Written by Tomas

June 5, 2020

Stress is taking its toll on us and society as a whole today. It’s impact on the body, mind, emotions, and health are showing up in our day to day lives. For example, The American Institute of Stress notes that 75 to 90 percent of visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints. A Harvard study shows that people who live in a state of high anxiety are four and a half times more likely to suffer sudden cardiac death than non-anxious individuals. An international investigation reveals that people who are unable to effectively manage their stress have a 40 percent higher death rate than their nonstressed counterparts. 

Stress has become such a regular part of our lives that we’ve simply adapted to this unhealthy condition. It’s become so “normal” that some people actually think stress is good. In certain cases they may be right. It’s true, for instance, that stress can be a motivator useful in addressing a challenge. Without some stress in our lives we probably wouldn’t get as much done. Life would be a little bland and boring without challenges. Everything would be too easy and we wouldn’t push ourselves towards achieving new objectives.

However, too much stress, like the remarkable amount of stress we experience in today’s world, creates overwhelm. Your ability to create and think clearly declines; you start to have more aches and pains, fragmented thinking, and poor attitudes. Stress causes us to age rapidly and robs us of our vitality and enjoyment of life. 

You can change your response to stress!

22.Trying to develop new levels of emotional management could seem impossible but, in fact, it’s not. Fortunately, new research shows that you can stop the momentum of stress and create more inner peace, whatever your circumstances. You don’t have to succumb to ongoing stress. The key lies not in the mind alone; but, amazingly, it’s found in the HEART. Exciting new research on the heart has found that there is a way to relieve stress that both comforts you and—most importantly— transforms stress into positive feelings and creative energy!

The heart actually sends its commands to the brain and the rest of the body. These messages from the heart reflect the emotions you are feeling and have a direct impact on how your brain functions. When you experience stress, the heart’s messages become erratic or incoherent, causing the brain to become less active, restricting your ability to think clearly while fueling the stress response. On the other hand, if you’re feeling positive emotions like appreciation or care, your heart pulses in a more coherent and ordered rhythmic pattern. The heart’s messages then open the brain up, allowing you to perceive new, creative solutions.

The brain remembers these signals and creates patterns that influence your behaviors. By learning how to shift these signals from the heart through activating positive emotions, you can create new patterns that allow you to perceive life as less stressful.

Now, follow along:

  • Place your hand over your heart in the center of your chest
  • Breathe in a few deep breaths.
  • Now focus your attention on something that brings you sincere appreciation. It could be a moment, like when your young child runs up to you with a big smile and wraps his arms around your leg or an incredibly beautiful sunset creating vibrant colors in the sky.
  • Focus on the feeling of appreciation for about 20 seconds or more if you like.

Notice any changes compared to how you were feeling before you did this exercise? This is the incredible energy of the heart. This brief moment of sincere appreciation has probably changed your heart rhythms, sending stress-reducing signals to your brain. It may have even given you some intuitive perception and clarity. This is just a simple exercise and there’s more to learn, but hopefully you can get a sense of how you can release yourself from stress by using the power of the heart to regulate the emotions.

To learn more contact Tomas German-Palacios at tomas@theheartfocusedlife.com or 970-946-2036. Tomas is a HeartMath® Trainer, Coach and Heart Ambassador.  The information above is based on scientific research at the HeartMath Institute www.heartmath.org and numerous university research papers published in several scientific journals.

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