There are many links between an individuals emotional state and their health. This blog will focus on the heart, because the heart is a vital organ to health that most certainly is affected by our emotions. In fact in Chinese medicine, the heart is the ruler or Emperor of the body, containing it’s “Shen” or Spirit. I am not an expert by any means in Chinese medicine, however, I was informed about this from a very reliable friend and acupuncturist some years ago. It totally makes sense to me, as I have seen how my heart is affected when my emotions are flared. Just think about the phrase, “heart-sick”. If you have felt it in your life, it may elicit a physical and emotional response even now. You feel it in the heart area of the chest, and it seems to pour into every area of the body. Depression and loneliness, and even losing a love, can sure make the heart feel heavy and even painful. Anger can also transform the heart. Have you ever felt pain in your heart when your anger goes through the roof and you “see red”? Again, a phrase that displays the real life heart health affect of emotions. And positive emotions also affect the heart. Have you ever really enjoyed something or someone and said, “You make my heart sing” or “That makes my heart sing”? Again, some phrases displaying how the heart is affected by our emotions.
So how can one protect their heart from emotions contributing to decline of heart health? After years of having my heart affected by emotions, I have come up with a few exercises that I feel have helped me when I am in a situation where I know my heart is being affected.
Here they are:
1. Reach out to friends and family. These days, we may not have family close, but typically we have at least one friend who we can reach out to and talk about our loneliness, depression, or “heart sick” feeling. This may not be comfortable at first, especially if you are not one to talk about your feelings. If that is the case, sometimes just connecting with someone, getting out of the house, or having a laugh or two with a close friend will break the cycle. I am aware that is very hard to do sometimes for some people. In this case have a plan in place. Talk to one or two people you are close to when things are good, about the fact that it is hard for you to reach out when you are in pain emotionally. This way you have set the stage and felt them out as to whether they will grab your hand if you are falling. Many times a person will say in response, “I know how that can feel. You can contact me if you need support”. If they don’t, bite the bullet and ask them if they can be your person. It won’t hurt anything, and they will say yes or no, and then you will know. If they say no, don’t feel bad. It’s better to know ahead of time who can be there for you in these situations.
2. Positive affirmations about yourself and your life are vitally important. We are what we say we are and what we think we are. When you are feeling well, make a booklet of positive heart health affirmations for yourself. Add in positive life affirmations. You can have one on a page or several on a page. If you like to draw or paint as well on each page. Label the cover of your book, “Heart Health”.
If you are feeling low, depressed, angry, overly elated, or broken-hearted, grab your book and say each affirmation aloud. Some examples of affirmations are: My heart is whole and healthy. My heart works perfectly for the health of my body. I am whole and happy just as I am. My life gives me opportunities for growth. I am a perfect and beautiful being. I am healthy. These are just examples and you can find more online. You could also sit quietly with yourself and ask the Universe to give you some positive statements for your book.
3. Visualizing yourself whole, happy and healthy. This is a meditation that you can do, to keep yourself grounded, even-tempered, and with good boundaries. If you have someone in your life that you can’t stop thinking about but it is hurting you, you can visualize them as completely separate from you and not affecting you in any way. If they have specifically hurt you and it is eating away at you, you can talk to them about it without them even being there for your own piece of mind. Sit quietly, close your eyes and do not cross your arms or legs. Breathe quietly for a few moments. Picture yourself happy, whole and alone. Sit with this image for a moment. Now picture the person across the room, but they are in a glass box. They cannot reach you for any reason. You tell them what you need to, and no matter what they feel about it, they cannot come out of their glass box. You can see them, but they cannot reach you. Once you have accomplished this, notice any pain or imbalances in your body. Breathe through them. Try not to focus on what your mind creates as their reaction, because that is all it is, a creation of your mind. You are whole and happy. You have gotten what you had to say “off of your chest”, literally. You are complete and balanced. Stay with the image of yourself in your mind until you see yourself whole and happy again, and you have no bodily symptoms of emotional upheaval, sadness or anger. Breathe. Breathe again. When you have accomplished feeling relaxed, whole and healthy, visualize the person and the glass box is gone. Now you are alone, and you are still healthy, whole and happy.
We are in control of our body, mind and Spirit. That said, sometimes our emotions can run away with us due to life’s happenings and we feel it in our heart. In those times, it is my hope that you will find some peace and balance utilizing some of the exercises that I have presented. When they work for you, it will allow you to listen to your logical mind and connect it to your heart, for it’s health. For your health.
Wendy Love Edge
Take back your health!