by Wendy Midgley, MEd, RD, LDN, CDE and Deb Brothers-Klezmer, BSN, RN-BC, CRRN, NCTMB
“Hard words cannot touch a soft heart, but soft words can touch a hard heart. So choose carefully how you decide to speak to others.” –Mufti—
In February—the month of Valentine’s Day and American Heart month—we share our thoughts for enhancing our heart’s well-being: physically , as well as spiritually and emotionally.
The heart is a magnificent organ, vital to human and animal Life on this planet. The physical heart is an exquisite pump, circulating oxygen and nutrients to all cells. It is also a major communicator with the brain, contributing to its proper functioning. The heart can flutter; it can hurt; it can skip a beat. The heart can be monitored, scanned, and catheterized!
For centuries, the heart has been considered a seat of Love and Gratitude and of strong feeling states. Cultures all around the world frequently place one or both hands on the heart when talking about someone or something that touches them deeply. Just an image of a hand on the heart can send this message.
***Words, emotions and feelings can profoundly affect the condition of our hearts.***
Spiritual teachers discuss the heart’s constant, often quiet guidance—always there—should we choose to tune in. For some folks– the heart is their special place for tapping into Intuition, Wisdom, and deep Inner Knowing. The heart seems to have its own “mind”, its own brain.
***What does your heart tell you? Sink deeply into your heart and ask it questions regarding important matters.***
Although much is known about the heart, it also remains a Mystery in many ways! The heart is powerful beyond measure.
Those who are gifted to see “energy fields” can view “light streams” and patterns emanating from a person’s heart center–as well as from the entire body. Some of us may not see these “fields” but we often feel or sense them! Leading edge scientists have been studying “the electromagnetic fields of the heart” (illustrated in this depiction below):
http://in5d.com/the-heart-has-its-own-brain-and-consciousness/ “The Heart Has its Own Brain and Consciousness.” IMAGE by by Rollin McCraty, Ph.D., Raymond Trevor Bradley, Ph.D. and Dana Tomasino, BA
A CONTENT, COHERENT HEART
A research group called HeartMath has coined the phrase PSYCHO-PHYSIOLOGICAL COHERENCE– a state of optimal function–in regard to the heart.
***OUR EMOTIONAL STATES HAVE PROFOUND EFFECTS on HEART HEALTH. ***
Earlier CORRELATION studies have linked states of chronic anger and rage with increased incidence of heart attacks and heart disease in general.
HeartMath researchers demonstrate more specifically and scientifically how prolonged “negative emotions” can affect the heart adversely; whereas, more steady positive emotions create a more coherent heart wave rhythm.
Our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are meant to work in tandem, in dynamic fashion, balancing each other. In states of chronic anger, rage, frustration and anxiety (fear), harmony does not exist. The top graph shows a person in a state of high stress—FRUSTRATION. The bottom graph depicts a person feeling a more peaceful state–APPRECIATION.
(Note: in re: to coherence. Two peoples’ ECG graphs ( EKGs) may look very similar—but COHERENCE graphs may differ significantly–depending on the prolonged emotions being experienced. COHERENCE graphs are depicting the difference in heart wave variability re: different types of emotions.)
HeartMath’s intervention and healing tools’ focus on “the INTENTIONAL GENERATION of a HEARTFELT POSITIVE EMOTIONAL STATE. Positive emotions appear to excite the system at its natural resonant frequency and thus enable coherence to emerge and to be maintained naturally.”
***Breathing techniques can help— but KEY is the HEARTFELT POSITIVE EMOTIONAL STATE.***
The resulting PSYCHO-PHYSIOLOGICAL COHERENCE is characterized by increased order and harmony in both our psychological (mental and emotional) and physiological (bodily) processes. Our body and brain work better, we feel better, and we perform better.
How can we translate this research into DAILY CARE of the HEART? In addition to the usual diet and lifestyle recommendations–we speak to the POWER of emotions, feelings and our choice of WORDS.
