If you have been following my posts, you are aware that October is Emotional Wellness Month. We are on Day 4 of 7 of the Emotional Wellness Challenge and we’ve been discussing 7 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR MOOD! If you like to review those posts you can read Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 blogs by clicking on the link.
Before I get into my fourth tip, don’t forget about the giveaway I am offering to twenty individuals who follow and participate in my 7-Day Emotional Wellness Challenge from Sunday, October 11, 2020 through Saturday, October 17.
In conjunction with this #7DayChallenge, I am giving away 20 free kindle copies of my book, Thrive. To be eligible, you must follow along on each of my daily blog posts and participate in the 7-Day Emotional Wellness Challenge from Monday, October 11 – Sunday, October 17, 2020. To prove your participation, leave a comment on each daily blog about your experience and any results you may have noticed when implementing the tips offered on that day. The 20 participants will be notified on Monday, October 18.
It would help me out tremendously if you could reshare the blogs and my social media posts on your social media with family and friends that you especially think would learn or appreciate the information I’ve been discussing in this 7-Day Emotional Wellness Challenge.
Now let’s get to the Day 4 tip!
Disclaimer: The following statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product recommendations in this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. If you have any medical condition or taking any medications please discuss with your healthcare provider prior to implementing any recommendations.
Extensive research shows that connecting with others and forming good relationships – with family, friends and the wider community – are vitally crucial for our emotional and psychological wellbeing. This research concludes that there is a definite link on how out relationships affect both our physical health and our emotional wellbeing. Building stronger, broader social connections in your life can increase your feelings of happiness and self-worth. When we feel emotionally well we feel good about ourselves and the world around us. When we cultivate and nurture our relationships this can help us feel happier and more secure, and can give us a greater sense of purpose. This is what making a heart connection one of the 7 Ways to Boost your Mood.
Did you know your heart gives off thousands of times more electromagnetic energy than your mind? According to world renowned Holistic Cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn, “The electromagnetic field of the heart is incredibly strong. It not only can be measured anywhere on the body (using an EKG with electrodes on the ankles and wrists) but also for several feet outside the body, too. The heart emits an electrical field 60 times greater in amplitude than the activity in the brain and an electromagnetic field 5,000 times stronger that of the brain. The rich neurologic and endocrine structure of the heart make it possible to “train” the heart from acting in a frenzied and disordered manner during stress and anger to working in an optimal manner from lessons of peace, love, and harmony.”
Also, The Institute of HeartMath Research Center has conducted groundbreaking ongoing research to help explain the connection and role the heart has on emotion-based experiences. They have discovered in a number of research studies that have explored topics such as the electrophysiology of intuition and the degree to which the heart’s magnetic field, which radiates outside the body, carries information that affects other people and even pets, and links people together in surprising ways.
The power that our heart’s emotions carry is so profound. And in my work in counseling and ministry for the last 25 years has shown me that the way we respond and connect with others are a result of the “training” we received on how to manage emotions and trauma we may have experienced.
Unfortunately, majority of Americans grew up in dysfunctional homes. This in turn did not give them the ability or skills to engage or connect from their hearts. Due to this upbringing, it taught them emotions were not safe and vulnerability was a sign of weakness.
Those of us who grew up in what I like to call “no talk, no feel” homes, were not taught how to identify and label our feelings. The neural pathways needed to connect feelings and events were not well-developed and stunted. In effect, we ultimately learned to stuff our feelings and develop beliefs like:
We may have also experienced hurt and trauma that disconnected us from our emotions in order to survive. Now as adults we don’t know how to take the “walls” down that have been built around our heart.
Childhood trauma can often lead to adults who live in constant survival mode. They may be afraid to connect on a deep level with others, make plans or envision any kind of future, trust others, difficulty managing their emotions. However, when they are able to release those traumas, it brings about a paradigm shift; a realization that they can finally live a life that’s thriving instead of just surviving.
Many traumatized people can often begin to reconnect to their hearts when they connect and interact with animals. Dogs and horses especially tend to be great heart connectors and feel very safe. This allows people to begin to make heart connections.
Great work has been done in the field of pet therapy, pet assisted therapy and equine therapy to help those who have variety of health , emotional and physical ailments. It has been proven to help people recover from or better cope with heart disease, cancer and mental health disorders.
Many hospitals across the country have registered therapy dogs and their handlers are part of their pet therapy programs. They make regular visits to various hospital departments. They believe dogs are a welcome distraction and help reduce the stress and anxiety that can accompany hospital visits.
Studies show that people who feel more connected to others have lower rates of anxiety and depression. They also have been shown to have higher self-esteem, are more empathic to others, more trusting and cooperative and, as a consequence, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them.
In order to do that, a good place to start is by identifying safe people in your life. Spend more time with safe people with whom you have “joy bonds” or memories of joyful and fun events versus with people whom your memories are traumatic or painful.
There’s quite a bit to be said about how we respond to one another’s demeanor and the effect it has on us. Again, The Institute of HeartMath Research Center has some interesting findings about our hearts emotions:
Known as the “feel good” hormone, oxytocin helps develop positivity and cultivating an optimistic perspective in life. The role of oxytocin for bonding generates feelings of empathy and connectedness during interactions. This can contribute to an expansion of trust among individuals during social situations.
Physical touch helps boost your mood. Skin to skin contact releases oxytocin in the brain. So does skin to fur! Which is one of our well-being neurotransmitters. Babies are the best oxytocin providers. Can you figure out why?
Physical touch also increases your levels of dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that help regulate your mood as well as help your body relieve stress and anxiety. Dopamine is also known to regulate the pleasure center in your brain that is a good counter to feelings of anxiety. One study on breast cancer patients found that massage therapy helped relax participants and increase dopamine and serotonin levels.
With the world challenges we are dealing with today, holding and hugging and loving those closest to us is one of the best ways to boost our mood.
So at the end of the day when get some hugs, get some heart energy from joyful people and pet some animals all is right with the world. So go get some!
Do you find it difficult or easy to make heart connections? If it’s difficult, what ways have you tried to overcome those obstacles? If it’s easy for you, what ways have you found to break the ice with those who have walls up?
Robin Perry Braun, MPsy, is one of the leading pioneers of integrated wellness in the Christian community, teaching individuals how to become the healthiest versions of themselves possible.
She is an ordained minister and certified Integrated Life Process Practitioner. She has developed her own certified modality and is training others globally to practice this model. Over the last 25 years Robin has been educating herself in techniques that work to bring healing to body, soul and spirit She is passionate about educating people in holistic wellness by teaching how to understand ourselves from a quantum energy perspective and learning how to live a life that’s thriving not just surviving. Which is our God-given destiny.