Do you stand with 76?

As many of us already know, heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Heart Association, a whopping 99% of Americans need to change their heart health but 72% don’t even think they’re at risk (Heart Disease Infographic). YIKES!

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

 

References:

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

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One Response to Do you stand with 76?

  1. L'Easa Blaylock

    So, can the quality of your life really be determined by the quality of your mind? Hmmmm…. I say absolutely! One of the most important things we can do is to have both physical and mental habits that foster the chemicals, like dopamine, in our bodies that makes us feel good!

    For example, a simple smile can go a long way for the person giving it as well as for the person receiving it. It’s amazing how the simple things in life like smiles, sunlight, rain, a cold glass of water, and a walk are the things that can get us feeling good about life and about ourselves.

    I’m with you Ashley and agree that our mental happiness plays a huge part not only with our heart but in our overall health and wellbeing. Afterall, if you can get your mind on track, your body will surely follow!

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