Thursday, February 6, 2014

Don’t worry; be happy- it’s good for your heart!

by A. Grano
Don’t worry; be happy- it’s good for your heart!
While you’ve probably heard that old saying before, you also probably relate that it’s easier said than done not to stress. However, you may not have realized how worrying affects your health, especially your heart!
Is your personality to blame?
Personality type theory has been around since the 1950’s, which describes behavior patterns typical of “Type A” and “Type B” individuals. Generally speaking, “Type A” people tend to be characterized as over-achievers who have difficulty relaxing, while “Type B” people tend to be much more easy-going.
Because of the self-induced stress “Type A” individuals typically place on themselves, this type has been said to be at an increased risk for heart disease. While this theory has been questioned and said to not be scientifically sound, many psychologists and other health experts have shown a strong link between emotional health and physical well-being.
Often, it is not only the stress but the way an individual copes with it, in addition to the other conditions it may trigger or exacerbate, such as anxiety, mood swings, etc.
How to help manage worrying + protect your heart
It’s unrealistic to never worry, but with stress being a significant contributing risk factor in the development of heart disease (the leading cause of death in the United State), learning to handle it regardless of personality type is a must!
In addition, living a heart-healthy lifestyle, which includes maintaining a stable, healthy weight, not smoking, eating well, and staying active can all help keep your mind and body in top condition.