Ahhhh - Amore! Love! L'amour! All symbolized by the month of February. Even The Heart & Stroke Foundation has chosen to make this “their” month.
So, what's all the fuss about? Plain and simple, it's the heart. Point to yourself. Are you pointing to your heart? You often defer to the brain when it comes to the important decisions in your life, but when asked to identify yourself, the brain, which controls motor function, points to the heart. The heart is the essence of who you are and how you are. Be aware of the power of the heart. If there's any doubt, think about this: those chocolates that are passed around on Valentine's Day are not brain-shaped! Nor are they at any other time of the year!
Scientists know that the brain in the heart communicates with the brain. It sends and receives information based upon your perceptions. As a result, your body is constantly making physiological adjustments, much like what happens in the game Mouse Trap - one action leads to another and another and another.
Have you ever had a near-miss while driving? What happened afterwards? You were probably shaky, for one thing – that's a very noticeable physiological change to that frightening event. The stress response was activated, triggering a release of adrenaline and a cascade of other hormones.
Unless you learn to change your perceptions, other events, which you describe as "just life", trigger the same hormonal cascade, regardless of whether or not it is a true life or death situation. There's nothing "just" about stress. What type of events, you ask? It could be anything from over-sleeping, traffic, work worries, or ruminating on past events. If you multiply that over time, those thoughts can trigger aches and pains, fatigue, frustration, lack of concentration, irritability, poor memory, inability to sleep well and other health concerns.
Your interpretation, or perception, of these events wears out your nervous system and ages you. Cortisol, “the stress hormone”, is produced in response to how you think and feel. As cortisol production increases, DHEA, “the vitality or anti-aging hormone” is reduced. It's like a teeter-totter: cortisol goes up, while DHEA goes down. If you've ever heard yourself say, “I feel and look old and tired”, you'll have an idea of why that is. Activate heart-based techniques and up goes DHEA, while cortisol goes down.
The great news is that by learning how to change the way you interpret the events in your life, you are immediately making a positive change in your health and well-being.
During the month that has come to symbolize love, allow the power of your heart the opportunity to increase your joy - even for the simple things - so you can live a better life.
Make changes today so that you can celebrate Valentine's Day year-round!
Five things to work on today:
- Each time you look at the time, change your posture and slow down your breathing.
- Put your hand on your heart (it's in the middle of your chest, slightly tilted to the left) and appreciate what it is doing for you.
- Step outside and focus on one aspect of nature. Wonder. Marvel. Enjoy!
- Become aware of your wandering thoughts and feelings. Are they stress-inducing or stress-releasing?
- Soak in the love tub.
Because sometimes we all need a little help!
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"Marianna [Auntie Stress] is a delight to work with. Her knowledge and teaching ability are both outstanding and she has a special way of helping people discover a calmer life. If you're looking for help dealing with stress (and who isn't?), Auntie Stress is a wonderful resource that's simply too good to miss." - Cliff H.