An Exercise for Your Heart

When it comes to heart problems, patients tend to turn over all responsibility to conventional medicine, pills and procedures.

That’s understandable. Ailments of this vital organ can be debilitating, or worse. People who suffer with heart disease or heart malfunctions fear for their lives.

I’ve heard it said that a person never feels more alive than in the moment when they realize they might lose their life. Priorities become crystal clear in seconds. There’s no more time for what if’s and maybes.

When a patient gets the news that they have advanced heart disease, they know deep down what needs to change. And often, many people make lifestyle changes that can alter the course of their prognosis. They get better.

Did you know that research supports an approach to treating heart disease without the use of lifelong medication?

Dr. Dean Ornish’s research showed that a nutrition- and exercise-based approach has a much better outcome than the conventional treatment route.

The problem? There’s just no money in it 🙂

In addition to nutrition and exercise, Dr. Ornish worked with techniques to encourage his study participants to open their hearts, metaphorically speaking. In other words, he asked study participants to confide their feelings, trust others and express themselves emotionally.

I believe this is crucial in terms of results. We are more than just bodies; we are beings with minds and souls.

Heart disease is about living with a closed heart. It results when a person lives too closely connected to the material world and neglects their spiritual and emotional needs.

Here’s an exercise that can help you to begin to open your heart. Try it if you are ready to start listening to what your heart is saying. Follow these steps:

Gather seven little sheets of paper and six envelopes.

On five of the sheets, write down five positive aspects of your life that bring you feelings of joy, openness and ease.

On the sixth piece of paper, write down your biggest worry. Be detailed and specific.

Now place each piece of paper into an envelope, one piece per envelope.

Next, number each envelope 1 – 6 so that each one has a different number.

Take 20 minutes and relax with a cup of tea and soothing music.

Allow yourself to arrive. Take several deep breaths and place one after another each envelope on your heart. Tune into your body.

What do you feel, smell, see, taste or hear with each new envelope?

Take the seventh piece of paper and write down your physical response to each envelope.

After you’ve held each envelope close to your heart, open each one and compare your notes that you wrote.

Did you respond differently to each envelope, even though you didn’t read its contents?

Did your body react differently?

Try it and share any feelings or reactions you felt in the comments below.

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