Spend a few minutes on Facebook or any other social media outlet, and you’ll find an overabundant supply of warm and fuzzy affirmations to overcome stress so you can think more positively. Frankly, the avalanche of posts can be overwhelming. And stressful. In my opinion, you can’t think your way out of stress. In fact, constant stress is known to shrink the brain, which certainly can’t help the thought process. Stress also leads to an increase in anxiety and depression. On the other hand, feelings can make all the difference. What you feel matters. Energy shifters like compassion, gratitude, and love hang out in the heart.
The Institute of HearthMath, a non-profit and education organization, shares revolutionary insights about our powerful heart and its relationship to our brain.
Here are a few valuable highlights:
- The heart sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart.
- The heart emits the largest electromagnetic field of the body, 5,000 times stronger magnetically than the brain. The field can be detected away from the body in all directions.
- The electromagnetic field of the heart contains information and coding both inside and outside the body.
- Negative emotions and stress can be re-patterned by positive emotions.
To learn more about the amazing research being done, read here.
In today’s fast-paced, constant bombardment of information and stimuli, it’s easy to get tangled up in our heads rather than our hearts. Feeling stressed is currently accepted as the norm—everyone’s doing it. But there’s a high cost to constant stress. It not only negatively impacts our brains, but also our hearts and other vital functions. The Institute of HeartMath shares these shocking findings and others in Science of the Heart: Exploring the Heart in Human Performance:
“60% to 80% of primary care doctor visits are related to stress, yet only 3% of patients receive stress management help.
“Three 10-year studies concluded that emotional stress was more predictive of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease than from smoking; people who were unable to effectively manage their stress had a 40% higher death rate than nonstressed individuals.”
Finding your way into your heart on a daily basis not only helps reduce tension, but it’s good for your health and relationships.
Here are three tips to connect to your heart:
Ground your energy
When you’re in your head all the time, mental energy spins extra fast. Grounding your energy slows down the spin and makes it easier to move into your heart. The ground, mother earth, also serves as a source of support and centering energy. While grounding, focus on deep breaths to shift your energy.
Tip: Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Visualize a ball of white energy above your head, and allow it to flow through your body—down past your brain, eyes, throat, heart, stomach, reproductive organs, hips, buttocks, to the soles of your feet. Or you can see branches growing from the bottoms of your feet, deep into the center of the earth.
2. Use your senses to inspire you to move into your heart
It’s easy to get busy and distracted away from your heart. Stuff is always going on. Getting to a place of calm doesn’t happen outside of you. No one else but you can choose to travel into your heart. Connecting to something that makes you feel good and place it somewhere where you see, feel, or touch it often to remind you to connect to your heart. The more reminders the better.
Tip: Pick something that makes you smile—a love note to yourself, a picture of a dog or child, the smell of lilacs, the sound of the beach, or your favorite heartfelt song. Let technology help you out by saving an image on your smartphone or scheduling a reminder, so the reminder is part of your day.
3. 60 seconds is all you need to tap into your heart
You don’t need to sit in meditation for hours, go on a retreat to a foreign country, or hang out in downward dog all day to feel better. Just sit and be for 60 seconds with your intention and attention, and notice if you feel calm, energized, and focused.
Tip: Try HeartMath’s Quick Coherence Technique to reduce stress, tap into your creativity, intuition, and higher-level decision making.
Here’s the upside of paying attention to how you feel and connecting to your heart rather than your head: the better you feel, the more your heart and brain work harmoniously in sync together, and the more you operate from a place of clarity and balance.
Science of the Heart: Exploring the Heart in Human Performance by the HeartMath InstituteLorraine Giordano Inspired To Health www.inspiredtohealth.net firstname.lastname@example.org 201.344.6448