True Heart Health

heart health Feb 13, 2024

We typically think of heart health as cardiovascular fitness, but true heart health requires happiness, love, and a sense of contentment with your life's journey.

Here are four actionable steps that you can take to help you be happier and overcome negative feelings that will in turn improve your heart health:

1. Train yourself to live in the present moment. Research shows that happy people live more fully in the moment than those who are unhappy. People tend to think about what is not happening as much as they think about what is happening in the current moment - and this typically makes them unhappy. Conversely, happy people who focus on the present are not preoccupied with past hurts, stressed by regret, or wrapped up in what might happen in the future. Instead, their attention is focused on the present moment, meaning they are aware and mindful of what is happening right now.

Being present-minded is critical to health and happiness. It will ground you and ensure you remain connected to the world around you. Keep your attention focused on what you're doing, who you're with, and what you're experiencing.

2. Be positive by eliminating the negative. Identify your negative thoughts. These thoughts include all or nothing thinking, less than thinking, just the bad things thinking, guilt beating thinking, and labeling thinking. All of this negative thinking releases chemicals in your brain that leaves you feeling angry, sad, or stressed out. You can control how you react to the negative things that happen to you. Challenge your thoughts to achieve a more positive outlook. Remember you don't have to believe every singe thought that you have. Ask the question, "Is it true?" to  get a different perspective.

3. Find fun and laughter in your life. Every time you laugh, your brain releases the chemicals of happiness - dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins - while lowering the stress hormone cortisol. A hearty laugh is like a drug, changing your brain chemistry to make you feel happier, and making it happen almost instantly. So how can you laugh more? Watch a comedy at the movies, visit a local comedy club, or live play. Play outside with your children. Children always find something to laugh about.

4. End your day by asking yourself, What went well today? Try asking this question around the dinner table each evening. Thinking about the good things that happened to you sets up your dreams to be more positive, which will help you sleep better, enhance your mood, boost your energy levels, and put a smile on your face.

Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to be happy. To do this, remember:

Where you bring your attention to always determines how you feel.

 If you focus on loss, you will feel grief.

If you focus on fear, you will feel afraid.

If you focus on being belittled, you will feel small.

If you focus on those who have hurt you, you will feel angry.

If you focus on gratitude, you will feel grateful

If you focus on those who you love, you will feel loved.

If you focus on those you love, you will feel loving.

If you focus on the times you have felt joy, you will feel joyful.

What are you focused on?


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