Heart Health: Our emotional heart is determined by a healthy emotional brain!
“Love doesn’t make the world go round, love is what makes the journey worthwhile.” franklin-jones
The mortality rate in San Diego remains 100% and cardiovascular disease continues to lead the way for our premature death. With the month of February being National Heart Health Awareness Month, much is written about diet and exercise for cardiovascular health, but little is written about how our love heart – our emotional heart – is controlled by our emotional brain to have healthy loving relationships.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, emotional health begins in the brain, in an area called the Limbic System, also known as the seat of emotion. This area of the brain is where all the feel-good chemicals called neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine, are made. A brain reward cascade occurs in which the chemical reward is the release of dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical that makes us feel good and gives us a sense of well-being, it is anxiolytic and antidepressant. If dopamine is in short supply, one often feels anxious, more depressed, has difficulty concentrating, and is easily distracted. Those who are dopamine deficient often look for ways to stimulate or self-medicate with sugar, caffeine, alcohol, or drugs, all of which artificially stimulate dopamine. This unhealthy approach often leads to abuse, addiction, and emotional instability.
Prepare your heart and mind to be the best Valentine you can be by developing habits that heal and promote the emotional health of your heart.
Regular exercise, especially high-intensity interval training, also promotes emotional heart health. Adding intensity to your regular cardio workout (burst training on treadmill, elliptical, bike, running, swimming, etc.) stimulates a healthy flow of feel-good neurotransmitters (dopamine) and pain-relieving endorphins (endogenous morphine). Plus, adding weight training to your aerobic exercise further stimulates feel-good neurotransmitters that alleviate chronic anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, research shows that exercise can often equal or exceed the results of psychotherapy.
To make sure your body has all the ingredients to make a plentiful supply of feel-good neurotransmitters and pain-relieving endorphins, you need to feed your brain. The ingredients your body needs to produce many feel-good neurotransmitters are amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Be sure to eat a diet rich in high-quality protein, such as organic grass-fed beef, turkey, chicken, and eggs free of antibiotics and hormones, wild-caught cold-water fish like salmon and cod, rich in omega-3 fatty acids , all provide your brain and body with the necessary ingredients to feel good, heal well, and love well.
Common bad habits that affect our emotional health and our sense of well-being are faulty postures such as ‘technological neck’. Our constantly flexed cervical spines, looking down all day at our smartphones and tablets, as well as long hours sitting slumped in front of our computers and driver’s seats set the stage for chronic pain. This continual rounding of our shoulders and inversion of the curve of our neck interferes with your spinal cord, creating abnormal tension, short-circuiting nerve supply and endorphin production, restricting cerebrospinal fluid flow, and decreasing the neurotransmitter dopamine reward. vital to feel good. The top four vertebrae in your neck must move correctly for your body to produce enough endorphins to feel good. Faulty posture and repetitive neck flexion turn off these vital pain-relieving endorphins, resulting in increased pain, irritability, and disability, all very common in fibromyalgia patients and whiplash accident patients. Targeted chiropractic care that incorporates posture training and spinal shaping can do wonders to alleviate chronic head and neck pain by removing tension from the spinal cord, thereby increasing the release of dopamine and endorphins, once again restoring the sense of well-being and emotional health of the brain. again. Make life’s journey worthwhile, love and live your ideal 100-year-old lifestyle today.