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Humans unfortunately are not exempt from Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, which is the scientific term for heartbreak.
When we subject our minds to emotional pain a physiological reaction occurs, our blood pressure rises and we release harmful toxins such as adrenaline and cortisol.
When we are fearful, stressed, heartbroken or anxious, adrenaline is produced by the adrenal glands. If we do not use up the adrenaline and it becomes stored in our system, it can lead to depression and further feelings of anxiety.
The sooner we ease the pressure of heartache, the better we will feel emotionally and physically.
Even if we meet and marry the first person we date in high school, somewhere through the years we will be struck by a tragedy that can make our heart feel as though it has been broken.
Sadly, we cannot avoid heartache nor can we become immune to it. Even if our heartache isn’t from a recent trauma, our hearts can hold on to pain from past experience.
Whether we’ve only known someone a day or a lifetime the heart wants what the heart wants. When the relationship breaks down it can leave us with a dull and heavy ache in our chest as we long for the lost connection with the other person.
Heartache does not only result from relationships, it may be that we have lost a friend, relative or pet that we have loved or cared about deeply.
Meditation can be a tool for working with the emotions of heartache. It won’t necessarily wipe out all current pain and past memories instantly. It encourages us to look at the pain, to understand it, to feel it and to process it.
If we do not pay attention to what has happened and dedicate time to process the situation, it can leave us with feelings of remorse, rejection, resentment and low self-worth. We then tend to portion the blame to try to make sense of it all. Often we take on the biggest slice of the blame and feel angry towards ourselves for the pain we are now experiencing.
Letting go the pain and negative emotions is not something that is easy, but it is an essential process before we are able to fully move on.
When we are suffering heartache one of the most destructive things we can do for ourselves is to block out the pain and continue as though nothing has happened, sweeping it under the carpet hoping it will be forgotten. Because, trust me, the pain will sneak out from under that carpet and force us to become face-to-face with it when we are least expecting it.
Our biggest enemy in times of heartbreak is our own thoughts. The mind not only plays tricks, but it can also easily fall into a routine of obsessing over the same things which keep the issues fresh and raw in our minds. We can learn to take control of our thoughts, instead of being cotrolled by them.
Time is a great healer, though to heal we must first look at what has caused the wound in the first place.
One reason for this is so that we can learn why we allowed ourselves to fall victim to injury. And another reason is so that we can try to ensure we don’t fall into the habit of repeating the same patterns over and over again.
When we see that life is a journey and love is one path that leads us to a greater understanding of ourselves and others, we will find it easier to allow the story of our life to unfold. Although, at the time it may all not make sense, when we look back on things that may have seemed like obstacles, our minds are clearer to see how those things slotted into the bigger picture.
“Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing…” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
We have to let go of the need to control; life is ever changing. Nothing remains the same and although this is a difficult concept to accept at times, it is also one that teaches us to let go of the attachments we place on the people and things that are in our lives.
Before we begin our meditation practice, we should focus on creating waves of love, acceptance and forgiveness, both for ourselves and the other person.
As we are radiating loving energy we will very quickly feel that similar warm and loving energy rebound back to us.
Rather than imagining our heart as being broken, we can visualize it as being open so that it is able to receive loving healing light.
When we enter meditation we move to a relaxing state known as alpha. This is the bridge between the subconscious and the conscious mind.
Meditation takes us away from distractions so that we can slow down the mind and calmly and rationally sort out any muddled up thoughts. It gives us the opportunity to be still and unravel our minds so we can loosen any tight knots that have been created by too much thinking.
This meditation is for balance and will harmonize emotions and dispel pent up and blocked emotions.
Sit crossed legged with a straight spine. Head slightly lowered. With hands in front of the chest, palms lightly touching, and thumbs and little fingers touching one another. The middle finger should be in line with the Third Eye.
While inhaling and exhaling deeply allow all thoughts in the mind to continue for a few moments, ricocheting around. Then notice which of the thoughts are repeating continuously. Focus all the attention very briefly on this thought, pay it attention for just a few moments, acknowledge how it makes you feel and then gently envisage blowing it away.
Continue this process with all other thoughts that are niggling away at the mind. Allow them a few moments and then release them.
As the mind calms and slows down with deep breathing, the reoccurring thoughts will settle too.
If being beside the sea brings peace, clarity and calmness, imagine sitting out watching the waves and at the same time repeat, “I feel happy and at peace.”
Or simply envisage a huge glowing heart radiating with love; repeat the words, “I feel love.”
When using affirmations try not to use “I am” instead use “I feel.” We are not one particular thought, whether good or bad. We are a mixture of emotions at all times. Therefore, when we choose, “I feel,” instantly our minds will associate this with an emotion and we will feel the sensations that particular emotions evokes.
Meditation is about remaining as much in the present moment as possible. When we are fully present there is very little suffering to be felt. Whenever we feel our minds casting back or projecting forward, it is important to gently bring them back to the hear and now.
As we continue meditating we will release anxiety and the painful feelings that have been accompanying our thoughts. The longer we meditate, the more effective it will be. We can meditate for just a few minutes, or far longer depending on how we feel. The more regularly we meditate, the more effective the practice will be.
Once we have completed the meditation we can transfer this new positive thinking into our daily lives by remembering our thoughts are like habits. The more we think something, the more natural it will feel for that thought to linger. It is not only the thought that lingers, the emotions that are attached to it will also hang around too.
When we think good thoughts, we feel good feelings. The opposite is also true. We have total control over whether we are feeling good or bad, simply by how much we can control our thinking. Think love.
“The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it.” ~ Nicholas Sparks
Author: Alex Myles
Editor: Travis May
Image: Flickr/Lua Ahmed