February has been designated as American Heart Month. This is a national campaign dedicated to pointing people towards a healthier lifestyle to improve cardiovascular disease. Generally when people think of heart health they also think about cholesterol. Cholesterol is an essential body chemical, mostly made in the liver. It is used as a raw material to make pituitary, adrenal and sex hormones. When under stress, the body makes more cholesterol to meet an increased need for adrenal/stress hormones. Cholesterol is one of the components of arterial plaque that can build in blood vessels and cut off blood flow. Often this results in heart attack or stroke.
Stress is often hard to avoid. Take the case of Myra Robin, an independent business owner. When her mom developed dementia, she came to live in. That changed Myra’s life as her days became consumed with caregiving, doctor visits, pharmacy runs and insurance calls. Watching her mother deteriorate was physically, emotionally and financially draining. Lifestyle habits weren’t good to begin with but now with less time they got worse and she lost her business. It wasn’t long before she developed severe problems, entered ER only to go into cardiac arrest. With medical intervention, the passing of her mom and major lifestyle changes, she is doing much better.
The Bible tells us to guard our heart because it is the wellspring of life. It also says a heart at peace gives life to the body and a cheerful heart is good medicine. From this we learn that taking care of our heart is important and peace and cheer are good for it. Jesus had the ultimate solution to heart health when he said not to let your hearts be troubled but to trust in God and also in Him. Your heart can have peace in the midst of adverse circumstances when you trust Jesus to carry your load. Are you carrying your burdens alone? Isn’t it time to give them to Jesus?
What causes you stress? Send us a comment. We’d like to hear about it!