Dr. Chauncey W. Crandall, author of Dr. Crandall’s Heart Health Report newsletter, is chief of the Cardiac Transplant Program at the world-renowned Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He practices interventional, vascular, and transplant cardiology. Dr. Crandall received his post-graduate training at Yale University School of Medicine, where he also completed three years of research in the Cardiovascular Surgery Division. Dr. Crandall regularly lectures nationally and internationally on preventive cardiology, cardiology healthcare of the elderly, healing, interventional cardiology, and heart transplants. Known as the “Christian physician,” Dr. Crandall has been heralded for his values and message of hope to all his heart patients.


Protect Your Emotional Health

Wednesday, 08 February 2012 09:57 AM

If you suffer from chronic stress, are short-tempered, or are prone to depression, you may think that it’s impossible to change. But that’s not true. I’ve seen many patients transform their emotional health.

Stress, anger, and depression are all harmful emotions that can actually damage your heart. But by following the steps I outline here, you can transform these feelings into healthy emotions and win your victory over heart disease.

Every week readers write to me about how they’ve started eating healthier and have taken my advice to walk an hour a day. They tell me about the huge difference these changes have made in their lives.

If you put the same motivation to work, you can become happier and more relaxed, and reduce your stress. But you may have to make some tough choices.

Eat a heart-healthy diet. When you’re under stress, the first thing that usually goes out the window is eating right. People who are under stress tend to fill up on fatty fast food instead of fixing themselves healthy, home-cooked meals. Follow the whole foods, plant-based diet that I recommend, and stock your pantry with fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and rich sources of protein like legumes, fish, and turkey.

Exercise regularly. Exercise is a proven stressbuster and mood elevator. Commit yourself to walking an hour a day. You’ll feel happier and protect your heart in the long run.

Review your work habits. Is there work you could delegate? Are you taking on too much of a workload? Are there ways you could streamline your job? Taking the stress out of work is an important step.

Live more simply. The recent economic crunch led to a lot of streamlining and many of us are living more simply than before. Cooking and eating at home, instead of going out to a restaurant, is a simple habit that saves money and is heart healthy.

Rediscover old interests or cultivate new ones. Did you used to play bridge or paint? Go birdwatching or enjoy photography? Rediscovering an old interest, or cultivating a new one, is an excellent way to relieve stress.

Explore your religious community. No matter what your religious denomination is, your local church or synagogue is an excellent way to find support. Have you ever heard the term “social isolation”? That’s just a fancy sociological term for loneliness, which is also linked to elevated heart attack risk. By getting involved with your local church or religious community, you can find the excellent tools to help center your life.

Remember, when you think of maintaining the health of your heart, don’t neglect your emotional health.

© HealthDay

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