What do you believe is more powerful- your brain or your heart?
Most of us believe that our brain is the powerhouse of our body. However, studies show that it is actually your heart that runs the show. In fact, 80-90% of all communication between your brain and heart moves upwards. So, most decisions are made at a heart-level and are then justified by our logical thinking head brain.
Last week, my 17-year-old daughter had an interview for a part-time job. She asked me to coach her a bit since I have a background in career coaching. After guiding her on some interview strategies, I shared with her that energy is even more important than strategy. Let me explain.
It is important to have a strategy and a plan for how to do what you want to do. For example, in my daughter’s case, it was important to have a good resume and to know how to answer common interview questions. However, it is even more important to show up to situations in our life, like interviews, with the right “inner” state by focusing on feeling good.
You see, science has shown that positive emotions can reduce stress and allow us to be in a more optimal state, where our immune system, hormonal system, and nervous systems are balanced. In other words, focusing on emotions like appreciation and joy actually counterbalances the depleting effects from stressful experiences. This can allow us to think even more clearly and to project confidence and ease, leading to better results.
Here’s what we know from research: adding heart to your daily activities produces measurable benefits to your own and others’ well-being.
Here are three tips to help you do that:
- Monitor Your Emotional State
We are living in a time when the world is changing rapidly. There are more complexities than we’ve known before, and it can feel as though everything is moving faster. Developing the mind/heart partnership will allow you to make choices with even more clarity and discernment. Here’s a simple way to strengthen that partnership.
As you start your day, and occasionally throughout the day, ask yourself the following questions:
- What emotion am I experiencing right now? Am I feeling worried or stressed about something, or do I feel a sense of excitement or ease?
- How do I want to feel?
These types of questions are powerful for managing your stress level and preventing low productivity.
- Remember to Breathe
We can’t erase all of our challenges, but we can get a lot smarter in how we deal with them. The following is a simple breathing technique that you can practice when you notice your stress levels increasing.
Take a few moments to breathe deeply and slowly while focusing in the area of your heart, imagining your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area. While doing this, hold the feeling of genuine appreciation for someone or something you care about. Feelings of appreciation have been proven to benefit your health and resilience.
- Choose Positive Self-Talk
“You are such a loser!”
Would you allow someone to say this to your friends? Probably not. Yet, how often do you say things like that to yourself?
We each have an inner “voice”- a tape playing in the back of our mind- telling us what we can and can’t do or that we may not be good enough. When that tape is critical and demeaning, it strengthens our negative beliefs regarding our potential. Regardless of what others are saying (or not saying) about your potential, you can shift your limiting self-talk to a new voice that is more empowering and aligned with your heart essence.
The first step to choosing more positive self-talk is to become aware of what you are saying to yourself in your own mind. Start by making a list of your more common self-limiting dialogues to become more conscious of those thought patterns. Then, focus in your heart and ask yourself, “what would be a better perspective or attitude?”. For example, instead of saying “I’m out of shape”, try, “I am choosing to focus on my health.” Whenever you notice a negative thought, replace it with a new, more positive inner message. Treat yourself with the same compassion that you would offer to someone you care about. The more you can practice these simple habits, the more your thoughts and emotions can align with a more positive inner dialogue.
Before and during my daughter’s interview, she was mindful of how she felt. She managed her energy by taking some slow deep breaths and focusing on positive thoughts. She did end up landing the job!
If you have any questions about this article or wish to share your insights, feel free to post your comments below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about how to master your mindset and manage your emotional state, feel free to explore my Personal Breakthrough Program or MINDshift™ coaching programs by visit www.veredkogan.com.
To your success and fulfillment!