The key to optimal wellness lies much deeper than eating healthy and exercising. Caring for our body requires attention to the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of our being. In other words, optimal wellness is about connecting our heart, mind, body, and soul.

The Heart

Connecting the heart is not only about taking care of the heart through proper nutrition and exercise to promote adequate circulation, it is about connecting to the heart’s intelligence. Research at the HeartMath Institute suggests that signals from the heart can change cognitive and emotional signals in the brain. Stress is a leading factor in the development of symptoms related to chronic illness. Learning to tap into the heart’s intelligence can dramatically improve cognitive ability and emotions during times of stress and chronic or life-limiting illness. The Heart-Focused Breathing technique can help create a sense of calm and balance, while reducing negative feelings associated with the day-to-day stress of world events, difficult relationships, work schedules, and general dis-ease.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath in through your nose and hold it for five seconds. Then release your breath slowly through your mouth. Continue breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Now, bring awareness to the area of your heart and imagine your breath moving in and out of your heart. While you are breathing, bring your awareness to the words care, love, and compassion. Continue breathing those words in and out of your heart as you spread care, love, and compassion across the world.

For more information about the benefits of heart-centered breathing, go to HeartMath.