Follow your heart, says Anita Anand, in her special post, written for Foreverfit on the occasion of World Heart Day 2017. Learn how to love and let go, to safeguard your most precious organ. 

It’s World Heart Day today. Globally, there is a rise in the number of heart attacks, and people with cardiovascular diseases. Perhaps this wouldn’t happen, if we cared for ourselves better.

What exactly is the purpose of the heart? According to Western medicine, it’s function is solely to pump blood. But, is that all the heart is? I say no, emphatically.

Historically, the powerhouse of the body

Ancient Egyptians believed that the heart was the source of the soul and memory, emotions and personality, and it would be weighed during judgement after death. For this reason, they preserved this part of the body during mummification, and threw away the brain.

In the Middle ages, the Greek philosopher Aristotle said the heart was the source of intelligence, motion and sensation. In his view, the brain and lungs existed to cool this organ.  In Hinduism, the heart is the connecting link between heaven and earth.

Heart attack is emotional

I’ve been intrigued by the word ‘heart attack’. It brings to mind the commonly known symbol of the heart, red, with arrows attacking it. My special interest in the heart is about two decades old. When I started studying hypnotherapy, I learned about the importance of keeping this and other organs, healthy.

Foreverfit- happy man, happy heart

Open your heart and release negative emotions

In alternative healing and therapies the heart is ‘key’ to healing. The process of ‘opening the heart’ is one where attention is consciously brought to the this part of the body, to fill it with love and forgiveness. The reason for this, is that we tend to ‘close down’ our hearts when we experience grief and hurt.

Other negative emotions such as jealousy, anger and holding grudges also hurts us. If we continue to do this, the negative emotions build up and eventually, the heart breaks down. That’s why processing emotion is so important to our well-being.

Anita’s tips for a healthy heart

#1 Respect your body, listen to it, and treat it right. Make sure you make healthy food choices, drink alcohol in moderation, and exercise daily.

#2 Also, do ‘follow your heart’. This means making decisions that are based on what you value rather than what you ‘should’ be doing.  Find a balance that makes you comfortable

#3 Find an outlet for stress. Create a social network that provides you emotional support. There’s nothing to beat talking through a problem with someone you trust, so do it, and do it often.

Another way to relieve stress, is to keep a journal, since the act of writing down your feelings is therapeutic. Cultivate some hobbies too: read, garden, cook or learn a new language.

#4 Watch my favourite documentary related to the topic. Called “Of Hearts and Minds,” by David Malone, it will help you understand the total significance of this organ.

Malone explores the human heart, both from the modern scientific view, versus its long history as a symbol of love and the center of innate wisdom and human character.

#5 Learn to follow your heart. Browse the net, and check your booklist, to find some step by step guidance to help you understand what your heart is trying to communicate to you.

#6 Promote awareness about World Heart Day: Go here, to post your selfies.