Veterans: take care of your heart – Here are great keys to good heart health

Veterans: take care of your heart – Here are great keys to good heart health

Healthy eating and exercise are key to good heart health, but reducing anxiety and stress is good for the heart, too. If you’re struggling with stress from anger or restless nights, VA has tools and training to help you.

For example, VA’s free online course, Anger & Irritability Management Skills (AIMS), is a self-help program for Veterans that you can do at your own pace. If you’re not sure if the AIMS web program can work for you, first take this simple “yes” or “no” 2-minute quiz.

Here’s what you can learn from AIMS:

  • A bad temper is not a permanent personality trait. Change is possible.
  • How to control your reactions and get along better with others.
  • Deep breathing skills that can help you calm down.
  • A better understanding of what triggers your anger.

Did you know that a lack of sleep can also have a negative effect on your heart health? Not getting enough sleep can lead to higher blood pressure and risk of heart disease.​ If you you’re having trouble sleeping, VA offers another self-help course called Path to Better Sleep.

This program offers tools that can help you form healthier sleep habits and improve your sleep quality.

The path to better sleep:

  • If you need some simple tips improve your sleep, check out Sleep 101.
  • To figure out what your sleep problems can mean, use Sleep Check-up.
  • If you know you have insomnia, Path to Better Sleep has a CBT-i course.
  • To log your rest activity, use VA’s Sleep Diary.
  • If you’re struggling with Sleep Apnea, VA offers a new resource.

Don’t take your heart for granted. Check out these resources to help you stay heart healthy. And contact your VA health care provider for assistance with your physical and mental health needs.


Dr. Carolyn Greene is the national manager of Web-Based Self-Help for VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

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