If you go to your doctor complaining about cardiovascular problems, difficulty maintaining good cholesterol levels, bad circulation, or fears of heart attack and stroke, he/she will likely talk to you about proper medication. But I go a step further.
I also encourage you to “feel.” You see, if you allow yourself to feel—both negative and positive emotions—you will have a much greater chance of activating your body’s innate healing mechanisms.
Feelings connect you to your heart and, as I tell my patients, the separation of the heart from feeling is often at the root of heart disease. I know this isn’t easy to grasp, so here are some steps you can take to start the process:
- Reach out and connect with someone close to you. Call up an old friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Get in touch with family members. Take your dog for a long walk. If you don’t have a pet, consider getting one—living with an animal is a great way to open your heart to love.
- Ask someone close to you what they like. By caring about someone else, you break outside your own self-absorption.
- Forgive and forget. Think of someone you’re angry with, and forgive them.
- Say “I’m sorry” a little more often to other people and really mean it.
- Take 30 minutes a day for you. Give yourself permission to cry, laugh, play—whatever action you’ve been holding back.
- Network. Think of participating in some activity in which you’ll have the opportunity to form friendships with others.
- Try to become a little more compassionate toward yourself and others. Start by accepting yourself—faults and all.
- Reclaim your spiritual side. It will help you appreciate life’s ups and downs.
Now that you have a blueprint for a “change of heart,” don’t turn these guidelines into a stressor! If you only practice one per day, or one per week, that’s fine—this is a long-term program, not an overnight fix.
For more information on avoiding cardiovascular problems, visit www.drsinatra.com.