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Setting a Heart Healthy New Year Outlook

Healthy Thinking,

setting a positive mental outlook to improve heart health

As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to begin looking ahead at what we have in store for 2024. This process is typically associated with setting goals for what we want to accomplish over the next year. While we all will set unique goals associated with our own personal journey, it’s always important to make sure some of these goals focus on your health.

Mental health has been a trending topic in recent years, and for good reason. The pandemic created a variety of challenges for everyone, and this has resulted in many people struggling with mental health issues. Regardless of whether mental health has traditionally been something you struggle with, setting a positive mental outlook for the new year is always a great goal to strive for. When you have a positive mental outlook, it also will contribute to better heart health, providing even greater benefits that will enhance your life long term.

The Connection Between Mental Health and Heart Health

There is significant research to indicate that there is a strong correlation between mental health and heart health. Stress, anxiety and depression have been found to negatively impact your heart health. Chronic stress increases the risk of heart disease in several ways, including:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Creation of arterial plaque

In addition, anxiety and depression can place a strain on your heart, impacting your heart rate and rhythm. When these mental health challenges aren’t addressed, it can place you at greater risk of heart disease over time.

Conversely, numerous studies have found that a positive mental outlook can reduce the risk of heart disease, highlighting the incredible impact your mindset has on your heart health. For this reason, placing an emphasis on setting a positive mental outlook and addressing mental health challenges in the new year can pay huge dividends for your overall health.

Identifying Mental Health Challenges

Recognizing mental health challenges is the first step in addressing them. Stress can manifest in a variety of forms, including work pressure, financial concerns, or problems in your personal life. All these forms of stress can elevate your risk of heart disease. It’s important to be on the lookout for symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, and to seek support when they develop.

Identifying symptoms of mental health challenges isn’t always straightforward, as they can manifest in different ways depending on your specific circumstances. For example, stress may produce a variety of symptoms, including sleep disturbances, irritability, headaches or stomach issues. Anxiety can cause an overwhelming sense of fear or unease, and it is often accompanied by physical symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat or profuse sweating. Depression may lead to persistent feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest in activities, or changes in appetite and sleep patterns.

Understanding these signs and their impact on your overall health is key to addressing them effectively.

Strategies for Cultivating a Positive Mental Outlook

how to cultivate a positive mental outlookIncorporating mindfulness practices into your routine can have a positive impact on both your mental and heart health. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises and yoga can reduce stress and promote a sense of calm.

In addition, exercising on a regular basis can be a powerful tool for your mental wellbeing. Even moderate activity such as a daily walk can boost your mood and decrease feelings of anxiety. Nutrition also plays an important role in maintaining a positive mental outlook. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids supports both mental health and heart health.

Finally, building a robust support network and seeking professional guidance provides essential tools to effectively navigate any mental health challenges you experience. Reaching out to family and friends during times of stress, anxiety or depression can help elevate your mood and improve your mental outlook. If you require additional support, a mental health professional can help provide additional strategies that will allow you to cultivate a more positive mental outlook that will also strengthen your heart health.

South Denver Cardiology Associates Can Help You Establish a Heart Healthy Mental Outlook

Creating a positive mindset requires you to actively embrace mental health challenges head on. At South Denver Cardiology Associates, we can help you develop the framework necessary to establish a heart healthy mental outlook.

We offer a wide range of services that can help you achieve your goals associated with improving your mental outlook and optimizing your heart health:

  • Our Mind/Body Studio helps you change your lifestyle to improve your mental wellness through services such as yoga, relaxation and stress management classes.
  • Our nutritional consulting services can help you establish a diet that promotes mental wellbeing and improves your heart health.
  • Our Medical Fitness Gym gives you access to exercise specialists who will work with you to establish a fitness routine that promotes optimal heart health and improved mental wellbeing.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. South Denver Cardiology Associates serves patients in Denver, Littleton and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

Randy Cupps Graduated from Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado, in 1983 with a degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology. Randy started his medical career in 1980 as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) working on an ambulance and in an emergency room. He then joined South Denver Cardiology in 1986 when it was South Denver Cardiac Rehabilitation as an Exercise Physiologist conducting a wide variety of Graded Exercise Testing on a diverse patient population. Randy continues to keep his EMT current, and he is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist. In 2012 Randy acquired the role of business development, marketing, and physician relations manager at SDCA.
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