How a Healthy Mind can Support a Healthy Heart

February is healthy heart month. Show some love for your heart! Take good care of yourself.

The heart does more physical work than any other muscle in the body. It pumps roughly 2,000 gallons of blood per day; enough to fit in a small swimming pool.

How the heart functions touches every aspect of a person’s life.

When the heart functions sub-optimally, not only is the physiology of the affected individual compromised, but the psychology of the individual is often under siege as well.

The mind may feel like it has entered into a jungle, bedecked with poisonous flowers and snakes. How to escape this disquieting jungle?

Numerous studies have shown that mindfulness meditation and relaxation exercises can help restore the focus and clarity of mind that enables people to skillfully manage their conditions.

A useful technique that emerges from the mindfulness tradition includes expanding your awareness.

Consider this: If you have a heart condition, perhaps it is one of five things that you regularly think about. It therefore consumes 20% of your mental space.

By expanding your awareness to include ten things, your heart condition may then only consume 10% of your thinking. By expanding your awareness to include 20 things, your condition may then only consume 5% of your thinking. And so on.

Modifying the scale on which you perceive thoughts or emotions puts you in control of your cognitive patterns. Forming mindfulness and relaxation habits can help facilitate both healing processes and continued wellness.

Regardless of how your heart functions, your mind retains the power to optimize your wellbeing.

The MyBrainSolutions platform is designed to jump start your mindfulness practices, and to tone your stress reduction efforts. We are here to help you steer clear of the jungle.

By: Shira Landau and the MyBrainSolutions team.

Disclaimer: The opinions above are of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of MyBrainSolutions. The post is for information only and is not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one’s own healthcare professionals.

References:

Corliss, Judy. “Heart Disease and Brain Health: Looking at the Links.” Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School. November 9th, 2016.

“Depression and Heart Disease: Mind and Mood Affect the Heart.” Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School. February, 2006.

Image. Ebay. https://www.ebay.com/itm/IKEA-FAMNIG-HJARTA-Red-Heart-Cushion-Best-Valentine-s-Day-Gift-/121281846994

Khan, Gabriel M. Encyclopedia of Heart Disease. Elsevier Academic Press. 2005. P.49, online.

Morris, Nathaniel P. “Mental Illness and Heart Disease are Often Found in the Same Patients.” The Washington Post. February 18th, 2017.

National Institute of Health: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. “American Heart Month”. www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/education-and-awareness/heart-month. Accessed, 15 February, 2018.