Scientists know there is a complex physiological and chemical interconnection between the heart and brain.
Anytime you think or feel ANYTHING, there is a chemical communication between the heart and brain (and the rest of your body).
The heart is also a “thinking” organ because there are more brain neurons in the heart than in the brain. So everyone has a smart heart J
The biblical adage that “As a person thinks in their heart, so are they” at least metaphorically suggests that the essence of a person may be contained in their heart.
Both the heart and brain are organs that need exercise.
We now know that regular aerobic activities are necessary to exercise the physical heart and strengthen it.
Now we are also starting to accept that the continual unconscious “exercise” of specific thoughts and feelings either strengthen or weaken specific areas of the brain and body.
The Heart Math Institute has shown that positive feelings like gratitude or appreciation show up in heart scans as smooth and flowing energy, whereas negative emotions like frustration show up in heart scans as jagged energy.
Your thoughts and feelings are continually working on the brain and the body. But how do you consciously work with your thoughts and feelings so you have a healthy brain and body? Your thoughts and feelings aren’t really “controllable”, are they?
Meditation is a “brain exercise” to calm your thoughts and feelings, which also calms your brain and body. Scientists who study meditating monks have found that through meditation the monks increase the size of their pre-frontal cortex (considered to be the decision-making area of the brain).
Meditation also decreases the size of the monk’s amygdala (considered to be where the fight-or-flight/fear and stress response area is located).
There is a case to be made that regular meditation grows the higher functions of the brain and shrinks the fearful parts of the brain.
Stanford neurosurgeon Dr. James Doty has found that people who have meditated for even 15-20 minutes a day for two weeks show physical and mental/emotional improvements. These improvements can be physically marked by decreased physical inflammation in their bodies.
Disease of all kinds is a manifestation of increased inflammation. And that is a manifestation of a decreased and stressed immune system function.
You can help heal your heart and love your brain and body by meditating.
Give yourself time every day to turn the volume down on your thoughts in meditation. It literally gives your body and mind time to reprogram itself for health. It’s free, and all it takes is time. It’s the exercise equivalent of brain training.
Time to heal and make yourself whole is your greatest post-Valentine’s gift to yourself,
May we pursue our paths, honoring the interconnection of heart and brain, and taking care of both,