HEART HEALTHY TIPS:
- Eat well, and follow an ANTI-INFLAMMATORY diet. An anti-inflammatory diet is good for the entire body. INFLAMMATION is behind a large percentage of heart disease. See our POST:
- Taking supplements such as a basic multivitamin/mineral containing all “the B’s” may be helpful. Some cardiologists find that heart patients are low in the mineral magnesium. A magnesium supplement of up to 320 mg (females) and up to 420 mg (males) per day may be recommended.
- Drink plenty of water and fluids: 7-8+ cups/day
- Exercise and move regularly.
- Practice conscious breathing for relaxation.
- Get enough rest and sleep.
- Relax in whatever ways work for you. Meditation, prayer, “getting lost” in a favorite activity.
***VERY IMPORTANT: RELEASE OLD EMOTIONAL PATTERNS that RE-PLAY and RE-PLAY. Learn what your triggers are and respond in a new way.*** Chronic stress and states of irritation and anger, rage, and fear cause the body to release increased adrenaline and cortisol–which are taxing on the heart. Get professional help with this if you need to in releasing negative emotions and patterns.
- Have FUN. EN-JOY!
- Choose POSITIVE WORDS to say to self and others. POSITIVE WORDS have a HIGHER VIBRATION and can UPLIFT us. POSITIVE WORDS can move us into HIGHER FEELING states (e.g., Peace, Love, Joy, Compassion, Gratitude) which always vibrate higher.
***Saying positive words often–With a LOVING HEART–leads to more positive emotions and feelings—with results of a happier more coherent heart rhythm. ***
***Choose to say “negative words” less often! Forgive yourself if you say them sometimes.!***
Examples of positive words include:
ALLOW, ACCEPT, AWESOME, BEAUTIFUL, BLISS, BRIGHT, CARING, COURAGE, CONTENT, EARNEST, EASE, ENJOY, FUN, FAITH, FESTIVE, GOOD, GRATITUDE, GLOW, HEART, HARMONY, HEALTHY, INSPIRATION, ILLUMINATE, INVIGORATE, JOY, JUBILANT, JUSTICE, KIND, KISS, KNOWLEDGE, LOVE, LAUGHTER, LIFE, MAGNIFICENT, MAGIC, MIRACLE, NICE, NEW, NOBLE, OPEN, OK, OPTIMISTIC, PRETTY, PURE, PASSIONATE, QUIET, QUEENFUL, QUAINT, RESTFUL, REAL, RADIANT, SOUL, SWEET, SACRED, TRUE, THANKFUL, TRANQUIL, VALIENT, VALUE, VITALITY, WHOLE, WONDER, WELCOME, XOXO, X-RAY VISION, XFACTOR, YOUTHFUL, YUMMY, YES, ZEST, ZING, ZEAL.
***How do you feel when you say these words?***
See the following link for over 1, 057 positive words!!! A-Z!:
Just looking through this list can make us feel better!! And perhaps you have a few words to add to the list!
- NURTURE HIGH FEELING STATES such as LOVE, GRATITUDE and APPRECIATION, JOY, COMPASSION, and PEACE.
“Don’t fight your negative thinking. Build a new model. Build your positive thinking by incorporating positive words into your awareness and your negative thinking will become obsolete.” –Buckminster Fuller–
Wishing you a happy, healthy, coherent heart!
The Wellness Shifter Ladies,
Deb and Wendy
- The Emotion Code: How to Release Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love and Happiness by Bradley Nelson
- Words That Matter: A Little Book of Life Lessons –The Oprah Magazine—
See our previous posts for more on the nature of the heart— and fun tidbits about chocolate and the heart on IntegratedLifestyle.wordpress.com:
- https://integratedlifestyle.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/the-nature-of-the-heart/ The Nature of the Heart
- https://integratedlifestyle.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/your-heart-and-chocolate/ Your Heart and Chocolate
ALSO check out:
- http://www.emofree.com/ Website of Gary Craig, founder of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Use EFT and TAPPING techniques to release stored emotions and pain.