Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Your Heart.

Via on Jan 19, 2012

 Which is more valuable—your heart or your head?

trust your heart

if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)

~ e e cummings

Last year, my doctor heard my heart doing something unusual and sent me on a several month adventure of tests. Trust me, one thing you never want to hear during a cardiac echo is, “Hmmm…I’ve never heard that before!” Long story short, they decided that everything was exactly where it was supposed to be.  I have the optimum textbook in flow and out flow. My heart is amazingly healthy. It just has a rhythm all it’s own. (Anyone that’s known me for more than a minute probably already knew that.)

We put our minds in charge most of the time, but our minds deceive us. Trusting your gut is a step in the right direction. But your heart? Listening to your heart sometimes gets an undeserved bad rep.

Your heart is amazing.

10. Your heart is incredibly strong. Your heart muscle is strong enough to lift 3,000 pounds.

9. But, you can actually break your heart. Deep emotional hurt releases stress hormones like cortisol which damage your heart.

(Photo: Wikimedia)

8. Your heart is a great indicator of your innate responses. What makes your heart race? Who makes it calm? You can convince your mind of all sorts of things. If your mind is telling you you don’t know what you want, listen to your heart. It knows.

7. The six quarts of blood in your body travel a distance of 12,000 miles around and around your body every single day.

6. The blood vessels fed by your heart are over 60,000 miles long; they could wrap around the earth–twice.

5. It used to be believed that the physical heart controlled emotions. Now we know the opposite is true. The cycle of your heartbeat is mainly regulated by your parasympathetic nervous system. When you are calm and happy, you relax into a regular rhythm.

4. Your heartbeat is strong enough to project blood over 30 feet.

3. Your heart beats–on average–100,000 times a day.

2. When you laugh, the blood flow to your heart is increased for about 45 minutes.

1. Your heart pumps over 31,000,000 gallons of blood in a lifetime.

All the things we attribute to our “hearts” may not be true. But when you feel something, in that ever-raw broken open place in your chest, when something makes you skip one of those 100,000 beats—pay attention. Your heart doesn’t lie.

About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. Her love of words is boundless, but she knows that many of life’s best moments are completely untranslatable. When she is not writing, you may find her practicing yoga, devouring a book, playing with her children, planting dandelions, or dancing barefoot with her heart on her sleeve. She is madly in love with life and does not know how this story ends; she’s making it up as she goes. Kate is the owner and editor-in-chief of Be You Media Group. She also writes for The Huffington Post, elephant journal, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, Yoganonymous, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. She facilitates writing workshops and retreats throughout North America. Heart Medicine, Kate's book on writing, is now available on Amazon.com You can follow Kate on Facebook and Twitter


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16 Responses to “Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Your Heart.”

  1. Joe Sparks says:

    Hi Kate, # 9 is true, but I feel we can heal a broken heart. We have natural healing processes of emotional release(crying,trembling, raging, laughing etc,). However, this natural process is interfered with by well-meaning people. ( "Don't cry," " Be a big boy," etc) who erroneously equate the emotional discharge ( the healing of the hurt) with the hurt itself. When adequate emotional release can take place, the person is freed from the rigid pattern of behavior and feeling left by the hurt. So, you can actually repair and heal completely from a broken heart. So, the basic loving, cooperative, intelligent, and zestful nature is returned, to freely function.

    • Joe Sparks says:

      You mentioned in another article the importance of listening, I think the best way in recovering from a broken heart is using the natural healing process, with two people who take turns listening and being listened to. The one acting as the listener, draws the other out, and permits, encourages, and assists emotional release. The one person being listened to, talks and feels those feelings and gets to heal and re-evaluate the hurt. With experience and increased confidence and trust in each other, the healing process works better and better. This has made a huge difference in healing my broken heart and in my life.

      • Yes! I think we definitely can heal our metaphorical heart!

        • Joe Sparks says:

          Hi Kate, Please read, Norman Cousins, In THE HEALING HEART, he describes his experience as a
          heart attack survivor, and tells how to both overcome panic and utilize the body's magnificent healing powers . . . as he notes, "Death is not the enemy. Living in constant fear of it is." Furthermore, "Nothing is more essential to the treatment of serious disease than liberating the patient from panic and fear.
          With our minds we can heal from almost anything if we get our distresses out of the way.

  2. -=SS=- says:

    #5 needs to be changed slightly. Google "Neurocardiology". The heart has a sufficiently intrinsic nervous system that it can be called a little brain in its own right. There is a two way conversation going on at all times between your heart and the old-mammalian brain in the head (the brain structure associated with emotional processing). The heart is a major orchestrator of hormonal production in the body and profoundly affects the whole functioning of the body. The heart is MUCH more than just a pump!

    Two other little things you could add. The heart produces the strongest EM field of the body, far more powerful than the one the brain produces. And the heart forms first in the fetus, before the brain.

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  4. Dearbhla Kelly Dearbhla says:

    This is really, really lovely. Thanks Kate.

  5. Megan Romo meganromo says:

    I love the heart. I often wear silver charm of an anatomical heart around my neck. The electricity in the heart has every fascinated me. Good presentation of ten quick bits that we're too often uninterested in learning about.

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