Our hearts could be described as huge muscles that open and close, shrivel and expand, soften and harden, love and hate. We have to work diligently to keep our hearts open, just as we have to work to keep other muscles in the body strong. Purifying our hearts is ongoing, like physical exercise.
As women were blessed with rich emotional lives. We feel joys intensely, but we also take setbacks to heartquite literally. Powerful negative emotions like depression, anger, and anxiety are more detrimental to our hearts than mens, says Mehmet Oz, M.D., cardio surgeon at NewYorkPresbyterian/Columbia University hospital and coauthor of You: Being Beautiful (Free Press, 2008). Because mens hearts arent as responsive to emotional stimuli, emotion is a more important predictor of heart problems in women, he says. Hurtful emotions can cause a womans arteries to spasm and close down like a boa constrictor squeezing around its prey.
Stressful emotions account for roughly 30 percent of all heart attacks, according to research from the landmark Interheart study, a survey of heart disease in 24,000 people in 53 countries completed in 2004. They rank on par with high blood pressure and abdominal fat, straining the heart by increasing your heart rate and flooding your body …
While reflecting on this practice be aware of the pace of your heart. You might find it beats very fast. This often happens when you contact challenging feelings. Don’t panic; pay attention to your heartbeat and this will help quieten the breath and the heart, gently slowing them down. When you become more confident just see how long you naturally want to sit for. Remember to try to notice any difference to your day when you introduce these reflections.
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