A spring cleaning of the heart- its something we all need. Although it’s not spring yet, we can all find value in cleaning out our hearts now and then.
What do I mean by this. It seems that life tends to clutter our hearts. We hold onto things we shouldn’t hold onto- pain, fear, anger, jealousy. Clutter in the form of negative emotions can clog up our psyche’s. They can lead to overload and overwhelm of the heart. Such negative emotions don’t just trouble us psychologically, they can also injure us physically. It’s true. Negative emotions have been clinically proven to actually cause heart disease. They can lead to inflammation of the lining of the heart called the intima. The intima is a one-celled lining of the arteries that should normally let cholesterol move in and out of the cell. But when people’s heart’s become cluttered with negative emotions the intima becomes dysfunctional. It stops working normally and cholesterol begins to build up inside the artery. This is the beginning of heart disease. So it can be critical to have a ritual of de-cluttering the heart. We need to clean the heart of dangerous negative emotions.
- Begin journaling for release. Writing down out thoughts and feelings on a regular basis is a good way to begin cleaning the heart. The simple act of expression can be healing. It can help us let go of things we shouldn’t be holding onto. I recently wrote on the idea suggested on the blog.
- Breath more deeply. Most meditative techniques include some form of breath work. Yoga is particularly good for deeply breathing. Deep breathing relaxes us and helps remove toxins from our bodies. If you practice deep breathing on a regular basis you have more energy. Deep breathing will help you let go of tension, a form of de-cluttering.
- Take up meditation or go to counseling. Another way to reduce the mess of our hearts is to begin meditating or consider counseling. Many people hold onto emotional hurts and psychological pain. Counseling is excellent for learning how to let go of these painful and often messy feelings that can lead to actual injury. Talk therapy has been shown to reduce anxiety and even help some forms of depression. Meditation is also a good way to purify the mind and let go of anger, stress, and other unwanted emotions.
- Consider Practicing Remembrance. Another powerful method for reducing the clutter of the heart is an ancient Sufi technique called, Practicing Remembrance. It’s a centuries old method for using breath and sound to bring love directly into the heart. It works well to promote heart healing, by uplifting and purifying the heart. I’ve used this for many years and have taught it to hundreds of people to reduce anxiety, depression, and many illnesses.
- Exercise daily.
Exercise is a great way to de-clutter your heart. It works physically by helping reduce your blood pressure, can raise your good cholesterol (the HDL), and it also works to eliminate depression. It’s best to exercise aerobically for 45 minutes 4-5 times a week.
Always consult your doctor before undergoing any exercise program. It’s the new year and a great time to reduce the clutter of our lives, especially our hearts.
January 14th, 2008