There is a two-way conversation going on between the brain and the heart that is far more complex than science had previously thought.
Most everything we do in life is tied up in heart / head integration and so listening to our heart is becoming more of a scientific reality than just a new-age phrase. This is one of those instances where science and spirituality meet.
Anyone who knows me or has consulted with me will know that I bang on about the importance of stimulating the vagus nerve and the central nervous system to produce a state of calm and the release of endorphins.
Much like the brain, our hearts are monitoring all sorts of information through its “neurites” which are very similar to the neurons in the brain. Messages sent from the heart to the brain have a profound effect on our feelings and our mental processes.
When we are in a state of increased parasympathetic activity (rest and digest ergo, feeling happy) the harmony between our heart, our nervous system and our immune system are in balance.
Couple this state with positive emotions and feelings, and you are being super-charged. This is our optimal state of well-being.
Here’s a quick and easy way to engage the heart brain connection:
Step 1: Allow your awareness to move from your mind to the area of your heart. Notice your heart beating. When you become aware that your focus shifts, just gently bring it back to your heart area.
Step 2: Slow your breathing. Breathe all the way in and breathe all the way out. Control your breath. Make it slower and deeper. Deep, slow breathing stimulates a relaxation response of the nervous system (the parasympathetic response).
Step 3: Feel a Feeling. To the best of your ability, conjure up a genuine sense of caring, appreciation, gratitude, or compassion for anything or anyone and focus on it.
These three steps create the harmony and connection between your brain and your heart which allows you to tap into your heart’s inner wisdom. As you continue to breathe and hold the focus in your heart area, you can begin to ask yourself questions. For instance, “How can I improve my life / relationship / career?” or “Am I going in the right direction in life?” “What can I do differently / better?”