When I was pregnant with my son, who is now 9, I had a heartbeat monitor that I used to check his heartbeat every day. I would place that sensor on my belly and listen to his tiny heart beating. Doing this helped my own heartbeat to normalize, reducing my anxiety that something was going to go wrong with the pregnancy. It was his heartbeat that eased my mind every day of the 9 months of pregnancy.
Now, when my son and I cuddle on the couch and read a book or watch television, I still find myself placing my hand on his chest to feel his heartbeat. I am amazed by the miracle of life. Our heart keeps us going. Without the beating of our heart, we wouldn’t survive. How does it even keep beating?
Our miraculous heart tell us many things. When we see a beautiful sunset our heartbeat normalizes and we feel warm and peaceful. When we are driving down the highway and see an accident happening in front of us, our heartbeat races and we are filled with terror. When we have mental health issues such as anxiety, our heartbeat races, often with an equal amount of intensity that a person would feel if they were approaching an accident on the highway – this results in an anxious heart.
When we move through this fast-paced life, it’s difficult to pay attention to the calls of our heart. The warnings that our heart give us. When we struggle with anxiety, however, we need to recognize when there is a real fear vs. a perceived fear. Identify the thoughts that are rolling through our minds and recognize the physical impact that these thoughts are having on our bodies. Remember to breathe and gently observe the thoughts as they process through. Use mindfulness to be more present.
Pay attention to the calls of your heart and recognize when it is time to make changes.