Written By Takingchances
Staying heart-centered is more than just “following” your heart. It’s knowing your values and making choices that honor your needs and beliefs. This can be difficult when you feel stressed or dealing with complicated or confusing emotions. For many people, staying true to yourself can be challenging, especially in the presence of others. Using techniques to stay heart-centered in these moments can lead to more authentic communication and connection with the other person, and with yourself.
Mindfulness is the act of being aware of the information brought to you from your five senses, being in the present moment, and not getting distracted by “what-if” scenarios of the past or future. When you’re attentive to the present moment, you can acknowledge and accept your thoughts and feelings without the impulse to act on them. You begin to understand how your behavior affects those around you. This simple insight will allow you to temper your reactions when necessary. You may find that you are able to actively listen and perceive things more clearly and your interactions will become more deliberate and respectable.
If you find yourself in the presence of individuals who evoke feelings of discomfort, practice deep breathing to calm the mind and spirit. Long, deep breaths can reduce blood pressure and help you relax. Circulating oxygen-rich blood helps clear the mind, and active listening will send the message that you are genuinely interested in what the other has to say – nothing is more valuable if you’re trying to diffuse an adversarial situation.
If the situation seems particularly difficult, some find it helpful to have a “comfort stone” or a favorite charm tucked away in a pocket to either hold or simply use as a source of courage. The act of holding sacred in your grasp can have a calming, grounding effect. Once the situation has passed, it is often helpful to seek a friend or colleague who you can safely and calmly express your feelings to rid your mind and spirit of any negative emotions. Smudging with sage can also help relieve stagnant, unwanted energy, a technique used by many to cleanse the aura and surrounding energies.
Meditation helps you to develop a non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. Learning to acknowledge, accept, and detach from them lessens the control they have over your life. This allows you to connect to your spiritual self and to “see” from the heart with love and compassion. Over time, you may find that meditation helps you feel less stressed, less anxious, less reactive; and helps you learn to remain heart-centered more easily in trying situations. You may see things more clearly and understand your part in the situation, which then leads to overcoming the tendency to become defensive or lost in mixed messages and volatile emotions.
Meditation and mindfulness are heart- and mind-training activities that allow you to step back from the pressures of life, from the inundation of emotions, and distractions of thoughts to see a different perspective in the present moment. These practices will give you a better understanding of yourself, and help you to maintain a sense of focus, clarity, and peace, where you stay connected to yourself emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. By regularly practicing mindfulness and conscious breathing, you will be in a better position to remain heart-centered in all aspects of your life as well as in the company of others.