How Improving Your Mental Health Will Help Your Overall Physical Health
Healthline.com / January 24, 2021
It’s not all in your head. Not even close.
Psychological health directly affects heart health, risk of stroke, and other conditions thought to be directly attributable to other external forces, according to a new scientific statement recently published in the journal Circulation.
“A person’s mind, heart, and body are all interconnected and interdependent in what can be termed ‘the mind-heart-body connection,’” said Dr. Glenn N. Levine, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas and chair of the writing committee for the statement. “Research has clearly demonstrated that negative psychological factors, personality traits, and mental health disorders can negatively impact cardiovascular health.”
“On the other hand, studies have found positive psychological attributes are associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality,” Levine told Healthline.
The statement associates negative psychological health conditions such as depression, chronic stress, anxiety, anger, and pessimism with potentially harmful biological responses such as heartbeat irregularities, digestive complaints, increased blood pressure, inflammation, and reduced blood flow to the heart.
It also states that negative psychological factors linked to smoking and an unhealthy diet also increase heart problems and stroke risk.