Women Should Practice One Thing to Combat Cardiovascular Disease

Women Should Practice One Thing to Combat Cardiovascular Disease

It’s simple, and it feels great!

This might be a little “woo woo” for a few people. But I find it rewarding to point out small things we can do that increase our quality of life. Middle-aged women who practice self-compassion have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This is irrespective of other factors like high blood pressure, insulin resistance and cholesterol levels. These startling findings were published in the University of Pittsburg — Healthy Psychology. Research is mounting around the focus of study uncovering how stress and other factors affect cardiovascular health. However, the impact of positive psychological factors — such as self-compassion, isn’t widely recognised. We don’t practice enough self-care or know enough about it. Practising mindful activities, such as meditation, is gaining popularity amongst US adults. Stressors from work, family life and general dissatisfaction can trigger adults to manage their moods and emotions. Stress amplified during the pandemic. Research from various groups worldwide demonstrated that women were highly affected by the pandemic due to caring for children’s older relatives/parents and were often left with the responsibility to care for other adults. Nevertheless, women do compose a lot of the nursing workforce. Mindfulness and self-compassion are fantastic ways many psychologists and councillors suggest to clients to deal with chronic stress. Mindfulness is very effective for managing anxiety, mood swings, irritation and even some forms of mild depression. What effect then does mindfulness have on the body? This question was answered by compiling almost 200 women aged 45 and 67. These women were given a short questionnaire, asking them to rate their feelings of inadequacy, if they felt disappointment often with their so-called flaws — and if they granted themselves tenderness and care during life’s difficult moments. An ultrasound of their carotid arteries was also taken. The significant vessels in the neck carry blood from the heart to the brain. Scientists found that women scoring higher on self-care and compassion had thinner carotid artery walls and less plaque build-up than those with lower self-compassion. Years later, these indicators have been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases — such as heart attacks and stroke. 

Key take away

Practising mindfulness for your well-being and mental health is of crucial importance. Moving forward from the pandemic, we live in an uncertain world filled with endless disappointments, setbacks, and responsibilities — especially as nurturing women. Yet, we barely allow ourselves the gift of self-care. Self-care is crucial for our mental and physical health. It’s well worth taking the time to be kind and compassionate to ourselves for a more prosperous and full-filling life. 

Here are six small ways you can integrate some mindfulness into your life

  1. Guided meditation when you are on a lunch break or walking to work
  2. Walking during the mornings — practice self-awareness and serenity in the quiet stillness of the morning dew
  3. Take 5 minutes to breathe sincerely when under stress
  4. Take a nice long bath with some bath salts
  5. Burn essential oils
  6. Have regular massages

The following tips will help you practice self-love & spend some well-deserved time focusing on your needs. Read more about this study here. 

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