Heart meditation is a simple, yet effective way to connect with the heart. It's a spiritual practice that helps you connect with the love, joy and peace that is within you. It is a form of purification and healing, helping you to release repressed emotions, memories and feelings.
To begin, sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Breathe gently and sense the breath flowing into your heart centre. You may also visualise a coolness permeating the chest.
Then, allow any feelings or emotions that arise from your heart to come and go without judgement. They're your heart's message and they're the ones you need to hear right now.
In a state of stress, the body goes into "fight or flight" mode. This is very dangerous for long-term health and can lead to a number of serious conditions.
This reaction can be redirected to your parasympathetic nervous system with the help of meditation. This calms your heart and breathing and allows blood vessels to relax, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
You can do heart meditation anytime - it won't take much time out of your day, but it will make a huge difference to your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. Start with a few minutes and gradually increase your time until you can spend an hour or more each week.
A new study in the American Journal of Cardiology suggests that meditation can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends that you try meditating as part of your overall heart-health strategy, along with exercise and healthy diet.