Healthy Heart Connection
For centuries the heart has been connected with the emotions of love, gratitude and compassion. It has also been associated with courage, wisdom and spirituality. Research in the field of neurocardiology has found that not only are these feeling states experienced by the heart, but they also have a very stabilizing and beneficial effect on our total health.
Stress Creates Disordered Heart Rhythms
For many years mind-body research has focused on the effect of stress and negative emotional states upon hormonal fluctuations, immune response, heart and brain function. It has become clear that stress and negative emotion lead to disorder within the heart’s rhythms, and in the autonomic nervous system thereby affecting the rest of the body’s function in a negative way. The good news is that the opposite is also true— positive emotion leads to increased harmony, coherence and balance within these same systems.
Positive Changes with Heart Centered Techniques
Significant positive changes have been repeatedly documented in the body’s systems when techniques are used that purposefully create feelings of appreciation, gratitude and unconditional love. The voluntary triggering of these emotional states was found to increase coherence both heart rhythms and the autonomic nervous system which regulates heart rate, breathing and other vital functions.
This results in a positive effect on all psychological and physical functions. In addition, it was found that people’s perception of stress shifted in a positive direction; they developed an inner resilience that is referred be as “stress hardiness”. People became less prone to react negatively to stress and better able to actively manage and reduce unavoidable stress. That is all great news but there is more: physical performance improves, creativity is enhanced, problem solving improves and intuitive functions are enhanced.
Turning Concept to Reality
This is all excellent information! It does however require that we DO something to create these inner shifts within ourselves. Having a daily meditation practice that involves quieting the mind and body, slowing thoughts, developing the capacity to observe feelings without becoming attached all help to bring a kind of mindfulness to your day that allows you to release stress more easily in the moment and develop the resiliency that will bring you all the gifts of higher level functioning…more than worth the effort you put in for twenty minutes out of your day. (I keep reminding myself of this all the time as a motivator—it gets easier with time and practice!)
To experience a heart centered mediation click here: https://bit.ly/2Aa3UhM
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