How the human heart is affected by anxiety
We’ve all heard about the important connection between mental and physical health. But do we fully understand the relationship our organs have with our state of mind? Research is showing how physiological reactions to stress and anxiety can take a huge toll on our hearts.
When we experience symptoms of anxiety, what we feel is the body’s preparation to face danger. Elevated heart rate, high blood pressure and the release of stress hormones into the blood are normal reactions that occur in our bodies when faced with stressful situations and anxiety.
Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety can have a negative impact on the heart, including palpitations, tremors and insomnia. Whatever the cause for anxiety may be, there are steps we can take to improve our quality of life.
Relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and muscle relaxation are great ways to promote inner calm which will lessen symptoms of anxiety and promote cardiovascular health.
Exercise is another fundamental element in keeping our heart and mind healthy. People who suffer from anxiety often quit exercising because they find it overwhelming or they are simply physically and mentally exhausted. However, exercise is an excellent way of promoting relaxation, inner calm and decreasing feelings of anxiety.
Getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet is also important. Regular and sufficient sleep is essential for the proper functioning of all bodily systems. Aim for at least 8 hours every night. A balanced diet that mainly features wholesome fruits, vegetables, and lean meats will encourage restful sleep and systemic balance.
Certain medications and stimulants should also be avoided. Caffeinated beverages and over-the-counter diet pills often feature harsh stimulants that can worsen your symptoms. The same caution should be practiced with cough and cold medicines containing decongestants.
Finally, put your mind to it. Your mood can make a huge difference on the frequency and severity of anxiety symptoms you experience. As the Greek philosopher Epictetus said, "We are disturbed not by events, but by the views that we take of them".
In alternative medicine, a holistic approach to healing recognizes that the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical elements of each person comprise a system that is greater than its individual parts. This approach attempts to treat the whole person, concentrating on the cause of the illness as well as symptoms.
If you feel the need for extra support, natural remedies have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years to support the healthy functioning of the body, helping to encourage normal and efficient functioning of all the body systems.
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