Over time, our hearts are literally shaped by our emotions and moods. Just as we now know we can rewire our brain’s connections using specific practices (a process known as neuroplasticity), the structure and function of the heart may undergo changes in response to our emotions: one form of a process known as cardiac plasticity.
3 Ways Your Emotions Can Support Your Heart Health
With mindfulness, we can add to our toolbox for a strong and supported heart. Here are three mindful ways to support your heart heath:
1. Notice What’s Present
We can commit to developing awareness of emotions in the body through the regular practice of mindfulness of emotions and body sensations.
2. Expand Emotional Intelligence
We can work to improve our emotional literacy—our own vocabulary of feelings that can adequately describe our inner experience. This takes practice and may require help from others.
3. Respond With Intention
We can become an active agent in choosing our emotional reactions to everyday events. We can also cultivate nurturing and self-sustaining positive feelings—including optimism, gratitude, and empathy—and commit to practicing the skills of navigating challenging emotions with a sense of curiosity and self-compassion.