How Mental Health and Heart Health Connect

It is incredible how many parts of the body can connect and impact each other. Mental health and heart health are no exception to this. Both of these can play a large role in one’s overall wellness and can contribute even more when they appear together. Understanding their relationship can help you to pay attention to the aspects of your health that impact both. 

The Mental Health and Heart Health Connection

No parts of your body could exist independently. These have more crossover and impact than you probably had assumed. These connections can help you prioritize various aspects of your health to make it a well-rounded process. PULSE: The Heart, Valve, and Vascular Insitute are here to help you along your heart health journey, focusing on other aspects that connect along the way. 

What mental health conditions can impact heart health? 

There are multiple mental health conditions that can play a role in your heart health. Two of the most prominent of those are anxiety and depression. To understand the role they can play, one must also understand what they are. 

Anxiety is defined by a feeling of worry or stress that is often inescapable. Even without the stressors that initially caused the feeling, anxiety remains. Often, there is not even a definite cause. When relating this to heart health, there are physical ramifications. According to the Better Health Channel, anxiety’s connection to heart health usually comes from the unhealthy habits that people pick up when they are struggling with the condition. This in turn can impact the heart from stress and care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discusses the way that those who struggle with anxiety do not have healthy coping strategies in place that can then impact the lifestyle as a whole.  

The second condition to have an impact on heart health is depression. Depression is defined as a constant feeling of sadness, that stops you from participating in normal day-to-day activities. This is often for a long period of time with no definite cause. Depression connects to heart health in numerous ways. It is already an independent risk factor for heart disease. Along with that, it can be linked to other factors that create the opportunity for heart disease, such as an unhealthy lifestyle. On top of that, it can create further problems for those who are already suffering from a heart condition. 

How can a heart attack impact one’s mental health? 

While mental health conditions can impact the heart, sometimes the condition is the starting point for the mental health condition. When people go through an experience with something like a heart attack or heart disease, they often go through changes in their mental health. The massive changes and pain that they encountered can lead to feelings of depression. 

With their heart health feeling like it is out of control, there are changes to one’s mental feelings and decision-making. It can lead to negative impacts on both realms of health if they continue in that way.  

How can I help both? 

The solutions for helping both falls into similar categories. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be preventative for both of these. This means paying attention to a healthy diet, maintaining a suitable exercise program, and not participating in activities that actively negatively affect your body such as smoking. 

This relationship is an important one to understand. After seeing how the connections can go both ways, you can begin to comprehend how keeping up with both is essential. These are topics that often require self-awareness, and the ability to ask for help. Are you looking for answers about the relationship between your mental health and heart health? PULSE: The Heart, Valve, and Vascular Insitute are here to help. Check out our website or give us a call for even more information.

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