The broken heart, it has been written about in stories, plays, and song. Most of the time we can relate to our own experiences of ended relationships; that wrenching feeling in our heart that seems unbearable. According to recent scientific developments we should feel lucky that we survived.
Modern medicine taught us that the heart is little more than a pump which makes blood circulate throughout our body. Yet we still wonder why we feel our heart rate increase at the sight of someone we love. We think that our emotions are at work, but scientists are now admitting that it may be the other way around, that our heart has intelligence; that the electromagnetic power of the heart is stronger than the brain.
“The heart is a sensory organ and acts as a sophisticated information encoding and processing center that enables it to learn, remember, and make independent functional decisions. Perhaps we are just now catching up to the wisdom that came from ancient philosophies and even the Bible. The heart directs the mind; and dying of a broken heart is a reality. It turns out that sayings such as, Follow Your Heart, Heart Sick, Heart Ache, having a lot of Heart, even Hearty are more meaningful than we thought.
The institute of Heart Math which studies the links between the heart and the mind has revealed that the heart’s complex nervous system qualifies it as a distinct brain on it’s own right. This “discovery” is made even more ironic because the Egyptians, among other societies, believed the heart to be what directed the body and soul. They would preserve the heart for the afterlife while discarding the brain as a useless organ.
Numerous studies have shown the connection between negative emotional states and cardiovascular health. And, according to a recent publication a positive state of mind may be the key to reducing heart attacks, and that the absence of the negative isn’t the same as the presence of the positive. Well Duh. So, are we finally catching up to where we started? In 2012 the first International Conference on the Heart & Brain was designed to consolidate the hybrid field of nuerocardiology or cardionuerology where strokologists taught cardiologists about the brain and nuerologists about the heart. Perhaps now medicine will be more amenable to looking at the person as a whole and not as separate organs.
Of course metaphysics has been preaching about the Heart-Mind connection for a long time and many practices such as Yoga and meditation are key in our utilizing such a connection.
I came across a simple exercise to access the “inner intelligence” of the heart so I will share it here and hope that our hearts will lead us in the right direction, since our heads haven’t done such a great job.
1. Heart Focus
Shift your attention to the area of the heart, or the center of your chest.
If you don’t understand how, try this: Focus on your right big toe and wiggle it. Now focus on your right elbow. Now gently focus in the center of your chest, the area of your heart. If you lose focus, just keep shifting your attention back to the area of your heart. Now you’re ready for the next step, Heart Breathing.
2. Heart Breathing
Breathe slow and deeply. Imagine the air entering and leaving through the heart area, or the center of your chest.
Heart Breathing helps you begin to get in sync and draws the energy out of the head, where negative thoughts and feelings are amplified. This helps neutralize stressful feelings. If it’s hard to disengage from stressful feelings, don’t worry. Just really wanting to disengage can help you release a lot of emotional energy.
3. Heart Feeling
Remember a time when you felt good inside, and try to re-experience that feeling. Focus on this good feeling as you continue to breathe through the area of your heart. (This could be a feeling of appreciation toward a special person or a pet, a place you enjoy, or an activity that was fun.)
This is the key step to getting and staying in sync. Many people find that when they experience positive feelings like care, love, or appreciation while breathing through the heart area, they immediately feel and think better. Holding a positive feeling makes it easier to stay in sync for longer periods of time, so that it becomes easier to remain calm and balanced even in tough times.
With the Quick Coherence technique, it takes only a minute to get in sync and reduce stress right in the moment. It takes some practice, but it’s way worth it.
Also: You can take this exercise a step further. Once your mind and heart feel in sync, ask your heart any question on your mind. Continue focusing on your heart until it reveals the answer to you. You can trust what the heart reveals- you will know that you can trust the answer because you will feel at peace with it.