It’s not in your hand (or on your phone)!
“Awareness is the first step in healing.” Dean Ornish
Heart disease is no joke, mates! It kills more men than women and is the number one cause of death in most Western lifestyles. We talked about it only briefly as it’s Men’s Health Month but did you know that the Heart rules all the other organs and communicates directly with the Brain? It’s not the other way around as most people think! Here are simplified concepts you might want to know in order to be at the top of your game. Seriously!
Rhythm is key to understanding the importance of your Heart and managing heart health. This concept is not only about having a ‘regular’ heart rhythm. It’s about other patterns of heart activity such as heart rate variability but also how this synchronizes all other body systems for maximum health. Most doctors won’t tell you about this! More on this concept called coherence below. Simple solution: learn how to be grateful.
Feelings and Emotions are difficult enough for men to understand and practice but not managing this properly can lead to unnecessary stress and heart attacks. I’ll share some reasons below why this is important and how to actually improve your health by looking after your heart without drugs, statins or surgery. Simple solution: learn how to be happy.
“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind and heart.” adapted from Buddha
The dictionary defines coherence as the quality of being logical and consistent and the quality of forming a unified whole. My fav definition is one of integration of diverse elements, relationships, or values because you can integrate this into your life and not have to change your lifestyle completely.
In over 25 years of scientific research, HeartMath has studied the psychological (mental and emotional) and physiological (all body systems) aspects of the heart and brain connection. Psychophysiological coherence (or just coherence) means that when your body and brain work optimally, you feel better and function at a much higher level. All this starts with the heart.
For thousands of years, both Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Ayurvedic approach to holistic health place the heart at the ‘emotional seat of the soul’ or the Emperor of the Body which simply means that we’ve always known the heart is more than a pump and that it serves more than a physical function to our health. Do you know why some couples die within a year of each other? There’s even a Japanese word for it, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or broken-heart syndrome.
“One ought to hold on to one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Science is now proving that there are more signals from the heart to the brain that we thought previously and that there more patterns than just a ‘regular’ heartbeat. There are many variations between each beat and it’s constantly changing. This concept is called Heart Rate Variability and is a reliable marker of fitness & health, our ability to adapt to stress and environmental demands more effectively and a marker of biological ageing.
Breathing techniques are commonly known to regulate heart rhythm but sometimes this requires practice and cognitive mental effort. You can integrate a different practice into your breathing or meditation that requires a lot less effort and is actually more powerful. You can start it by asking yourself, what am I grateful for?
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.” Melody Beattie
By intentionally focusing on gratitude, positive thoughts and feelings, we create a positive emotional state, then our breathing becomes synchronized with our heart, reinforcing and stabilizing all other body and mind systems. This practice boosts the neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin in our brain replacing any antidepressant you think you might need! If you want to be a ‘real man’ and show your intelligence, gratitude is a form of emotional intelligence! This will also result is better relationships with others including your boss and more importantly, your loved ones. Guess what? A positive emotional state helps create a healthier and happier man!
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.“ Richard Puz
Let’s chat about the man in your life and how to keep him healthy, happy and even more intelligent!