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We all know that heartfelt appreciation can uplift, inspire and move us to achieve things we didn’t know were possible.

According to research provided by the Institute of HeartMath you can engage the power of your heart to generate and sustain feelings of appreciation to help increase your own welling-being.

There is actual documented science behind this, showing that your heart and brain activity actually change when you focus on appreciation.

The Heart-Brain Connection

We know that most of us have been taught that the heart is constantly responding to “orders” sent by the brain in the form of neural signals.

However, it is not commonly known that the heart actually sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. This information travels via the vagus nerve and also as a pulse wave, electromagnetically and hormonally.

Moreover, these heart signals have a significant effect on brain function – influencing emotional processing as well as higher cognitive faculties such as attention, perception, memory, and problem-solving. In other words, not only does the heart respond to the brain, but the brain continuously responds to the heart.

These effects of heart activity on brain function have been researched extensively and independently over the past 40 years (Heart Math Institute).

Source: HeartMath.co.uk

Practicing these appreciation exercises accelerates your connection with your own heart. Appreciating ourselves and others helps restore the color 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.

Here is a simple exercise to practice Appreciation:

Heart Focus: 

Focus your attention on your heart area, and breathe a little deeper than normal, in for 5 or 6 seconds and out 5 or 6 seconds.

Heart Breathing: 

Imagine breathing through your heart. Picture yourself slowly breathing in and out through your heart area.

Heart Feeling: 

Activate a positive feeling as you maintain your heart focus and breathing. Recall a time you felt good inside, and try to re-experience the feeling. Remember a special place or the love you feel for a close friend, relative or treasured pet. The key is focus on something you really appreciate.

Help to create a better life for everyone around you: practice appreciation every day.

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