February is American Health Month, a time for everyone to take time to focus on and pay more attention to their heart health. From exercising to getting enough rest to caring for ourselves and others, strengthening and protecting our hearts is vital to living a long and healthy life.
A few years ago we introduced HeartMath to NATS, not only as a practice for our team internally, but to our clients through courses and take-aways that can be incorporated into their personal health and wellness routines.
Though the idea of HeartMath is a more recent concept at NATS, it is in fact backed by more than 25 years of scientific research into the heart-brain connection. That research shows that different heart activity patterns produce different effects to our thoughts and behaviors. And it works: more than 10,000 healthcare professionals and more than 500 hospitals, schools, and organizations use HeartMath.
We can incorporate HeartMath techniques like heart-focused breathing, and building and sustaining resilience into our everyday lives, without interruption. And it only takes a few minutes out of our busy days.
Heart-focused breathing can be done at anytime it’s needed to calm the mind and body, and we all have everything we need within us. To practice heart-focused breathing:
- Focus your attention in the area of the heart. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual. Try and inhale for five seconds, exhale five seconds, or whatever rhythm is comfortable for you.
- Make a sincere attempt to experience a regenerative feeling such as appreciation or care for someone or something in your life. Try to re-experience the feeling you have for someone you love, a pet, a special place, an accomplishment, or focus on a feeling of calm or ease.
Focusing on building and sustaining resilience helps protect the heart and benefits the mind, too:
- In the morning, prepare and set the tone for the day to be more composed before upcoming stressful events like talks or speeches, appointments, making important decisions, or attending meetings.
- Shift and reset into a more coherent state as soon as possible after a stress reaction to stressful interactions or communications, unexpected changes, or conflicts to minimize energy drains.
- Sustain resilience throughout the day by being proactive and refreshing your composure in between activities and events.
NATS incorporates HeartMath into our team meetings, daily routines, as well as in many of our training programs. For more information and how these practices can benefit you and your organization, please call 888-652-9116, or email us at INFO@NATSTRAINING.COM.