The Heart Knows: How To Tune In For Happiness & Healing
By Brigit Atkin
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Do you ever feel like you’re overthinking things, or that your brain keeps repeating the same things over and over? We all get stuck in our thoughts from time to time, usually because we tell ourselves that our answers are in the brain. But when it comes to healing and happiness, it’s one’s heart that generally has the answer. The sooner you can free your thoughts, the better you will feel.
The heart is your all-knowing organ, and research is proving that it holds tremendous power. In a set of experiments outlined in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2004, Dr. Rollin McCraty of the Heartmath Institute, conducted research of this revolutionary new science of the heart. The result of these experiments found that the heart seems to ‘know’ the future. The experiments were conducted as follows: Participants were each seated before a computer, on which flashed randomly selected images. The images, spaced 6 seconds apart, ranged from beautiful and serene to frightening and gruesome. Each participant was connected to equipment that monitored heartbeat, brainwave patterns, skin conductivity, nervous system and organ function. The participants’ only job was to watch the images. When the session was over, researchers found that each participant’s heart responded seconds before their brains did. In fact, the heart was the first part of their physiology to react to the stimulus. Sometimes the heart reacted a full 6 seconds before a new image was shown! Their conclusion: The heart appears to know what is coming – it displayed what is called ‘precognition’. Dr. McCraty summarized: “Of greatest significance here is our major finding: namely…. Evidence that the heart is directly involved with the processing of information about a future emotional stimulus seconds before the body actually experiences the stimulus….What is truly surprising about the result is the fact that the heart appears to play a direct role in the perception of future events, at the very least it implies that the brain does not act alone in this regard.”
Studies such as this one may help explain some of the common sayings we hear about our emotions – “listen to your heart”, “follow your heart”, “it breaks my heart”. The heart is our center for love, forgiveness, and compassion. It can also know what is best for us as we make decisions about our personal growth and healing.
There is a two-way street of information running between your brain and your heart – this information travels not only from brain to heart, but from heart to brain. For this reason we need to use the heart and mind together when making important decisions. Usually, however, we get stuck in our thoughts and ignore what the heart knows. Our bodies will actually bring this imbalance to our attention, and if we are paying attention we might notice a sore or scratchy throat.
To tune in to the heart’s knowing, focus on your heart as you ask yourself ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. You might even put your hand on your heart as you practice listening to this amazing center of wisdom. Wait for an answer, but try to listen to your heart and not your brain. Your heart has a different style of communication than your brain, so you might get an expansion or warmth in your heart area. It can be a constriction or even a slight pain in your heart. You may even intuitively “see” the right answer when closing your eyes while asking the question. Or maybe you can even “hear” the answer. Whichever it is, pay attention.
This simple but powerful practice may help you over time to establish a new-found sense of inner knowing and guidance. Your body is here to help, and when you learn to listen to its inner wisdom, you will be moving toward a wonderful place of health and wellbeing.