Karen Richards has over 20 years of experience in Nursing, Public Health and Sociology and is a HeartMath® Certified Coach. She is a parent of 3 daughters.
Whilst in the turmoil of brain fog, overwhelm and depression, she was introduced to a handful of simple heart-based techniques with biofeedback which, with daily practice, have transformed the way she approaches stressful circumstances.
It’s incredible just how much of our energy gets drained by our emotions
Don’t underestimate the amount that your body burns off when you’re feeling angry, frustrated, constant worry, depressed and anxious!
Let’s take anger for example. No matter how justified your anger is, the higher levels of cortisol and adrenaline your body produces whilst you’re feeling it puts a strain on all your systems. Your body and mind go into fight/flight mode, meaning it’s ready for a type of laser-focused action. If your life is in immediate danger, then this is totally appropriate and part of our instinct to survive. The stress hormones are there to give you a fast boost of energy for a short period of time.
If your anger is there because your ex has been lying about you and you’re furious as well as hurt, these same stress hormones circulate around your body. It’s the length of time they are there that causes damage to your body…. I’m talking about high blood pressure, unstable blood sugars, susceptibility to infections etc. Not to mention the tiredness, exhaustion, irritability, and mental challenges.
It’s actually more about not allowing fuel to leak out!
Anger is very much part of being human. It’s a reaction to what has happened and is totally normal.
Where you can take your power back and not allow your energy to be wasted, depends on how much time you let this feeling of anger, with its accompanying stress hormones, wear you down.
At what point do you love yourself enough to say, ‘I’m not going to do this to myself anymore’? The quicker you decide this, the more your body and mind will benefit.
If emotion is very strong, it’s hard to see beyond it. To think and feel different appears impossible. Ongoing feelings of anger can easily turn into resentment and depression… and so those stress hormones continue.
So, how can you stop wasting energy and protect your health?
Whatever your circumstances, what cannot be taken away from you is your power to control yourself from within.
Acknowledge the emotion you’re feeling. Name it. Thank it. Briefly.
Then choose to pause for a moment.
Focus your attention on your heart/chest area (this disrupts the negative thought patterns).
Breathe a bit slower and a bit deeper than you normally do.
Keep your breath even. Try inhaling to the count of 5 and exhaling to the count of 5.
By doing this you are balancing your autonomic nervous system. You are taking it into a neutral state, slowing down the production of those damaging stress hormones. You’re stopping the energy drain on your body and you’re actively shifting the way your brain works. As the stress hormones lessen, you can think more clearly and from a wider viewpoint.
Each time your angry thoughts come back, focus on your heart area. Placing your hand on your chest can help. Do it for 3-5 minutes or until you feel a shift. A slight sense of calmness.
Initially, you may not want to.
Once you feel the benefit of this technique, you won’t want to waste your energy for so long when another life challenge happens. You’ll use it before a potential stressful interaction, and afterwards to regain your energy. You’ll use it any time of the day or night when you feel those strong negative emotions.
Nothing is worth losing your health over. So, plug the leaks and enjoy topping up!