from that, anxiety can result in eye strain, migraine, or sinus infection.

Final Thoughts

Luckily, after a few months, I found the right balance between cautiousness and activeness. I learned that there’s nothing to fear if I was mindful of my body and knew when to stop or keep going. 

How Cardiovascular Patients Can Protect Their Loved Ones’ Mental Health

We were students at NYU when my best friend, Jean, met Tyler, an army sergeant who was ten years her senior. It was love at first sight ever since the two bumped into each other at a bar where we celebrated her 21st birthday, and I believed that’s what happened because I saw how the soldier only had eyes for Jean.

At the beginning of their relationship, everything was blissful. Tyler moved to a base closer to New York so that he could see Jean at least once a month. Whenever he visited our apartment, he would bring food and sometimes even invite me to tag along with them during their dates. Then, after six months of dating exclusively, Tyler asked my best friend to move in with him, saying he got an apartment between Brooklyn and New York, so their commute won’t be too long.

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It was a major – read: scary – decision, mostly since Tyler was Jean’s first boyfriend. I asked if she was ready to play a soldier’s little wife, but she said she was, so I even helped them move. My communication with my best friend despite living in different locations; we also saw each other often in the university.

But then, two months later, Jean called me, crying. She took Tyler to the hospital because he had a heart attack. As it turned out, she did not even know that her boyfriend had a cardiovascular condition. It was not obvious since he was buff and in the army for eight years and counting. I was in the hospital room with the two when the doctor divulged that Tyler applied to get a heart donor and that a heart was already available for him if he still wanted the operation.

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Source: pexels.com

Of course, Jean was scared because everything happened so fast. There was also a 50:50 chance that Tyler’s body wouldn’t accept the new heart, and it could be lethal for him. However, he squeezed my best friend’s hand reassuringly and said, “I want to marry you after the heart transplant surgery, so I will definitely wake up.” That was the sweetest thing I ever heard, and it made me want to find a Tyler of my own ASAP.

Tyler was in a coma for three days post-operation, getting fed via a tube that went through his nose and ended in his stomach. When he woke up on the third day, the lovers cried in relief for his second chance at life. But Jean cried harder when Tyler asked her to rummage through his backpack, and she found an engagement ring for her.

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Source: pexels.com

A Change In The Patient’s Attitude

The doctors disclosed that it would take six months before they could say that Tyler’s body had entirely accepted the new heart, so my best friend and Tyler decided that they would get married after that. Jean took a month of absence from school to take care of her fiancé while he’s recuperating at home, and the professors were sympathetic enough to allow it. Hence, I hardly saw or talked to my best friend around that time.

When Jean’s leave ended, I thought everything was back to normal. She went to class on a Monday, and we chatted as usual, but she seemed to be distracted by her phone. When I asked what’s wrong, my best friend said that Tyler kept texting her, saying he missed her. I still thought it was sweet.

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Source: pexels.com

Unfortunately, because Tyler was still in a fragile condition and depended on Jean, he grew possessive of her. Sometimes, he would not let his fiancée attend classes and stay at home with him; other times, he would yell at her for wanting to visit her parents or me. Then, Tyler would feel faint, and he would blame it on Jean. Blind in love, my best friend would keep on apologizing. It came to the point that Jean was already unhappy with their relationship, but she could not go away in fear of Tyler ending his life during her absence.

The Fault In The Patient’s Attitude

The change in Tyler’s attitude only came to light when Jean knocked on my door in the middle of the night with all her bags six months later. She said, “Tyler left me without a goodbye today after the doctor told him that his new heart was healthy.” She also talked about the emotional abuse she dealt with in Tyler’s hands.

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Source: pexels.com

I could not help but feel anger rising inside me. In the man’s pursuit to return to perfect health, he destroyed my best friend’s mental health. While trying to fix his heart, he broke Jean’s heart. If only Tyler did not use her as a shock absorber, she would not be a shadow of her old self now.

