Calm down for a healthy heart

February is heart month when we concentrate a little more on keeping our hearts healthy.  

Your heart deserves a lot of attention and care, not only in relation to the foods you eat and regular exercise, both of which are vital in maintaining a healthy heart, but in thoughts and emotions. 

The heart is the storehouse of emotions. The mind-body connection to health and wellness is real. Medical research has linked high blood pressure, a cardiovascular-related problem, not only to a poor lifestyle, but to the build-up of anger, resentment and rage.  

Research indicates that high blood pressure and other diseases, may be reduced, and medications lowered and eliminated, through meditation, relaxation, prayer and physical movement, including yoga, dance, music, art and Tai Chi. 

What can you do in your daily life to reduce physical, mental and emotional tension, which can quickly build from the moment you leave home and drive along busy Cayman roads? That moment of road rage can quickly cause a spike in blood pressure. That resentment can eat away in your heart and create stress and illness. 

Here are simple lifestyle tips to help you reduce toxic tension within your own life and in your relationships with others. The practice of these principles will not eliminate the stress-causing factors but will give you tools to help keep your cool. 

Begin your day with techniques to cultivate a calm and relaxed mind. 

Prepare as much as you can the day before – make lunches, refill water bottles, iron clothes needed for an important meeting, and organize what you and your children need. 

Refuse to rush. Leave ample time to get to work on time, and have a laugh at those aggressive others driving their way to a speeding ticket. Laughter is great medicine for the heart. 

Stuck in traffic and feeling frustrated? Learn how to breathe properly to relax and reduce that toxic build-up of tension. 

Play soothing, relaxing music in your car or home. 

Refuse to allow others to rob you of valuable time and energy by setting healthy boundaries at work.  

Donna Mitchell is a lifestyle consultant specializing in weight management and self-help. She can be contacted on [email protected] 

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Meditation, yoga and other relaxation methods are good for your heart.