Inner strength challenge: the intelligent heart
Many of us can fear the loving, caring side of our personalities and while loving fiercely opens the risk of being hurt, it also allows the chance to bond, be happy and live a fulfilling life. This week, join us on part two of our inner strength challenge.
Be vulnerable, laugh often and love always.
Give yourself the challenge to give and receive at least five cuddles today. Hug your partner, your mum and hug your dog. Hugging can lower the levels of cortisol in the body (the stress hormone) and boost the levels of oxytocin (the love hormone). A 10-second cuddle has even been found to lower your risk of heart disease, boost your immune system and ease symptoms of depression.
Schedule a heart-opening yoga practice into your day. Whether you’re a morning or evening workout fan, all poses which involve a back-bend are good for the heart. Remember to stretch the body with a warm-up before moving on to the following, energising poses:
- dancer’s pose
- upward-facing dog.
Today, we ask you to rest the body and exercise your emotions. For one minute, release any tension, stress or anger you have been feeling. Scream, shout and feel the relief. Next, allow yourself to feel any sadness you have been holding in. Let your heart open. Finally, laugh for one minute. Allow yourself to feel joy and think about the things you are grateful for.
Make a playlist, or a collection of playlists, all devoted to a different emotion. Music can bring us together and sharing emotions can create new bonds. Take your time and take care in selecting the songs in each playlist. Remember that you can listen to these playlists whenever you are feeling sad, happy, angry or excited, and recognise that you are not the only one feeling this way.
To finish the week, try saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way. This may be an invitation out, taking part in a local event, doing a favour for a friend or taking a risk and saying yes to a feeling. Saying yes can open many new opportunities that you may not have seen before.
Take away the fear and worry, be brave and say yes.