The causes of heart disease can take many forms, which is why mental health - as much as any other form of wellness - is essential for a healthy heart. Regardless of whether or not you suffer from heart disease, it’s important to take the time you need to address your mental health needs. Whether you suffer from anxiety, depression, or both, finding the resources you need to help you achieve a healthier mental state will offer compounding benefits for your overall health.
Yes, there are links between anxiety and depression with heart disease, but the relationship makes more sense when looking at the way anxiety or depression changes behavior. These patterns of behavior, good or bad, can quickly shift the trajectory of your overall heart health.
Here are a few things to look out for if you currently suffer from anxiety or depression and you’re worried about your heart health.
Be Careful How Your Mental State Affects Your Habits
Both depression and anxiety can adversely affect one’s habits, especially those that tend to help the heart. Both anxiety and depression, especially in more extreme cases, can lead to lack of sleep, a reduction or absence of exercise, and sometimes impulsive or otherwise unhealthy eating habits.
That said, changing and maintaining habits isn’t always easy. It’s even harder to establish routine habits, and especially wean off bad ones, when you have anxiety and depression lingering as an obstacle. You shouldn’t push yourself too hard to change immediately, and instead it might be better to gradually change your habits in easy-to-manage chunks. This might mean starting your exercise habit by going on a 5-10 minute walk maximum before ramping up your activity.
If you realize your anxiety or depression is causing you to eat foods consistently high in sugar content or unhealthy fats, think about surrounding yourself with healthier foods the next time you go to the store. The more balanced your diet, the better.
Have Outlets Ready to Reset Yourself at Key Moments
Fighting through anxiety and depression is challenging to say the least, making it even more important to find ways to reset yourself when needed. This could mean going to bed at a certain time every night, reaching out to friends and family for support, or going for a walk/jog. If you have a job, sometimes getting back into the swing of a routine can make all the difference.
Depression especially can cause patients to not comply with their medication prescriptions, even for those living with heart disease. If resetting just means remembering to take your medications at the designated times, it can make a major difference in your ability to fight heart disease.
Body Scans Can Help Relieve Stress
When the exact state of your health is up in the air, if you’re not really sure what’s going on inside your body, this alone can cause significant anxiety or worsen depression. By receiving a body scan and, if necessary, a heart scan, you can eventually find an answer to the question: “is my heart health like it should be?”
Even if the answer to the question is “no,” a confirmation of what’s wrong and having a plan of action to improve your health is a better alternative than not knowing at all.
Schedule a Scan
Advanced Body Scan of Tulsa offers a variety of scans for the heart, lungs, and colon, among others. All scans are minimally invasive and take only a few minutes to complete, but can be crucial to detecting early signs of disease and working towards healthy outcomes. To schedule or ask about a scan, visit our website or call us at 918.879.6161.