‘A laugh is an external sign of inner balance, while a gloomy face is the sign of gloom in the spirit.’ (Zen)
I have become very passionate about the power of the heart and this magical thing called heart intelligence. You are probably familiar with the term ‘follow your heart’ or ‘go with your gut’…and yes, it’s that …and so much more. Tapping into your heart intelligence will enhance your self-awareness, increase your clarity and intuition, boost your vitality and energy, lower stress and help your overall performance and well-being. Interested in learning more?
How do you activate your heart intelligence?
Let’s get a little science-y for a minute. First, it’s important to understand what negative emotions like insecurity, anger, fear, judgment and blame do to us. They throw our nervous systems out of balance and actually increase the activity of our sympathetic nervous system, which speeds heart rate, constricts blood vessels and stimulates the release of stress hormones. This creates actual heart rhythms that are out of balance and very disordered. In short, negative emotions create stress and imbalance for us both mentally and physically. Being in stress mode is not positive, and not pretty, inside or out!
However, positive emotions like joy, empathy, appreciation, forgiveness, gratefulness, care and love have a remarkable impact on our mental and physical wellbeing. They actually increase the activity of our parasympathetic nervous system, which slows heart rate and relaxes the body’s inner systems and produces smooth, harmonious heart rhythms. In short, positive emotions create less stress, more clarity and a sense of peace and balance for us both mentally and physically. From this place we can be more creative and hold a positive perspective longer. We feel more fulfilled, more connected and more creative which impacts who we are at home and at work. Boom!
Heart Activation Tip #1
Here’s a fun way to activate your heart intelligence and something I’ve been working on with my kids. We practice filling our “Heart-Bank”by focusing on positive thoughts and feelings, which adds energy to our system. If we share a kind word, or find an opportunity for a gesture of thoughtfulness or an act of forgiveness, it will literally translate into an energy ‘asset’ in our Heart-Bank. Our energy levels are tied to emotions! On the flip side, negative thoughts and feelings, especially judgement or anger towards ourselves or others, will create an energy ‘deficit’ in your Heart-Bank. Start noticing your Heart-Bank in action and make more positive moment to moment choices to keep it full. What will you do with your extra positive energy?
Heart Activation Tip #2
Can you spare A FEW MINUTES A DAY to connect with positive heart feelings? A short heart meditation each day, even if it’s 1-5 minutes at a time, will create a lasting impact.
Simply ‘jump into your body’ and breathe more deeply (when your mind is racing, your breath gets shallow, and the reverse is true too).
Bring your attention towards the space around your heart. As you breathe, imagine that you are breathing through your heart to bring more attention and space to that area and bring your heart and mind into a more neutral state which is called heart and mind coherence.
Recall a positive heart feeling – maybe the face of a person you want to send gratefulness, love, empathy or forgiveness to. Really feel that feeling in your heart (this is not a thinking exercise!). Once you start creating positive emotions, try to operate from THAT place, and you will literally jump out of any negative thought loops and into the present, which will start to create a more positive future. The first time I did this was in a mediation led by Jesse Israel, who was just included on the Forbes next 1000 list. It’s a real thing.
Heart Activation Tip #3
Lastly, mind the energy of your words. The negative voice you use to talk to yourself, to shame yourself into working out or stressing yourself out in order to perform is tapping out your Heart-Bank…try a more compassionate voice. Again, emotions impact your energy level! What’s the most compassionate thing you could say to yourself right now? Here’s the one-liner that seems to work wonders in the Ross House:
I love you.
When you hear that, especially in a tense moment, you go straight from head to heart. This is the sweet spot where you move from your reactive self (head) to your real self (heart). Unlike IQ, Heart-Intelligence can change and strengthen over time with practice! Want to learn more about the concepts in this newsletter? Check out The HeartMath Solution by Doc Childre & Howard Martin...your heart will be happy you did!
If you regularly practice attuning to the heart, you will:
Lessen your Reaction to Stress
Have Greater Access to Intelligence & Intuition
Transfer your Energy from Problems to Possibilities