Mind-body healing continues to stump, inspire and defy modern science. Everyday individuals regularly overcome unforeseeable odds healing themselves of deathly cancers, heart diseases and sudden illnesses.
While leading a healthy life is no longer sufficiently arrived at by simply “eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away.” Intelligent holistic practices such as meditation, breathwork and yoga are readily available to help us prevent disease, relieve stress and feel wholesome. Why then, I wonder, do so many people still suffer from such preventable diseases like cardiovascular disease, the number one killer in North America?
More people, in the U.S., die from heart disease than any other disease on any given day. “Imagine that two jumbo 747 jet airplanes full of passengers crashed every day with no survivors. That’s the number of people who die of heart disease daily in the United States, “ states Dr. Paul Pearsall author of The Heart’s Code.
This weeks post takes a look at 3 key mind-body healing approaches that can help you get on the right track with your heart health.
1. Mind Over Matter. The power of the mind is integral in healing the body. Dean Ornish, a well-known research cardiologist said, “I think mind is where heart disease begins for many people.” Negative mental states affect the body’s biochemistry leading to health breakdowns. Focus on positive thoughts, develop healthy self-talk and learn how to speak positively. Read optimistic literature, take a diet from negative media, refrain from gossip and choose conversations that uplift you. Your mind matters in your healing.
2. Be “Us” Focused. Cardiac coach and PhD, Larry Scherwitz, highlights research that shows a link between personalities who are overly “I” focused (a.k.a overly self-involved individuals) and heart disease. Individuals who are pushy and aggressive also scored highly in the areas of blood pressure, depression and anxiety (all key factors contributing to heart disease). If you catch yourself regularly self-referencing yourself “I,” “me,” and “mine” or taking everything personally you may want to make some changes. Learn how to focus outward. Develop loving relationships with nature, pets and plants. Donate or volunteer your time and talents. Focus on collaborative projects rather than competitive works. Accept your limitations, weakness and vulnerabilities. Work to build community around you and remember the whole is stronger than the individual.
3. Develop Emotional Intelligence. Happiness, gratitude and joy are potent medicines. The reflexive effect of positive emotional states, on the body, can be seen through biological heart rate variance. Heart rate variability (HRV) measures the space in between the heartbeats and its variance. The pattern of variability is affected by stressful emotions. Anger, frustration and rage send the HRV into chaotic patterns leading to biochemical states of disorder whereas peace, love and appreciation bring HRV into states of order and harmony. Practice creating positive emotional states by bringing to mind memories and images of people, places and/or things, which make you feel genuinely happy. Imagine these feelings of happiness permeating your whole body. Feel, see and sense each cell receiving a healing from your potent positive emotional states. Practice daily.