Life appreciation the key to better health

It’s nothing new that our thoughts can shape how we feel. Just imagine how those positive feelings are tingling through your body and telling you ‘this is going to be a great day!’ The problem is the positive feeling doesn’t seem to come on demand. But according to the Institute of HeartMath, you can take control of your feelings by practicing Heartfelt Appreciation.

In fact they believe that heartfelt appreciation can facilitate the healing of the human body and spirit and that sincere heartfelt appreciation uplifts, inspires and drives us to achieve that which we did not think possible. It may be hard to believe that something as simple as appreciation can make you feel happier and even give your heart a healthy boost.

So keeping the potential benefits in mind let’s try a simple Appreciation Exercise right now. It only takes a minute – and you may be surprised by the results.

Appreciation Exercise - Heart Breathing

Focus your attention on your heart area, and breathe a little deeper than normal,

in for 5 or 6 seconds and out for 5 or 6 seconds.  Heart Focus: Imagine breathing through your heart. Picture yourself slowly breathing in and out through your heart area.

Appreciation List

Make a list of things you appreciate – people, places, activities, and pets –and choose

one or two each morning to hold in your heart during the day. Choose an item again at night to hold in your heart while you rest. How do you feel? Do you notice a greater sense of ease, wellbeing or relaxation?

Want to go even deeper? Try incorporating greater Appreciation into your life in these simple ways:

Appreciation Breaks

Take two or three appreciation breaks each day – ideally in early morning,

during a midday break and upon returning home or before bed. Just follow the simple steps as above. It takes as little as two minutes to achieve mental, emotional and physical balance.

Appreciation in the Moment

Keep your Appreciation List close all day, in a pocket or purse, by your

computer or elsewhere. In stressful moments, choose an item that can quickly evoke appreciation. It can turn a stressful day into one that flows – in 30 seconds or less.

"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

– Maya Angelou 

Engage the power of your heart to generate and sustain feelings of appreciation to help increase your own wellbeing. Practicing these appreciation exercises accelerates your connection with your own heart. Appreciating ourselves and others helps restore the colour to our black-and-white perception of life. By simply activating a positive feeling of sincere appreciation, you can increase your heart rhythm coherence, reduce emotional stress and improve your health. Consider practicing appreciation every day. 

Reprinted with permission of Institute of HeartMath. © 2013 Institute of HeartMath