July 15, 2024


Sapiens Digital

Heart Health: Our Emotional Heart Is Determined by a Healthy Emotional Brain!

3 min read

“Love doesn’t make the world go ’round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” Franklin Jones

The death rate in San Diego is still 100% with cardiovascular heart disease still leading the way for our untimely demise. With the month of February being the National Heart Health Awareness Month, much is written on diet and exercise for cardiovascular health, but little is written about how our heart of love: our emotional heart, is controlled by our emotional brain for healthy love relationships.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, emotional health starts in the brain, in an area called the Limbic System, a.k.a. the seat of emotion. This area of the brain is where all the feel good chemicals called neurotransmitters are made, such as serotonin and dopamine. A Brain Reward Cascade occurs with the chemical reward being dopamine release. Dopamine is the feel good chemical that gives us a sense of well -being, is anti-anxiety and anti-depressive. If dopamine is in short supply, one often feels anxious, more depressed, difficulty focusing and easily distracted. Those that are dopamine deficient often seek ways to stimulate or self-medicate with sugar, caffeine, alcohol or drugs, all artificially stimulating 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 your emotional heart health.

Regular exercise, especially high intensity interval training promotes your emotional heart health as well. Adding intensity to your regular cardio workout (burst training on treadmill, elliptical, bike, run, swim, etc.) stimulates a healthy flow of feel good neurotransmitters (dopamine) and pain relieving endorphins (endogenous morphine). In addition, adding weight training with your aerobic exercise stimulates even more feel good neurotransmitters that mitigate chronic anxiety, stress and depression. In fact research shows that exercise can often match or surpass psychotherapy results.

To make sure your body has all the ingredients to make an abundant supply of feel good neurotransmitters and pain relieving endorphins you must feed your brain. The ingredients your body needs to make plenty of feel-good neurotransmitters are amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Making sure you’re eating a diet rich in high quality protein such as organic grass fed beef, antibiotic and hormone free turkey, chicken and eggs, wild 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 good and love well.

Common bad habits that affect our emotional health and sense of well-being are faulty postures such as ‘tech-neck’. Our constantly flexed cervical spines, looking down all day at our smart phones and tablets as well as the long hours sitting slumped in front of our computers and driver seats set the stage for chronic pain. This continuous rounding of our shoulders and reversing of our neck curve interferes with your spinal cord, creating abnormal tension, short circuiting nerve supply and endorphin production, restricting cerebral spinal fluid flow and diminishing vital feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine reward. The top four vertebrae in your neck must move properly for your body to produce a sufficient amount of feel-good endorphins. Faulty posture and repetitive flexion of the neck shuts down these vital pain relieving endorphins resulting in increased pain, irritably and disability, very common in fibromyalgia sufferers and past whiplash accident patients. Specific chiropractic care that incorporates posture training and spinal molding can do wonders for relieving chronic pain in the head and neck by taking tension off of the spinal cord, which increases dopamine and endorphin release, restoring a sense of well-being and emotional brain health once again. Make the ride of life worthwhile, chose to love and live your ideal 100 Year Lifestyle today.

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