WellEM, February 6, 2022
Hello to all,
February 4th was "Wear red to work day", in order to promote awareness of the importance of heart health. February 14th is Valentine's Day. A day to celebrate love. In a month that focuses on our hearts, at a time when many of us are burnt out, I want to talk about the heart-brain connection. We think of our brain as the CEO of our body functions, but if the truth is told, our heart sends many more signals to our brain, than our brain sends to our heart. These signals can affect the brain in a positive or negative way by stimulating emotional pathways in the brain. In times of stress, the signals inhibit cognitive functioning. In other words, we can't think clearly, remember things, learn something new or reason. The flip side of that is when the heart sends positive signals to the brain, we have improved attention, perception, memory and problem- solving skills. So, in a month that celebrates our hearts, embrace a wellness activity that helps stimulate positive emotions. Mindfulness has been shown to help grow these areas of our brain.
Exercise improves our cardiac functioning and produces endorphins, or "feel good" hormones.
Whatever your activity is, make sure to make it part of your every day and keep those heart signals going strong!
Stay safe. Have a great week!
Dr. Heidi Levine
Picture credit: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-protect-yourself-against-heart-and-vascular-disease/