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February the heart of the matter

Posted on February 26, 2014 by Taber Times

Not only is February the month for those in love, it is also Heart Month and volunteers from the Heart and Stroke Foundation are out and about canvassing throughout Canada to raise awareness and to raise funds for research. It is a good time to examine your lifestyle and make some changes, if need be. Reduce stress, get more exercise, eat a healthy diet and be proactive in regards to heart health. The heart has always been the topic of poems, ballads, theatrical pursuits, stories and health issues. From Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet to 1980s glam rockers Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” to Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” to the zombie rom-com “Warm Bodies” to high blood pressure from work or home related stress — the heart is a mysterious organ but should be nurtured.

Love, indeed has been the cause of many stress related health problems. The lack thereof or going above and beyond to the point of stress overload to create a prosperous relationship. Love is a many splendored thing, love is a battlefield and love can conquer all  — all expressions tugging on the proverbial heartstrings. Don’t go breaking my heart, my heart is an open book and the unfortunate, my heart will go on — cater to feelings, deeply seeded or fresh as a dozen long-stemmed roses.

A heart is fragile. It needs tender loving care. Consume less salt, walk to work instead of taking the bus, play a game of tag with the kids, eat a healthy meal on a date with a loved one, love and be loved. To be loved is the greatest feeling in the world, next to loving someone — whether it’s a significant other, a child, a parent or grandparent or favourite band, TV show, movie, sports team, store or food.

Sadly, a broken heart hurts. Sometimes, there is no cure for a heartache brought on by a lost love or passing of a loved one. But if the heart isn’t taken care of properly how can it do its job. For one, keeping one alive and secondly, allowing a tin man to feel and not be just an empty shell or man made machine. There are ways to help your heart heal or become healthier.

Talk to someone regarding hurt feelings such as a counsellor, seek medical advice if stressed or feel as though you are having actual troubled heart conditions, nip stress in the bud by alleviating the things in your life that cause you nothing but hassles, have an apple or orange instead of a chocolate bar or bag of chips, eat only one plate of dinner as opposed to going back for seconds, take the family dog out for a nightly walk, see a doctor for regular check ups, take a break and do the things in life you love doing or spend time with the ones you love. Most importantly, make time for yourself. Self-love is super important and so often we forget to make room in our hearts for yours truly.

Empty hearts are often filled with religion or spiritual awakenings, finding a soul mate, buying a puppy, giving birth, doing something that offers satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment or by leading a healthy life. Create a loving and nourishing environment to live in. Your heart will thank you and in turn will give you the gift of years of happiness and joy with those loved and the ones loving you.

It is up to all Canadians to make everyday Heart Day. A celebration of being alive and living another day. Seize the day and make it the best yet. Laugh. Check out ways to be healthier and implement changes for your betterment — it’s like giving your heart a hug.

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