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Extreme heat can impact your physical and mental health, experts provide tips

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- As the Borderland continues to deal with a triple-digit heatwave, experts explain extreme heat can significantly impact your physical and mental well-being.

According to medical experts, heat waves can exacerbate anxiety, stress and irritability. Additionally, experts explain that medication used to treat mental health disorders could impact the human body's regulatory system.

"As we feel the heat, you know? Irritability might increase; it might affect our sleep, so our mood can really shift," said Melanie Longhurst, a licensed clinical psychologist and assistant professor at Texas Tech Health El Paso.

Rocia Bickei, a licensed professional counselor, told ABC-7 that heat can also impact behavior, leading to a rise in aggression.

"We see that domestic violence incidents—anything related to anger, right? Road rage incidents, higher crime rates," Bickei said.

"More people are likely to kind of perceive things as being more aggressive, or people might be more impulsive because we're affected by the heat," said Longhurst.

She said that drinking water and staying near air conditioning are good for the body and the mind. She also suggested getting fresh air and doing regular activities.

"It's really hard to get out into green spaces, but if you're able to kind of get out into maybe a park or escape kind of these concrete trapped places that tend to feel hotter," Longhurst said.

Bickei suggested practicing mindfulness and engaging in stress management strategies.

"Breathing, doing a little bit of meditation here and there. And if all of that isn't working, then definitely reaching out and talking to a professional can, can be helpful."

Article Topic Follows: Be Mindful

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Rosemary Montañez

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