By Jackie White
Did you ever think about just how many sayings we use to refer to the heart? Follow your heart, from the bottom of my heart, a heart of gold, my heart goes out to you, have your best interests at heart, pour out your heart, from the kindness of your heart…The list goes on and on. So, what’s the big deal about the heart? It’s an important organ, of course, but so is the liver. Why don’t we say I love you from the bottom of my liver? Well, that would be weird, right?
It turns out that the heart not only functions as the workhorse pulmonary center, it is also our second brain. Say what?!
A Science Moment
For more than 25 years scientists have been studying the connection between the heart and the brain asking questions like why do people feel emotions of love in the heart? Or how does heartache seem to be felt in the heart? The research further expanded to ask questions about how stressful emotions affect the heart. It showed that heart rate variability and heart rates turned out to be the best predictors of a person’s emotional state. But wait a minute, I thought emotions came from the brain?
The heart works in conjunction with the brain but here is the kicker in all of this research, the heart can influence the way we perceive and respond in our daily interactions. In fact, the heart can affect mental clarity, creativity, emotional balance, intuition, and personal effectiveness! What?! This is frickin’ amazing!
You might be saying, so what? Who cares? Well, you should care because this has significant ramifications for how we act and behave our way to success in life. Emotions are how we feel about the world and what is happening to us. You might feel giddy when you are around someone you have a crush on. You can’t help but smile when your dog greets you at the door. You might totally dig playing the guitar and when you do, you are filled with joy. All of these things trigger emotions in you. And through those emotions, you can begin to gauge what is really important to you. Ta-dah! This is why this is so cool. Your heart is feeding you information on what is truly significant to you.
Listen to Your Heart…It Knows You
The moral of this story is you must listen to your heart because it truly knows who you are deep down. Pay attention to the feelings, the pangs, the ache it is sending to you.
Your heart sings when you go to an art museum…you should be creative!
Your heartstrings are pulled when you see dogs in need…you should find a way to help them!
Your heart longs for the blue ridge mountains of your childhood…you need to go visit!
Your heartaches for children who need a role model…you should be one!
You are happy as a clam when you work in your garden…then do more of that!
Choose to be mindful of what your heart is telling you. Those things your heart is pointing you towards are super important. Likely something that has to do with your purpose. Ah-Ha! The elusive purpose has been feeding you signals all along! (I told you the heart was smart!) So, do yourself a favor and pay attention to those signals because that brain in your heart is one smart cookie.
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.