I conducted a little experiment the other day that I urge you to try. I was exercising at the gym and raised my heart rate significantly. To reduce my blood pressure, I slowed down my activity level, took a deep breath, and visualized white light coming down from above and into the top of my head. I watched the white light work its way through my body, clearing out the debris of the day that lodged itself within my mind and heart. I then opened my heart to love and sent that love out to everyone in the gym and beyond the walls of the building.
So how did sending out love impact my heart rate? It slowed my heart rate down to under 120 beats per minute in less than a minute. Love = improved heart health.
Love Ain’t Easy
Sometimes it’s hard for us to open up to someone else and show love. Love makes us feel vulnerable, so it’s understandable that we, as human beings, tend to shy away from the feeling or the expression of it.
However, there are many different kinds of love. Love doesn’t have to be directed at a person. Love can be directed at children playing, a plant, a blade of grass, a bird or a tree. Love does not have to be personal to have an effect on you or those around you.
The opening of the heart is the doorway into that, so that when you love your cat, you love your child, or you love your beloved, or you love nature, that is the doorway. You start with that kind of love, which is relational, romantic love, and then that’s a doorway that moves you into the kind of merging quality where we are together in love, which is in the oneness of it all, in the existence of it all, which is God.
– Ram Dass
Being Kind to Self
The first step, say many experts, is to love yourself. Easy to say, but not so easy to do. When thoughts turn negative and “word loops” pop into the mind – “How could I be so stupid?” “I’d be more attractive if I …” “Someone would love me if only I would (correct a behavior).” Accept where you are at this moment. Acknowledge that you are in control of your own thoughts. Be kind to yourself. Be grateful for the opportunities and the gifts you have. Realize what you are doing when you berate yourself (making yourself feel bad) and shift your thoughts to something you appreciate about you! For more on the topic visit: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-heart/201403/the-kind-love-does-your-heart-good
The Power of Unconditional Love
Simply put: releasing love from the heart makes you feel better.
Unconditional love – an overpowering feeling that releases endorphins and makes the whole body feel good – does not have to be directed at that special someone. Case in point: When I first met my neighbor’s twins, they were 2 years old. That day, as I was introduced to them, I dropped down on my knees and opened my arms to them and hugged them. My heart swelled with love in a way that caught me completely by surprise. I realized at that moment I was overwhelmed with feelings of unconditional love.
We forget that love is a natural state of being that can be directed at anyone or anything. Agape, which is considered by some to be love in its purest form, can be charitable love: helping your neighbor, your church, your community, or someone you do not know; cherishing friendships and the gifts others bring into your life; or doing the right thing – the loving thing – for someone else.
Breathe deeply and take time to feel love. If you can’t feel it, fake it until you do. If you can’t fake it, share love. Experience how this simple act makes you feel better, and realize that love can be a powerful tool for healing.