Final Thoughts

In case you have cardiovascular issues like my best friend’s ex, you should never treat your loved ones like he did with Jean. It was awful, brutal, and – for lack of a better word – heartless. If you are miserable, don’t make others’ lives miserable, too.

Heart Disease Patients And Things They Must Know About COVID-19

 

Source: news.sanfordhealth.org

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, scientists and researchers are discovering more about the virus and how it affects human beings. In the beginning, medical professionals have known that older adults and individuals with preexisting medical illnesses, which include heart disease, have a higher likelihood of getting infected with the coronavirus. And for the millions of American adults with heart conditions, that threat provokes many questions.

Cardiologists say that they are learning more about the disease every day. It creates confusion for patients as well as healthcare providers, but they can make suggestions based on the data that they have so far.

The Heart And The Coronavirus

This new virus is a respiratory illness and mostly affects the lungs. However, when the lungs no longer work effectively, the heart needs to exert more effort to supply oxygen-filled blood throughout the body. The stress that this work causes can be hazardous for those with existing heart conditions. COVID-19 presents a higher risk to individuals who have underlying illnesses, including diabetes, coronary heart disease, previous stroke, and high blood pressure.

People who belong to the groups mentioned above have a higher potential of catching the virus. They also have a higher likelihood of developing severe symptoms if ever they get sick. Seniors with heart conditions are particularly susceptible, although if you have an existing heart condition at any age, you must be mindful of the potential risks from the coronavirus. Experts admit that there is still a lot more to learn about COVID-19, but it is sensible to assume that a person with heart disease, even the young, is highly vulnerable.

 

Source: depositphotos.com

 

Prevention For Heart Patients

Being potentially vulnerable doesn’t necessarily mean that you are fated to get the disease or that your condition is worse than the others in case you do catch it. But as they always say, prevention is better than cure. Below are some best practices to follow to best prevent you from getting infected.

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 to 30 seconds. If you’re outdoors and a sink is not easily accessible, use alcohol or hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol.
  • As much as possible, do not touch your face.
  • Regularly disinfect surfaces that you often touch, such as doorknobs, phones, switches, and keyboards.
  • Follow social distancing measures being enforced in your community and stay at home.
  • Buy your medication ahead of time and buy extra in case you won’t be able to get out of the house.
  • Load up on vitamins, eat the right food, and drink a lot of water to keep yourself healthy.

 

What To Do If You Think You Are Infected

If you notice COVID-19 symptoms like cough, fever, or fatigue, call your doctor immediately and ask the next step for you. There are different recommendations depending on the area you are in, and your doctor can provide you with the appropriate advice. You should not stop taking your heart medications without talking to your doctor. So far, cardiologists do not recommend that their patients change their heart and blood pressure medicines. Truthfully, they do not know whether or not these medications might impact the virus. The only sure thing they know is that it is dangerous to stop taking their prescriptions, especially for diabetes and heart disease.

Cardiologists also advise that people seek help or reach out to their doctors if they have other symptoms, including diarrhea, difficulty breathing, sore throat, chest pain, muscle fatigue, confusion, chills, or headaches.

 

Source: needpix.com

Keeping The Heart Healthy For The Future

During pandemics such as this one, it can definitely be difficult to maintain your usual practices. However, sustaining your exercise routines and a healthy diet are as vital as ever. The American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes of adequate physical activity weekly, 30 minutes a day, and at least five days a week. People must be extra cautious of social distancing, but it is essential to exercise. Walking is great for overall physical and mental health as we are dealing with this global crisis.

This pandemic will not last forever, but you must prepare your heart for the possible consequences. You are going to survive this. Do not lose sight of your long-term health.

 

 

Oh, Fine Dining We Love

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I have always been fascinated with fine dining settings and good thing that I was able to attend the 2019 Fine Dining Conference. Though fine dining is costly, it is good to experience it once in a while with your family or your loved ones. But I guess fine dining would suit best for those people who belong to the upper-class society who always deal with business negotiations for their companies, right? Well, if the person you are with on that fine dining experience is very dear to you, then you will have to save up so that you can both go to that type of beautiful ambiance.

