By Catherine Lang-Cline
February is all about the heart; love, Valentine’s Day, etc. So, it was only natural for the American Heart Association to add that it would also be a time to focus on your heart health. The health of your heart can be addressed in many ways; better food choices and exercises, but this post is not going to be about food and exercise. This is about how your brain affects your heart and it is a theory by Melvin Pillay that is really worth a moment to reflect upon.
“Do you know how expensive you are?” —Melvin Pillay
How quickly does it happen that someone can crush our self-esteem, the value we have on ourselves? How long do we let fear and worry sit on our brain only to allow it to eat at our heart and shortly after, attack our spirit? Our spirit is the driver for everything that we do. We have all known someone that has a downtrodden spirit. Something happened that started with worry and ended up breaking their spirit. This month, let’s start and focus on making that heart and spirit stronger.
Worry is an emotion that we cannot control but you can change your thoughts. I am sure that you heard it said that “you can’t control things but you can control how you react to them.” One way to stop the chain of events is to take the time to think, rather than react. Worry hits… think… react. That stops that emotion from getting to your tongue, your stomach, and your heart. I am sure many of you have had emotions fall into the pit of your stomach. It feels heavy and sometimes makes you feel sick. It starts to eat at you. It will then spread to your heart.
Toxic thoughts are things that attack our self-worth, break down your confidence, etc. It is typically introduced from the outside and sometimes by someone that you love. This can sometimes be so crushing that it will break your heart and in turn, crush your spirit. Stop those thoughts before they get to your heart. The heart is what we need to protect as it is the guard of our spirit. Try this exercise. For a full minute think of a time that someone hurt you. You will physically feel it going from your brain and into your heart. I couldn’t even make it a full minute when I tried it. Handle problems at the brain level.
When people get their heart broken they will tend to start putting up barriers. I am completely guilty of this. But when barriers go up, we cut off love, we cut off enjoyment, and we cut off opportunities. Those things are the fuel for the heart and the spirit. When we experience these things we feel unstoppable, so we must trust life and let that flow in. We have all known the person that continuously exudes joy. Nothing can ruin their day and they always see the bright side and the opportunity in everything. That person gets it. They also use that same joy to protect them.
You are the most important person in your life. If you are not healthy, you cannot help others. If you are lost in despair, you cannot move forward. If your heart is broken, you cannot love, you cannot experience joy.
How do you break the cycle? Remind yourself every day how much you love you. You have enormous value to your friends and your family and you should consider yourself to be very expensive for what you contribute to the world. Do not validate negative and toxic thoughts. Stop the worry and the pain at the brain level. It may deserve some problem solving but it doesn’t deserve any more parts of you.
I learned about this concept at a retreat with Pillay International. If any of this resonates with you, you can learn more here.