Depression hits us all from time to time and it can have a serious impact on our eating habits, our social life, and overall general well-being. Recent research has shown that depression can have negative effects on the biological functioning of your heart. Depression often roots from one’s inability to healthily manage unfortunate circumstances in their life. This inevitable overload is unmanaged stress which can lead high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, arterial damage, and even a weakened immune system. This in turn puts those who suffer from depression at a greater risk of having a heart attack.
The lack of exercise that depression tends to cause is ultimately the most harmful effect it has on the heart. An imbalance of serotonin levels in your brain brought on by a mentally (or emotionally) stressful event has been found to decrease your appetite and energy levels. In a lot of cases this leads to a serious decline in exercise. When we are depressed, some form of exercise can actually counteract the imbalance of serotonin by releasing chemicals known as endorphins which can actually counteract depression. Ultimately, serotonin imbalance has been found to make us depressed but it does not make us tired or lazy. It just makes us more susceptible to inactivity if we were not regularly active before thus proving that our mental health and the way we deal with depression is what affects our heart.
Depression is a lot like a drug in that it can infect us by intensifying pain, make us want to socially isolate ourselves, and worsen fatigue. Practicing healthy habits, not taking medications, is the best way to counteract depression and improve the health of your heart at the same time. Find an active hobby that allows you to relieve stress and gets your blood flowing. Don’t be around people who make you feel miserable but make it a point to be with those that make you happy. Depression is a bridge by which our mental stress can harm our heart. Make yourself happy and your heart will follow suit.
About the Author:
Sam Foster is a health writer with a passion for running, swimming, and cycling. When he’s not gearing up for his next Iron Man or triathlon he writes for St. Luke’s Hospital, one of the nation’s top hospitals in heart care.