Place your right hand on your heart; now, place your left hand on top of your right. Relax your breath, close your eyes for a moment and re-center. You have just entered your heart space. It’s warm, loving, tender, and reassuring.
If a bit unhealthy, your heart space can sometimes feel a deep, almost sharp pain. This doesn’t mean you’re having a heart attack, and it’s not anxiety either. It’s sadness or emptiness, instead. Emotionally, your heart has a brain. It knows how you feel at all times, even when your brain gets confused and makes up stories of the mind. Your heart knows your emotions, and your liver filters/processes them.
When your emotional health is unstable, two of your most vital organs are forced to process emotion over other important functions. To add to this, we tend to take physical actions that are hard on our hearts and livers when we feel ‘off’; examples of this might include drinking alcohol, excessive caffeine consumption, aggressive exercise at an extreme level, arguments, frustration, psychological self-abuse, etc.
And, even if you might be choosing ‘healthier’ unhealthy habits than drinking alcohol, doing drugs, or making your heart race, your choice could be emotional eating. But your gut is cramped up when you’re emotional too, which means you’ll be unable to digest properly and absorb nutrients. Even if you make great dietary choices, your emotions will determine your ability to absorb the nutrients from food.
No matter how far we explore other options, it always comes back to learning how to manage emotions to provide you with relief, allow your organs to function at optimal levels, and thrive rather than survive. Emotional health is a massively important part of health, and it’s time to have this discussion.
How you interpret the world around you, sights, sounds, statements, questions, judgments on you or others, and actions taken all around decides how you feel, even before you speak or act.
If you see your life as a movie and have no attachment to it, but much like a video game, you can react within the ‘movie’, then your perception of the world is unlikely to affect your internal health in a negative way. However, if you see the world around you as affecting you at all times, thereby making you a victim of sorts, then your health will be physically impacted and you may suffer many years of disease like Diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, thinking problems, dementia, arthritis, low back pain, digestive disorder, Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, etc.
Think these statements are too strong?
Ok, fair. Let’s take a deeper look. What happens to a human body that is actually healthy when it gets hurt? It heals quickly, right? Think of a baby with a broken bone; it takes days to heal. Emotionally clear, spiritually clear, and no physical ailment. Amazing how dynamic and capable of a healer the body truly is.
This has been my ‘healing method’ all along: cue the body to heal and let it take over.
In Physical Therapy, this often means lining up the body in proper posture, so joints are aligned, pain receptors are quiet, inflammation is managed, and muscles are the proper length. In other healing arts & sciences, this may mean something slightly differently. The end goal — and outcome — is the same.
The body heals itself. Sometimes, it gets a bit confused about signaling if you’re not connected, but it’s definitely the one doing the work. We need to learn to self-communicate, and it begins in our heart space.
Today’s thought exercise: how does your heart feel? And how does this feeling compare to yesterday, one hour ago, or one hour from now?
Begin tracking your emotions to better understand yourself and others. I think you’ll be surprised by what you learn.
Sent to you with love, honor, and in service,
Originally published at drkareem.com on January 17, 2018.