By Catherine Calarco
Wouldn't it be amazing to have superhero powers? Which superpower would you pick -- X-ray vision? The ability to leap tall buildings? Or fly at supersonic speeds? In the world of comics, superpowers are often extraordinary skills that benefit others; and some can even save the day. If you had some kind of natural force or special power within you, how would you use it?
It is possible to develop a superpower and create your own personal positive field environment to fly smoothly through the day. One such superpower is within your body -- your heart. When you put your heart into something, it changes everything. How you feel affects what you say and how you act -- both of which greatly affect others. Isn't this a superpower?
More and more we're seeing that superheroes are showing up everywhere. You can spot them moving piles of debris from broken houses that were hurled about by mother nature's wild exhibitions. They've shown up to rebuild homes that were chewed up and spit out by giant ocean waves, and they've been spotted building mountains of hope and inspiration with cardboard lemonade stands to help those who are struggling.
We've even caught glimpses of them at the corner of down-and-out giving new shoes to the homeless, and they've left behind signs of kindness at various stores after paying the tab for someone who so needed a break.
These heroes' superpowers are really expressions of heart values and true compassion. These values are embedded in each of us and lie dormant waiting to be cultivated. They are super because they can help rewrite a moment, heal emotional wounds, erase negative self-talk, improve relationships, nurture beauty, and grow happiness. They can change the perception and change outcomes -- and ultimately, each and every time they are used, they help to create a better world.
There's an uptick of everyday heroes unleashing a whole lot of kindness and love on our planet. It's felt through their acts of care, compassion, tolerance and gratitude. Science is researching how these qualities of the heart can affect many things. They can change your life and the life of others; they can add light to darkness and hope to despair. Research shows that positive heart qualities can affect many living things on this planet -- from plants, to animals, and even our own bodies.
Positive heart qualities create a powerful and influential state within the human system that researchers call coherence -- the focal point of more than two decades of research by the Institute of HeartMath.
As we focus on one of these heart values, we enter into a physiological state called "coherence," which changes our heart rhythms. Almost instantly, the rhythms adopt a smooth and ordered pattern. Coherence positively boosts immune and nervous systems functions, increases the anti-aging hormone DHEA, can help normalize blood pressure, and increases higher cognitive functioning -- meaning you experience more mental clarity, improved decision-making skills, increased creativity and practical intuition.
So how do you cultivate these superpowers? Here are five tips to get you started:
- Choose your mood: Notice yourself feeling upset, frustrated, impatient, angry, stressed or anxious. Take a few moments to shift that feeling. Try focusing on something you appreciate. Once you have a positive feeling in focus, imagine you're breathing this feeling in and out through the area of the heart, taking slower deeper breaths than usual. This simple exercise can help to shift the heart rhythms, and as you do this for just a few moments, it can also start to shift the less desirable feeling to a more positive feeling experience.
- Experiment with positive attitudes: For instance, next time you go to the grocery store, enter the store with an attitude of kindness. Instead of being irritated by a slow moving check-out line, lighten your mood by trying to shift to a feeling of open-heartedness, offer a smile to other shoppers, and maybe let someone go ahead of you that only has one or two items. Experiment with different positive attitudes and see how they can be contagious to those around you.
- Befriend wellness technologies: As science is revealing more about the power behind positive emotions, technology is also integrating the latest scientific findings into practical tools to help people develop their coherence power. Technologies such as the Inner Balance combine an app and sensor to train users how to access a coherent heart state anytime. It allows you to see your own power (or inner balance) in real time and teaches you how to shift your heart rhythms.
- Adopt a neighbor: Many of us know of someone in our neighborhood who is either a single parent, or has a spouse in the military, or maybe is an elderly person living alone. Consider what you can do to care for them. Maybe it's offering to mow their lawn, or take their trash barrels to the curb, or providing a monthly carwash. The point is that extending care toward our neighbors creates more connection, gives back to you from the very action of it and cultivates goodness in people -- not just in a time of crisis -- but just because you can.
- Power in numbers: Crowdsourcing is another act of care. We're seeing more and more viral funding campaigns to help those in need. Instead of fuming over the news, people are transforming their anger into networking missions by tapping into their social networks to raise money. For example, a campaign on GiveForward.com raised $200,000 within 24 hours to benefit a couple who had both suffered severe leg injuries in the Boston Marathon bombing. If you hear of a story that moves you, think about how you can rally others to help. This allows those affected to focus on healing and recovery.
Maybe you're not leaping tall buildings in a single bound, but remember your care, kindness and love have the power to transform many things. Cultivate your heart coherence and you'll be surprised by the number of things in a day that you can change and improve for yourself and others. Amazing things can happen.
For more by HeartMath, click here.
For more by Catherine Calarco, click here.
For more on emotional wellness, click here.