How Can I Use the Heart-Mind Connection to Improve my Life?

heart-700141_640The research is overwhelming that the heart and the mind are linked in ways that we are only beginning to understand. Scientists now understand that the heart not only responds to emotion, but that actually plays a vital role in determining them. By recognizing and understanding the heart’s communication network with the brain, we may be able to achieve a better self-understanding than we ever thought possible.

Like many good things in our lives, the benefits if this body of knowledge come down to the issue of trusting ourselves. We use the phrase “trust your gut,” but this expression can be more accurately translated to “listen to your heart.” If the heart is indeed a functioning brain that offers us a sense of intuition or premonition, we need to learn to accept what it tells us.

Continue reading

The Good News about the Heart-Mind Connection

cliffs-509915_640What is exciting about the new discoveries of the close connection between the heart and the mind is that we can use this knowledge to improve our mental and physical health.

Many research studies have revealed that that the risk of developing heart disease is significantly increased for people who routinely experience anger or frustration. These emotions can cause stress blood vessels to constrict, blood pressure to rise, hormone levels to increase, and the immune system to weaken. If these emotions are not handled well and continue over time, they can place a serious strain on the heart.

Continue reading

Love Sick or Crazy in Love?

heart-617902_640The heart has a long history — one that is well documented in literature and song lyrics — of allowing us to do crazy things when we are in love. These episodes of “losing myself” or not “knowing what I was thinking” have a basis in the theory that the heart rules our emotions, not our rational thought. However, what scientists are discovering is that your heart – when you allow it — reveals what you truly value and who you really are.

Neurocardiologists have discovered that the heart acts independently when it connects and sends signals to the cranial brain’s areas that regulate our emotions and our perceptions — the amygdala, thalamus, and hypothalamus

Continue reading

Broken Heart Syndrome

2878746453_a17791b9ee_zYou’ve probably read about a seemingly healthy person dying soon after the death of a spouse. While it may seem to be the stuff of romantic novels, it can actually happen. Scientists believe that intense emotions such as grief can shock your body into a fatal heart condition.

A study by researchers from St. George’s University of London that was published in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that the chance of experiencing a stroke or heart attack after a partner’s death doubles within the first 30 days.

Continue reading

The Life You Deserve

chain-517545_1280The final, and most valuable, way that the heart-brain connection can influence our development towards the full life we desire to have is through the process of self-actualization. Dunlop noted that humans are programmed to stay with a familiar reality, even if that reality is one of pain and suffering. But by utilizing the principles of self-actualization, energized by a working heart-brain connection, we can completely change our lives for the better.

Abraham Maslow coined the phrase self-actualization “to describe the ongoing process of fully developing your personal potential.” His hierarchy of needs described the fundamental conditions that must be met at each stage in order for us to achieve the highest levels of existence and meaning. Simply put,
Our basic needs are physiological: food, water, sleep, sex etc. Once these needs have been satisfied, we seek safety and security. Once we feel safe, we are free to pursue love and a sense of belonging. Our next goal is for esteem and self-esteem. It is when you meet these goals that you can more fully focus on growth needs that lead to self-actualization.”

Continue reading

Heart and Brain Connection

fence-475771_1280When disconnected, our brains and our hearts work against each other, paralyzing us and keeping us from the life that we long to have. However, when our heart-brain connection is functioning properly, its influence is extensive and its power in our lives is immeasurable.

The first way that this powerful influence of the heart-brain connection can be effectively harnessed is through intention. Intention is about the “purpose and awareness with which we approach [an] occasion.” Marcia Wieder defines intention as “to have in mind a purpose of plan, to direct the mind, to aim.” In other words, intention is “influencing one’s internal and external environment in a purposeful way.” It is harnessing the power of the mind and heart together to achieve even our most impossible dreams.

Continue reading

Heart/Brain Intimate Connection

heart-268151_640The heart and brain are intimately connected in a bi-directional communication system that controls and affects our bodies and our lives. When the brain and heart are disconnected, we will experience physical, emotional, and mental consequences that can be devastating to our physical health and our overall well-being. When the heart is disconnected from the brain, it will create a variety of negative emotions; when the brain is the dysfunctional component, it will actually sabotage our efforts toward developing the life we desire to have. However, when the heart-brain connection is working effectively, our bodies and our lives become energized and empowered. We will be able to address and overcome the negative emotions and self-sabotaging behaviors that keep us bogged down. Through the power of intention, we will be enabled to create a life that we desire and deserve. Even more, we can attain our full potential through the process of self-actualization, resulting in a life of creativity, positive progress and true purpose. This is the power of the heart-brain connection.

Continue reading