On a recent family bike ride my 8 year old daughter, peddling alongside me, said with discovery and excitement, “Mom, I think the heart and brain are best friends! Do you know why?” I replied, “No, why?” She continued, “Because the heart pumps blood to the brain to make it work, but the brain tells the heart to pump the blood!” I was speechless as I took in her beauty.
Later her remarks led me to look up that very connection between the heart and brain, the two most important organs in the human body. I found information that confirmed my daughter’s insight and reminded me of the interconnectedness of our bodies. The heart and brain indeed are like best friends in a mutual, ongoing cycle of awareness and response. Whatever the situation is, they are in it together, for better or worse.
The problem is that, because the heart and brain have such a tight friendship, when experiencing something negative they can get stuck in a harmful loop, causing one’s physical and mental health to suffer. The good news, however, is we can break these detrimental patterns with some intentionality on our part. There are many great options to interrupt the unfavorable signals and get our systems operating in a more positive direction once again. Seven of my favorite, simple ways to do so are:
1. Move the body (e.g. go for a walk)
2. Take in nutrition (e.g. eat a healthy meal)
3. Express love to someone (e.g. make a phone call)
4. Engage in something creative (e.g. coloring will do)
5. Connect with nature (e.g. sit on the grass outside)
6. Meditate with breath work (e.g. use a free online app to guide you), and
7. Pray (e.g. journaling about whatever makes you thankful)
Which one of these could become a priority for you today, so that your body’s heart-brain friendship thrives?
May you be inspired!