Cozy Comfort, Hygge, and Heart Health – How They Are All Connected!
The leaves are changing colour and making that beautiful crunch sound beneath your feet.
The smell of cinnamon and pumpkin follow you everywhere you go.
The warmth of soft socks and cozy blankets welcome you in the evenings after a long day.
…There is no wonder why the season of fall is one that so many look forward to!
It is these feelings of comfort, or ‘hygge’, that we crave on cool autumn days. But what does coziness have to do with your heart? Take a look at how ‘cozy’ is something you should make time for this season and how it can benefit your blood-pumper!
Mental Health and Cozy Comfort
“In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.” – Canadian Mental Health Association
With so many Canadians suffering from mental health issues it is crucial that we take time to address our needs and work towards wellness. One of the ways to provide relief from mental health issues is through reducing stress. Whether the stress stems from your job, your financial situation, relationships, or other causes – reducing your stress levels even for a moment can have a huge impact on your wellbeing. How do you reduce your stress? By getting cozy, taking some time to meditate, and relaxing your mind, body, and soul!
The Heart Impact of Hygge
The Norwegian concept of Hygge has become very ‘trendy’ lately, but unlike some fads, this one is a great thing. Hygge focuses on the overall sensation and mood of being comforted and cozy, something that focuses on being mindful of resting and embracing a moment of quiet. Hygge has been found to:
- Reduce anxiety
- Increase mindfulness
- Improve sleep
- Increase self-care practices
- Promote feelings of safety
- Reduce stress levels
- Improve mental health
- Boost emotional wellness
- Create feelings of satisfaction and happiness
Putting oneself in a state of calm and cozy has been found to reduce anxiety, depression, stress, and other mental health issues! But how does improving your mental health with hygge also help your heart? The less stress in your life, the less your heart has to work to keep up! Feelings of calm and comfort reduce the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body, which reduces the likelihood of heart disease, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol. Want to know more about the head and the heart? Read more on how they are connected here!
How to Get Cozy This Fall
Want to take full advantage of all the cozy things this season has to offer but not sure where to start? Take a look at the various cozy elements that truly make up a stress-free moment – a moment where you can take a deep breath, relax, and give your heart a break!
- Curl up by the fire
- Grab a HEART-HEALTHY seasonal snack (like this healthy pumpkin chai latte or these vegan pumpkin pie cups!)
- Grab a fuzzy and warm blanket
- Turn on soft lighting – twinkly lights are an added element of cozy
- Put on some wool socks or cozy slippers
- Light a candle or incense
- Pour yourself a hot cup of tea (tea is proven to have heart health benefits!)
- Turn off your phone
- Go for a fall walk in a park
- Take 3 slow, deep breaths
- Grab your favourite book or turn on your favourite movie
- Take a warm bath
Ready to get cozy and help your heart? Take advantage of the comfort the season has to offer, try out some hygge habits, and boost your heart health!
Feeling stressed all the time about work? Is your boss and job demanding energy that you just don’t have? Are you feeling like you are drowning in your office? Take a look at how your job stress might be seriously hurting your heart and what you can do about it!