The human heart is a marvelous organ that is responsible for sustaining life by pumping thousands of gallons of blood throughout the body each day. Scientists used to think it was just a pump that drove our circulation, but it has been determined that the heart also a plays a vital role in our emotional experience, directly affecting the nervous system and our brains. This heart-brain phenomenon has been studied by scientists and interestingly some think our hearts essentially do the “thinking and feeling out” of our environmental situations, and not the brain.
The heart-brain connection and relationship is described very well in THIS article:
“Recent HeartMath studies define a critical link between the heart and brain. The heart is in a constant two-way dialogue with the brain — our emotions change the signals the brain sends to the heart and the heart responds in complex ways. However, we now know that the heart sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. And the brain responds to the heart in many important ways. This research explains how the heart responds to emotional and mental reactions and why certain emotions stress the body and drain our energy. As we experience feelings like anger, frustration, anxiety and insecurity, our heart rhythm patterns become more erratic. These erratic patterns are sent to the emotional centers in the brain, which it recognizes as negative or stressful feelings. These signals create the actual feelings we experience in the heart area and the body. The erratic heart rhythms also block our ability to think clearly…. Conversely, HeartMath’s research shows that when we experience heart-felt emotions like love, care, appreciation and compassion, the heart produces a very different rhythm. In this case it is a smooth pattern that looks like gently rolling hills. Harmonious heart rhythms, which reflect positive emotions, are considered to be indicators of cardiovascular efficiency and nervous system balance. This lets the brain know that the heart feels good and often creates a gentle warm feeling in the area of the heart. Learning to shift out of stressful emotional reactions to these heartfelt emotions can have profound positive effects on the cardiovascular system and on our overall health”
The heart is actually “feeling” or experiencing emotions and is in a two way dialogue with the brain. This is why one of the Prometa Health philosophies stressed is to listen to and trust your heart. Your gut instincts or initial feelings about a situation are usually right and you should be in tune with them!
Here’s a tip: One of the best ways to generate positive emotions for a long period of time and overcome the erratic heart behavior from stress and negativity is the act of APPRECIATION!!
Recalling past memories of moments we are thankful for, as well as conscious thoughts of gratitude for the things we currently have in our lives will produce harmonious heart rhythms and create a positive state for our nervous system. Starting and ending our day with expressions of gratitude will have the same effect and not only improve emotional well-being, but promote optimal cardiovascular function.
For more research into the heart-brain connection, as well as other actionable exercises you can utilize to keep your heart rhythms in check, control stress and emotions, check out www.heartmath.org.
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