At the moment everybody is talking about the spread of COVID-19, the topic is hard to escape. We are inundated with updates and advice. Yesterday the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic, which is going to put stricter regulations on everybody worldwide. Our current environment is a global arena of fear and uncertainty.
Judging by the toilet paper disaster in our country, one can say that people are in survival mode. Our frontal lobe of the brain, which is in charge of reasoning and conscious decision making, has been sidelined. Instead, our limbic system has taken over and produces arousal of fear and panic.
In times like these, it is critical to managing our emotions in a compassionate and positive way. A simple technique to create alignment between our brain, heart and feelings is a suggestion developed by the HeartMath Institute (HMI). This institute has extensively researched heart-brain communication and its relationship to managing stress, increasing coherence and deepening our connection to self and others.
TheHeartMath Instituterecommends the following 3 steps as a practice to align the heart and brain:
1. Bring all of your attention and awareness to your heart and the centre of your chest. Breathe a little bit slower and deeper than usual.
2. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart and chest. Find a steady rhythm that is comfortable for you.
3. Now think of someone or something in your life that makes you feel a sense appreciation, gratitude or love. It can be anything, a person, a pet, a time in nature, a special place, an accomplishment.
Research undertaken by the HeartMath Institute has shown that as you are doing this, you are allowing your nervous system to synchronise. Hormones are being released into your system that regenerates you. Signals from your heart to your brain are opening up your higher brain centres. This opens the door for you to experience more uplifting emotions and access to intuitive insights. The researchers report that just doing 3 minutes of these 3 steps sets in motion a cascade of biochemical processes in your body that can last as long as 6 hours.
A powerful, yet simple practice supporting us in unlocking our higher potentials.
You can implement this practice at any time during the day to help to remove fear and worry. Try it, for example when you stop at a red traffic light or before you tackle a difficult conversation or first thing in the morning before you hop out of bed.