Breathe through your Heart - Reduce Stress
My flying Heart
Follow your breath.
I just got out of my shower, which is directly under a skylight where I have mounted two plastic sunburst prisms that diffuse the rays as they enter the space and cast bright spectral rainbow colors right into my white tub and bathroom! I am in paradise. I couldn’t imagine where else I would rather be anywhere in the world just now. I have traveled plenty; been to India and Italy and countries in between. Besides living in a gorgeous, natural environment, I am in harmony with others and myself. I had a good meditation this morning, really got me centered and inspired. It seems finally all of my various studies and life experiences are integrating and synthesizing into a whole, unified force. It is an awesome awakening, an “AHA” moment. Patient perseverance, focus, clarity of purpose, and passion do produce tremendous results. Since my focus has always included S.P.I.F.E aspects, I am so energized and realized that I’m literally floating on air. What is S.P.I.F.E you ask? It is Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Financial and Emotional. All are aspects of our lives that if lacking or missing, create less than wholesome characters. I worked many years for a Healing Center whose mission statement read:
Dedicated to Inspiring and Facilitating Personal & Planetary Wholeness.
I fell in love with this concept and continue with its philosophy daily. Another idea I’ve embraced is:
"We are not human beings on a spiritual path, We are spiritual beings on a human path."
Harmonize your Body
What if the world’s inhabitants realized they are spiritual beings in a human body rather than human beings with a spiritual presence? What if we realized we could heal our bodies by focusing our minds and hearts on the harmonizing, healthy vibrations that keep our cells free from cancer and other diseases? Healthcare costs would almost dissolve. We could implement visualization methods as therapies for illness instead of feeding the pharmaceutical companies. Many of these alternative practices are in place now. There is a wonderful technique offered by the Heart Math Institute called the Quick Coherence Technique for reducing stress. When we are faced with angst or fear and the “fight or flight” instinct, one can employ these three simple steps to immediately calm ourselves.
The Right Way
As described from the website, heartmath.org:
"Coherence means being in sync. When you are in sync you perform at your best - it's what athletes call being in the zone. You feel more confident, positive, focused, and calm yet energized. When the brain and heart are out of sync, the signals in the nervous system are chaotic. It's like driving a car with one foot on the gas pedal and the other on the brake. That makes a jerky ride; burns up more gas and wears out the car quicker. When our heart and brain are out of sync, we tend to more easily feel frustrated, anxious or angry.
1. Heart Focus. Shift your attention to the area of the heart, or the center of your chest. If you don't understand how, try this: Focus on your right big toe and wiggle it. Now focus on your right elbow. Now gently focus in the center of your chest, the area of your heart. If you lose focus, just keep shifting your attention back to the area of your heart. Now you're ready for the next step, Heart Breathing.
2. Heart Breathing. Breathe slow and deeply. Imagine the air entering and leaving through the heart area, or the center of your chest. Heart Breathing helps you begin to get in sync and draws the energy out of the head, where negative thoughts and feelings are amplified. This helps neutralize stressful feelings. If it's hard to disengage from stressful feelings, don't worry. Just really wanting to disengage can help you release a lot of emotional energy.
3. Heart Feeling. Remember a time when you felt good inside, and try to re-experience that feeling. Focus on this good feeling as you continue to breathe through the area of your heart. (This could be a feeling of appreciation toward a special person or a pet, a place you enjoy, or an activity that was fun.) This is the key step to getting and staying in sync. Many people find that when they experience positive feelings like care, love, or appreciation while breathing through the heart area, they immediately feel and think better. Holding a positive feeling makes it easier to stay in sync for longer periods of time, so that it becomes easier to remain calm and balanced even in tough times. With the Quick Coherence technique, it takes only a minute to get in sync and reduce stress right in the moment. It takes some practice, but it's way worth it."
Chant a Mantra
In addition to this technique, I find that when I repeat my favorite “mantra” while concentrating on my breath, that the stress will be relieved quickly. Conscious breathing is a powerful way to maintain proper circulation and helps oxygenate all cells which keeps them healthy and less vulnerable to disease. Aerobic exercise, meditation, and yoga are three excellent ways to practice deep breathing and tone body and mind. Alternative and complementary health care is growing ever more popular as the cost of allopathic medicine has soared. I’m a firm believer in self-healing and will talk much more about this in posts to come. For now, remember to deep-breathe, practice the coherent technique to relieve stress, exercise and eat whole foods – this is the prescription for a healthier, more "mindful" life.