The intelligence of the heart: How can you reduce the stress and anxiety?
Updated: Apr 2
What is your heart telling you right now?
Follow your heart my grandmother Josefina used to tell me as a child. If that makes you happy, do it. After several years, I found this phrase, corny, romantic and even utopian. How can I pay attention to my heart if that doesn't help me for my day to day, for my professional life, for my university studies. I need to use my mind, reason, think logically, I don't have time to pay attention to the romanticism of the heart. Does this story resonate with you?
After following my previous logic to the letter, I had achieved an excellent job, an excellent salary, my house, I traveled where I wanted, I bought what I wanted, I studied, I felt very safe; however, it was not sustainable. Life began to remind me that I was forgetting an important ingredient, the heart. The armor that I had created over many years from various personal experiences, or to protect myself, was asking to be torn down, just as the Berlin Wall did. My logical part and my emotional part needed to be integrated, and it was time to reconnect with the power of the heart. I discovered that connecting with the heart was not as romantic as I thought, my grandmother's wisdom was very valid. Sure, it helped me to learn about scientific studies, and as a result, my life was completely transformed.
Did you know that today there are many diseases that did not exist before, and that they are caused by "stress"? The number of people with high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psoriasis, rosacea, stress allergies, paranoia, anxiety, and seizures, to name a few, have arisen from higher stress than most of the population suffers.
In 2010, UNIMER released a report where it mentions that 37% of the population in Costa Rica suffers from high stress. And in 2015, in an article, it is mentioned that work stress triggers 23% of heart problems.
The Institute of Heartmath began studying cardiac coherence 30 years ago, and the results have been published by various institutions of medicine, cardiology, including universities.
It was found that the heart communicates with our body by 4 means: neurological, biochemical, biological, and energetic; and therefore it is constantly sending information to our brain. The heart produces the heart rate and when measuring heart rate variability (HRV) a direct impact was found between heart rates and emotions; noting that when HRV is uneven, the person is usually in some emotion such as frustration, will go, sadness, depression, etc.
Which also generates that high amounts of cortisol are released, and more than 1400 other biochemicals that cause some detriment to our body, impacting not only sleep, but also increasing anxiety, stress, inhibiting mental functioning, to name a few.
On the contrary, when we experience emotions such as joy, peace, compassion, appreciation, love, as examples, the opposite happens; a hormone called DHEA is released, known as the vitality hormone, and around 1400 biochemicals that help the body to regenerate, improve sleep, improve the functioning of the immune system, reduce anxiety and stress, and much more .
The Institute of Heartmath has created 7 simple and effective techniques that are used by the armed forces of the United States, by firefighters, policemen who handle high levels of stress and post traumatic stress disorder, and are also used in the medical area, of wellness and professional.
Of these 7 techniques that Heartmath teaches, I want to share one of them that if you practice it every day, at least 2-3 times a day for 3 to 5 minutes, you will begin to feel a complete change in your life over time.
Breathe deeply slower than normal, counting to 5 on each inhalation, and counting to 5 on each exhalation; and at your own pace. Do it for 3 times.
Imagine as if your heart had a nose. Yes! A big nose. Keep inhaling through your heart. Keep exhaling through your heart. Do it for 4 times.
Now you bring an emotion of appreciation, gratitude, or love to your heart. Pick an emotion, and feel that emotion in your heart, amplifying it throughout your body. Enjoy this for 1-3 minutes. And rests.
I hope it is useful to you, and that very soon you can tell us how you have experienced this technique in your life and what benefits it has brought you.