Copyright © 2013 HeartMath LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Written by Kim Allen Thursday, 23 February 2012 12:03
Above the entry way into one of the oldest medical colleges in London there’s a Latin saying when translated means:
‘Temper the bitter things of life with a smile.’
Good medical advice, especially when we consider how ‘turning a frown upside down’ can help us feel better. But we now know that it can also make us smarter!
Here’s how. The positive ‘heart feeling’ behind a smile generates a chemical cascade of beneficial hormones and your heart starts to beat in a smooth rhythmic pattern. As the brain synchs up to this smooth pattern you enter a state called cortical facilitation; or what we non-scientists call mental clarity.
I know. It’s impossible to simply smile when the kids are fighting in the back seat or you’re faced with yet another deadline. Well, it is possible if you let your body help.
First, take 3-4 slow, deep heart-focused breaths. This simple act of imagining your breath coming in and going out from the area around your heart calms and brings order to your nervous system.
And because you’re paying attention to your breath, you’re no longer focused on what’s upsetting you! This makes it easier to remember or recall and relive a fun or positive moment in your life that brings a smile to your face.
True. The hard part is remembering so it’s a good idea to practice this a few times when you don’t need it…like right now. Breathe. Smile.
When you think you’ve got it, do it whenever you want or need to be just a little bit smarter or attentive or focused. Soon, you’ll be able to temper the bitter things—those challenging or stressful situations—when they show up.
What’s old is new again.
You’ve heard about sleep problems and you have probably suffered a few sleepless nights yourself, but did you know all the facts? Did you realize just how pervasive it is and how many ways it affects us?
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