Celebrating a heart-healthy holiday this Thanksgiving starts with practicing gratitude. If you have atrial fibrillation (AFib), or abnormal heart rhythm, gratitude can be beneficial to your health and wellbeing. Read on to learn more about gratitude, stress relief and AFib.

The Link Between Gratitude and AFib

Studies have shown that competitiveness, hostility, and other stressful traits are linked to increased risk of AFib and other heart conditions. This also leads to a higher chance of death in patients with these conditions. One study found that picturing a grateful scenario led to activation of parts of the brain responsible for positive feelings. This demonstrates the connection between gratitude and positive feelings.

Why should this matter to you? Since stress can cause your AFib attacks, it is important to find ways to reduce negative feelings. Being grateful for the positive aspects of your life is a great way to improve your mental health and physical health. By finding something to be grateful for, you can feel less anxious and lead a happier and healthier life.

How Can Gratitude Benefit Heart Health?

One study followed 186 men and women who had heart failure. It found that patients who scored higher for gratitude on psychological tests were happier, slept better, and had less chronic inflammation. These findings are important for patients with AFib because depression, anxiety, poor sleep, and inflammation are linked to worse heart health. Additionally, clinical trials have found that practicing gratitude can reduce blood pressure and improve your immunity.

The happiness that comes from being grateful can also contribute to a healthy lifestyle. People who practice gratitude are more likely to exercise and eat a healthy diet, and are less likely to smoke or drink excessive amounts of alcohol. They also better adhere to medication regimens.

How Can I Practice Gratitude This Thanksgiving?

Practicing gratitude in your daily life is simple, and what better time to start than Thanksgiving? Here are a few ideas that can have lasting health benefits.

  • Keep a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is where you write down anything you are grateful for. It can be something small, like getting to wear your favorite outfit, or something big, like finding a new job. Try to list a few things every day, and stretch your mind by avoiding repetition.
  • Appreciate other people. Make a habit of telling people you appreciate them. Not only will this improve your health, but it will make them feel good too. You can even write gratitude letters to them detailing why you appreciate them.
  • Savor every moment. Even the little things in life can bring you joy, so learn to look out for those.

Take Control of Your AFib Today

If your quality of life is suffering from untreated AFib, take control today. Contact Heart Rhythm Consultants to learn more about how to manage your AFib. Our team of cardiologists have been helping patients in the Sarasota and Tampa area for more than a decade.

About Heart Rhythm Consultants, P.A.

The experienced electrophysiologists of Heart Rhythm Consultants, P.A. have been serving West Florida including Sarasota, Venice, Tampa, Port Charlotte, and Sun City Center for over 15 years. Our specialty cardiologists, or EP doctors, help patients manage their abnormal heart rhythm conditions, whether they suffer from arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation (AFib), or other irregular heartbeats. Dr. Dilip J. Mathew, Dr. Antonio Moretta, and Dr. Rajesh Malik perform arrhythmia treatments like cardiac ablation, cryoablation, and implanting pacemakers or defibrillators. Dr. Mathew has performed nearly 5,000 complex cardiac ablations. View our office locations in Sarasota and Venice, Florida.