The Wisdom of the Heart
The vast majority of cardiovascular disease begins in childhood and progresses very slowly. Many different factors influence whether or not it progresses. For example, it’s well documented that the presence of a pet lowers blood pressure and is relaxing. And listening to your thoughts and emotions, and acting on the tough ones, will have a long-term, profound, positive affect on your cardiovascular health, too.
Every Emotion is a Biochemical Reality in the Body
Behind every behavior–whether health-enhancing or health-destroying–there are emotions that are processed by the heart and entire cardiovascular system. And behind every emotion, there is a belief–a perception about reality. Thoughts and beliefs that support self-love and self-worth enhance health and well-being, and the lifestyle behaviors that support them. The more women truly care for themselves, the better their health is.
Emotions that we can’t deal with directly and elegantly go into our bodies and drive our behaviors, pure and simple.
The Heart Trumps the Intellect
It has taken me half a lifetime to know one thing for sure: The intellect exists to serve the wisdom of the heart. Our intellect-driven society, however, leads us to believe that it’s the other way around. And so we wait for the next drug or technological break through, thinking it will save us. But in the end, the wisdom of the heart will prevail.
All the drugs and technology in the world can’t mend a broken heart or heal someone whose heart is no longer in the game of life. Never forget that the EKG signal coming from the heart is 60 times stronger than the EEG signal from brain waves. So when there’s a conflict between the intellect and the heart, the heart always wins. And the only way to heal the true discomforts of the heart is to feel them fully, have faith in a power greater than yourself, and then live your life robustly.
My Prescription for Preventing and Healing Heart Disease
- Understand that each heart is self-healing if given the space and permission to feel what it needs to feel.
- Be willing to bravely and compassionately enter the unhealed places in our own hearts. When we’re on intimate terms with our own pain and suffering, and have made a commitment to heal them, we have far less difficulty keeping our hearts open to others. And our very presence becomes part of the healing as our patients realize that they are not alone–and not hopelessly flawed.
- Know that it’s part of the Great Mystery why some people open their hearts to themselves and do the work of healing and others do not. Still, it is our job to fan the flames of hope and compassion, no matter how dim they may seem.
- Rather than take on the impossible burden of thinking it is our job to heal others, we must also remember that the biggest gift we can give to another is a healed heart. And that is, and always will be, and something only you can do for yourself.
I hope this encourages you to trust your inner guidance system and to listen to your own heart. It will help you to live a more joyful and healthy life.
Learn More in The Wisdom of Menopause, by Christiane Northrup, M.D., Chapter 14, “Living with Heart, Passion, and Joy: How to Listen to and Love Your Midlife Heart.”
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.
© Christiane Northrup, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Christiane Northrup, M.D., a board-certified ob/gyn, is a visionary pioneer, beloved authority in women’s health and wellness, and the author of the ground breaking New York Times bestsellers Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause. Her third book, Mother-Daughter Wisdom, was voted Amazon’s #1 book of the 2005 (in two categories). Her latest books, The Secret Pleasures of Menopause and The Secret Pleasures of Menopause Playbook, teach how to experience joy, pleasure, prosperity, fulfillment, and vibrant health.
Following a 25-year career in both academic medicine and private practice, Dr. Northrup now devotes her time to helping women truly flourish on all levels through tapping into their inner wisdom.
Through her exclusive Women’s Wisdom Circle, Dr. Northrup shares cutting-edge medical and lifestyle advice. For more information about Dr. Northrup and her Wisdom Circle [http://www.drnorthrup.com/