February is American Heart month and while heart disease is usually associated with diet exercise and genetics research shows there's also a strong link between heart health and mental health Dr Marian wabby is the manager of behavioral health education at Memorial Herman good morning to you Doctor thanks for being here thank you.
So let's talk about this connection how is there connection between stress and I mean I could imagine there would be but how is that so not too different from what you've mentioned so far stress certainly has physical impacts on our body so um hormone levels chemical levels in our body are going to affect our heart also things like blood flow.
Are effective when we feel really stressed but other ways that we kind of have a lot of control over when we feel really stressed the ways we manage that okay so let's talk about how we can take care of ourselves emotionally to help prevent heart disease perfect that's exactly it so when you feel really stressed out if you're someone who kind.
Of curls up in bed and gets you know you know binging some sort of TV show instead of maybe someone who turns to exercise that sedentary state is going to kind of contribute to some of the factors linked to heart disease um when we're really stressed out we're not thinking I really want to make a really intricate plant-based meal with really.
Fresh ingredients like give me the greasy give me the salty and give it to me quick those are all things that contribute to different levels within our bodies that contribute to heart disease things like high blood pressure and diabetes so if you're dealing with lot of stress uh you have a lot going on.
What are some ways that you can do what are some things that you can do to balance this out and make sure that your heart health is not impacting we all have stress and it's going to be a part of life so we have to kind of develop a relationship where we accept that we know that stress is there and that we don't always just fear it.
And that we know that some portion of stress can be helpful that it can be motivating we use that to kind of drive us to do those healthy things so drive me to exercise so that I don't develop a condition that really does have a chronic impact on my life um use it to push me to get some professional help sometimes maybe I do need to talk to a.
Therapist maybe that's a really great gift I can give myself um or develop some mindfulness habits so I'm really being present when I'm eating I'm really being present when I'm showering just practicing some deep breathing throughout the day doesn't mean that I have to go on a you know month-long Retreat somewhere it just means that in.
The moment I'm paying attention to what I'm doing while I'm doing it and you mentioned exercise which we know makes such a big difference but what about eating healthy I feel like that's the the thing where everybody's just like la la la I don't have time or it's too stressful to figure it out but what are simple tips that that are doable I think.
Moderation is key you can cheat but heart healthy ideas to help protector ticker here the the best part about this or any kind of thing you want to add into your life is think of it in terms of adding versus reducing or subtracting something else so not I'm never going to eat pizza again pizza's wonderful but can I add something else in so if I'm.
Going to have pizza can I have a little salad a little fruit something fresh with it so that I am still nurturing my body and creating in myself a desire for those pieces so I do want the fresh healthy item in addition to the the craving that I have the need that I want because it's it's still okay to have that too and really quickly here getting.
Enough sleep going somewhere and laying down as my mom always says I'm sure that is important too to help you um I mean deal with stress and your heart health as well mhm of course we trade sleep for extra work hours and for socializing we we pack our days and our lives so full to feel so busy and so you're right prioritizing sleep is tremendous and.
Then really good sleep hygiene am I sleeping in a dark room with a TV off am I having some screen some time before bed without a screen so really prioritizing your sleep and the environment before so that you're getting good quality sleep during the time that you are getting to sleep and another dreaded one that no one wants to.
Hear limit alcohol don't smoke and those kind things can make a difference as well Dr WBY thanks for taking time for Memorial Herman today what a powerful conversation thank you and