The Heart of it All: Your First Step to Maintaining a Healthy Ticker

The heart is the first organ to develop in a human being. It begins to beat in utero and beats until our last breath, never taking a vacation. At least, it’s not supposed to! It beats on…through our joys and sorrows, times of stress and relaxation, and through exercise and rest. It beats. The heart isn’t just an organ in the body pumping blood. The human heart carries our deepest feelings. Many songs, poems and prose have been written expressing the language of the heart. And when we are lost in our lives? We are advised to “follow our heart.” The heart seems to know how to awaken us to our life purpose and what gives us joy. For me, the awakening feels like my heart is dancing. It is the stirring in my chest when I connect with another person in a meaningful conversation. I feel it when I see the light in a student’s eyes as they begin to understand the power of relaxation techniques when working with patients.

The heart is at the core of our existence in so many ways. Have you ever thought about connecting with your heart and simply being present to it, even for just a few minutes? Try remaining open to your heart with curiosity, rather than judgment or analysis. Simply feel your heart beating, and stay aware of the sensations in your chest; be aware of its existence.

A simple way to do this is to sit quietly, gently closing your eyes to block out distractions. Slowly become aware of your heartbeat. Try placing your hand gently on your chest as you breathe naturally. Notice what you experience. After several moments, ask yourself two questions: First, if I could communicate with my heart right now, what would I want to say to it? Then go ahead and talk with your heart. Second, if my heart could communicate with me, what would it want to tell me? Then, be open to your heart and listen. Perhaps there is more to your heart than you even realized.

Jane Ehrman, M.Ed, CHES is a Mind-Body Coach at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative Medicine and a Behavioral Health Specialist for Lifestyle 180, Cleveland Clinic’s disease reversal program.

Need more mind-body insights? Visit Jane on ClevelandClinicWellness.com and learn:

Meditation to Find Peace and Quiet 

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