Continue reading “Oh, Fine Dining We Love”

The COVID-19 Outbreak And Heart Disease

Source: news.sanfordhealth.org

Heart failure, among other heart conditions, is one of the deadly killers of American men and women – and it may become extra stressful for patients, particularly during this COVID-19 outbreak.

As of three days ago, there have been five cases of COVID-19 in New York City that were associated with cardiovascular illnesses. At the top of the list was hypertension, followed by hyperlipidemia, coronary heart disease, and, finally, stroke. However, there is an ambiguity about whether or not the virus affects people with heart conditions, although a cardiologist who was interviewed about it explained that if you were diagnosed with multiple health illnesses, or you are overweight for instance, there is a higher likelihood that you could be at risk. But as of now, this is not clear, as the healthcare teams in the country are also seeing young and healthy individuals getting sick and dying from the virus as well.

Here are some FAQs from heart patients and answers from a qualified cardiologist.

Why do high blood pressure and hypertension become a risk factor for COVID-19? 

This is not precisely clear. But the theory is that high blood pressure puts relatively more stress on the patient’s heart, plus the medications that they take for their conditions. It is not clear if this reduces or increases their vulnerability to the virus.

Source: atlantatribune.com

What are heart illnesses more greatly affected by the coronavirus? 

Again, this is not clear. In the end, any virus that leads to causing more demand on the patient’s body can significantly impact their heart condition. For instance, for individuals with atrial fibrillation who suddenly have a fever with an infection, the status of his heart may become poor, and this will lead to further bouts of atrial fibrillation, which would frequently require him to be hospitalized. A condition that strains the heart further can also worsen angina or could even cause a heart attack. This type of patient may have a lesser capacity to withstand stress or body fatigue. So those with underlying health illnesses and unexpectedly become affected with the virus could be in greater danger than a person who is not afflicted with a heart condition.

What are some consequences of having COVID-19 for heart patients? 

Although respiratory symptoms largely manifest COVID-19, some present with cardiovascular damage. This is according to the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. Patients who are diagnosed with a severe type of heart disease can progress in developing myocarditis. Viral diseases can cause plaques in the arteries and subsequently, a block, leading to a heart attack. From studies done on COVID-19 patients, researchers have discovered that some of them had arrhythmias, heart failure, and cardiac arrest after getting infected with the virus. Hence, it is correct to conclude that the impact of the coronavirus on the blood can potentially cause blood clots.

Is it okay for patients to postpone their stent placements and heart bypass procedures?

That will depend on the patient’s status and if the type of procedure is safe to delay. This is not an easy decision to make, so patients must discuss this concern with their primary doctor and their family about what’s best for them. If the procedures or tests are not very critical, they can be safely delayed. Still, the patient may schedule e a visit to this doctor through telemedicine if the quarantine or the outbreak does not permit him to go outdoors.

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Can heart patients not go to the hospital if they are experiencing chest pains and other related symptoms? 

The American College of Cardiology encourages heart patients suffering chest pains or other related symptoms of heart attack or heart failure to immediately call 911, as most hospitals might be treating emergency cases as well as safeguarding to avoid the spread of the virus. Understandably, a patient might be scared of being hospitalized because he might catch the virus while treated in the emergency department. Still, they are postponing care that is essential for them, and this may lead to a new health crisis.

They should remember, then, that the quicker they are treated, the more the likelihood for them to avoid the risk of complicating their condition. They should not in any way, delay their care.

 

 

Matters Of The Heart

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Some called it the 2019 Healthy Heart Summit because the theme was “Advancing Whole-Person Care Through a Collaborative System of Health Approach.” Yes, it was a summit, an event for allied and medical professionals. And I was one of them. I was one of the aspiring healthcare providers in that summit who wished to learn more about a collaborative system of health approach, and of course, the heart was one of the main topics. In our table, “heart” was the hottest topic.

Continue reading “Matters Of The Heart”