Happiness for Your Heart’s Sake

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For years now, researchers have been finding connections between happiness and health. People who find ways to manage their stress and live happier lives tend to live longer and encounter fewer health problems. That’s certainly true when it comes to folks with heart conditions, according to practitioners of a new field called cardiac psychology. They contend that managing your emotional well-being can help maintain a healthy heart in many ways. For example, stress can actually reduce the amount of oxygen going to your heart. Anger can cause irregular heartbeats that could be dangerous for some people. Anxiety and depression also correlate with heart attacks. It’s crucial for anyone with heart conditions, or at high risk of developing one, to seek professional help for stress, anxiety, depression, excessive worry or bouts of anger that overwhelm your life. Physical exercise and relaxation techniques also help, experts say. The bottom line: emotional well-being is a matter of the head and the heart – and it impacts them both.

Read more from Harvard Medical School.

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