In Your Health Destiny: How to Unlock Your Natural Ability to Overcome Illness, Feel Better, and Live Longer an internist and clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School fuses Eastern practices with cutting edge Western medicine to help you connect body and mind to transform your health today and tomorrow.
How to power up your heart
In all wisdom traditions, the key to a vibrant and healthy life is keeping the heart ‘open’ to love and staying connected to others, one’s spirit or soul, and the wonders or source of the universe, which some refer to as God, the Divine, or the Source. As love fills our hearts, we become stronger in mind, and body, as the life force can now flow through our vessels and our hearts, which are open to connect to the infinite possibilities of life.
As you learn more about how to POWER up your heart, you therefore want to keep in mind the theme of harmony, asking yourself such questions as:
- How well do I both give and receive?
- How well do I manage my energy? Do I give myself time to rest, so that I can move forward full force?
- How open or closed am I to new ideas, people or experienced?
- Do I trust love?
- Do I share my thoughts and ideas with others, or do I tend to keep things to myself?
- Do I have a tendency to feel connected or disconnected to others or the world around me?
Regulating rest and movement
Moving your body
Your heart needs movement. Exercise helps keep your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol down, while helping your mood stay up.
Your goal is to accomplish about two and a half hours of moderate exercise or seventy-five minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Moderate exercise can include brisk walking for twenty-plus minutes a day.
Loving lifestyle choices
The heart enjoys being nurtured. You can do so by ensuring you give it time to rest. Get adequate sleep, and even consider a regular meditation practice, which will being your stress response down, along with adrenalin and cortisol levels. Taking breaks throughout the day to walk out in nature, do some deep breathing, or socialize with a friend all a happy heart foth make. You need a quiet time in your very busy life to rest and recondition your heart.
Learning to give and receive, staying open and not closed
Connecting with others
Studies have shown an association between heart disease and a lack of social support or social isolation. We certainly know that social support plays an important role in how you react and handle stress, which may be one explanation for why folks do better when they have love and support.
Support comes in many forms. It enables you to feel less alone and overwhelmed and literally gives you the actual help you need. Support can be emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, or informational.
Gratitud, Compassion, and Generosity
Acts of gratitude, compassion, and generosity all stem from an open heart, from a mind-set or belief that you have so much already that your want to give and share.
Studies in fact show that individuals who practice gratitude have stronger immune systems, more joy, and more positive emotions and attitudes and feel less lonely. Science also shows that generosity, or helping others, buffers stress and lowers mortality. It seems also that when you show more compassion, including to yourself, you just might live longer.
Compassion toward yourself
Most of us live in a constant state of comparing ourselves to tohers, to our own expectations, or to the expectations of others and labeling ourselves as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. I encourage you now to throw away all labels and being to simply appreciate and love yourself as who you are. In other words, practice self-compassion.
Self-compassion enables individuals to accept who they are and to view their circumstances as manageable. Catch yourself when you put yourself or someone else down and instead remember you are a human being who is living, learning, and loving every day.
In my opinion, there is often no better remedy for maintaining a healthy heart than laughter and the ability to fully enjoy life. The research is inconclusive as to why laughter is so good for you.
Some studies have pointed to blood cells becoming less sticky; others, to improvement in blood flow. But you know what I say to that? Who cares? Laughter feels good, and it is usually social, so other people are feeling good with you. You can feel your own heart opening just by thinking of laughing. Try it–you might like it.
Complement Your Health Destiny: How to Unlock Your Natural Ability to Overcome Illness, Feel Better, and Live Longer with Compassion is natural. So why is it hard for us? If we understand compassion to be the natural sense of concern that arises when we encounter someone in need of help, then the main inhibitor of our natural compassionate instinct is fear.