Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: Mental Health and Your Heart

Sponsored Content: Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital

We’ve known for years that your mental health and well-being can affect your heart. Recently, through the pandemic, that’s rung true.

“Certainly, the COVID pandemic I think has been difficult on all of us, and certainly as stress levels rise you are more likely to see things,” said Dr. Tim Williams, a cardiologist at Cardiovascular Associates of Charlottesville.

And, it’s not just one thing that can lead to problems.

“Stress, anxiety, loneliness, formal depression all can lead to impairment of sleep and just the way in general our bodies run,” said Dr. Williams.

With the difficult times people have faced lately, it’s extra important for everyone to be mindful of heart health. While Fit Bits and wearable devices are a good start to monitoring, there’s no substitution for an official check-up.

“If you think you aren’t doing well, we always say see someone sooner rather than later,” said Dr. Williams. “Really the best way to figure out what might be going on is having an EKG while it’s happening.”

Finally, although it can be difficult, if you can turn negative energy into positive actions, it’s always a plus.

“If you’re stressed, consider using that energy, and instead of making it negative, consider making it positive, so going for a walk, doing some meditation some prayer or some mindfulness exercises to make it work for you,” said Dr. Williams.

For more information on this topic, please call 1-800-SENTARA.

If you have a question about your health, email healthquestions@nbc29.com.