It’s no secret that making smart choices with your diet, exercise, and sleep helps keep your heart healthy. But it may surprise you to learn that how healthy you are spiritually and emotionally also plays a role in your cardiovascular wellness. Having a healthy heart is essential because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the greatest cause of death, claiming one person every 36 seconds, totaling 659,000 people per year.
This interconnectedness of your body’s spiritual, emotional, and physical health reaffirms the need for a whole-person approach to medicine. At Faithfully Guided, we look at the big picture when it comes to your health so that you can experience a fully abundant life in every area. Read on to learn more.
Spiritual Health and Your Heart
When it comes to your health, spirituality affects your overall quality of life, but it also affects your heart health. When examining the relationship between spirituality and coronary heart disease, one study found that people with lower spiritual well-being scores had greater occurrences of coronary obstruction progression, while those with higher scores had the most obstruction regression.
How to Help Your Spiritual Health
Fortunately, developing and incorporating healthy spiritual coping mechanisms such as mindfulness, yoga, prayer, gratitude, and daily affirmations can, in turn, improve your cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that these practices help regulate blood pressure, reduce arterial rigidity, optimize stress response, and even improve emotional regulation.
In addition to these mindfulness techniques, regularly attending a place of worship can also improve health behaviors and is associated with decreased all-cause mortality, improved diet, and exercise, and lowered alcohol consumption. Those with religious affiliations also report stronger feelings of purpose, belonging, and resilience.
Emotional Health and Your Heart
Similarly to spiritual health, your emotional health also affects your heart. That’s because people who experience depression, anxiety, or stress over long periods can develop negative cardiovascular symptoms such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, decreased blood flow, and elevated cortisol levels. When these symptoms continue untreated, they lead to calcium artery buildup, metabolic disease, and eventually CVD.
Beyond the physical ramifications, people with underlying or untreated mental health disorders also have a higher likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking, being sedentary, or avoiding taking prescribed medicines.
How to Help Your Emotional Health
One of the most important ways to improve your emotional and heart health is to be open and honest with your healthcare provider team about everything you’re feeling and the circumstances behind those emotions. Your providers can help you discover and implement tools to manage your stress and emotions more healthily so you’re better equipped to handle those moments when they arise.
Here are some other simple ways to help your heart.
- Avoid self-medication with drugs or alcohol, but instead go deeper and ask why you are wanting to numb or change your feelings.
- Incorporate daily exercises such as walking, swimming, or dancing.
- Eat a healthy diet with heart-healthy ingredients like omega-3 fatty acids while limiting added sugar and processed foods.
- Practice prayer, deep breathing, and meditation daily to heal your nervous system.
We Have a Heart for Your Cardiovascular Health
When you trust Faithfully Guided for your whole person healthcare, your entire healthcare team collaborates and brainstorms ideas together to help you live your healthiest life. We support you and your family through faith-based counseling, functional medicine, functional brain health, restorative therapeutic services, IV nutrient therapy, fitness programs, and social health groups.
Using our whole-person health approach, we help you discover healthy habits to improve your spiritual and emotional health — helping your cardiovascular health in the process. We’re here for you. Connect with us when you’re ready to live your healthiest life yet.