The following article is a guest post.
Is a misconception about productivity undermining your ability to not just perform at your best, but to actually enjoy your work and find satisfaction in life?
Perpetual busyness, constant brainstorming, long hours… People often seem to cobble together a mold of what success should look like based on the idea that “hard work pays off.” But as time goes on, you may mistake suffering for success.
Steve Jobs once said,
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. “
If work is a matter of the heart for you, make sure that your heart is strong and able to make the right decisions that put you on a path of purpose and happiness.
Physical Heart Health
Physically exercising your heart very literally means keeping the heart muscle in your chest strong and pumping. Try these researched-backed ways of boosting your own heart health:
Replace one serving of meat with a plant-based protein.
With this you can substantially reduce your risk of cardiovascular-related death.
A 2015 report found that meat-eaters who replaced just 3% of their total calories with plant proteins (i.e. beans, nuts, seeds) decreased their chances of dying from heart disease by 12%!
Get serious about exercise.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in long workdays and skip regular exercise, but exercise has been, is, and always will be the ticket to lowering risk for most diseases, including cardiovascular disease. The CDC as well as the American College of Sports Medicine recommend getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity daily to exercise the heart and other muscles as well as strengthen the lungs and bones. Sidelined by a running injury like IT band syndrome? Learn more. Cross-train with low-impact activities like rowing, cycling, or hiking.
Be smart about getting enough quality sleep.
Your chances of developing heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and obesity increase with sleep deprivation.
In addition, not getting enough quality sleep can sour your mood, make you less productive, and potentially even lead to cognitive decline down the line.
Ditch the bad habits you claim to have because of work.
Stress (or social) smoking, eating processed junk food, not drinking enough water. All of these bad habits, which result in part from working long hours in an office environment, are extremely detrimental to your heart health and overall wellbeing. Smoking by itself is the most important risk factor for heart disease for young people under 50.
The emotional wellness which stems from your feelings of positivity, happiness, and purpose are often wrapped up in thoughts of the proverbial “heart”.
It’s the thing which breaks when a relationship abruptly ends or when a loved one passes away. As well as the thing that fills and grows when something exciting and happy occurs.
Don’t miss these go-to tips for exercising your emotional heart:
Take a walk outside and you can boost both your happiness levels as well as attentiveness.
A recent study found that participants who spent time walking through lush, green nature were less likely to brood, or ruminate on negative thoughts and feelings, versus those who walked through a bustling urban environment.
Take a vacation and literally lower your chances of developing heart disease.
Not only have multiple studies shown that prioritizing yearly vacations helps lower stress levels and promotes better sleep, but it is good for your heart as well.
Compared to men who took at least a week’s vacation each year, one study showed that those who skipped vacation for 5 years were 30% more likely to have a heart attack.
Give back in some way to help others,
That could be either by volunteering in person or donating money to a cause you care about.
Legendary radio host Bernard Meltzer once said, “There is no better exercise for your heart, than reaching down and helping to lift someone up.”
Helping others gives you what some call the “warm fuzzies,” which may just be a descriptive way of describing how it makes your heart feel full and good.
Matters of the heart – who knew that work would fall under this umbrella. When it comes to setting goals, finding motivation, and achieving your dreams, always remember to keep exercising it for better heart health.