However, heart health is connected to much more than just exercising and eating right! It is connected to cholesterol, lifestyle habits – like drinking and smoking – genetics, high blood pressure, and other more commonly discussed medical issues. Yet, could there be other connections? Why do seemingly healthy individuals experience heart attacks, cardiac arrests, and strokes? There must be another connection – but what is it?
Mental health. Our physiological, emotional, and social well-being.
Our mental health is another major link to how our hearts operate and I think it is quite often overlooked. Did you know 3 in 4 people working in North America have or are struggling with at least one issue that affects their mental health (Workplace Mental Health Resources)! YIKES AGAIN! The 3:4 ratio amounts to about 76% of working America (Workplace Mental Health Resources). Up until recently, research attributed the connection between mental health and heart health to behavioral habits, like poor eating, smoking, and drinking (Mental Health and Heart Health, 2018). However, today research is proving there are physiological connections that push individuals to binge eat, take a smoke break, or have a drink after a mentally exhausting situation (Mental Health and Heart Health, 2018). Yet, how often do we talk about it? About the mental fight – whether it’s daily stress or clinical depression- that 3 in 4 of us struggle with?
So let’s talk about it. Share. Because when you do you’re not alone.
American Heart Association has launched its first mental health awareness campaign and all 46 of its round table executives have vowed to share. The motive behind this campaign revolves around the fact that people love to share things about themselves, especially on social media, but many are still hesitant to share important topics like mental health. Therefore AHA’s #WeStandWith76 mission is to normalize the topic and start conversations.
So, ask questions. See how someone’s day is going. Be kind. Be empathetic. Talk about it. And do at least one thing every day that makes you happy.
Want to learn more about what you can do for yourself and others to stay mentally healthy? Mental Health and Well-Being
Contributor: Ashley Orander
Heart Disease Infographic. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://cprblog.heart.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2014/03/Heart-Disease-Infographic.jpg
Mental Health and Heart Health. (2018, August). Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/mental-health-and-wellbeing/mental-health-and-heart-health
Workplace Mental Health Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved from Workplace Mental Health Resources