The Importance of Heartfulness
Heartfulness is one of Mindful & Well’s four tenets.While many people are familiar with mindfulness, most have not heard of heartfulness before. In this newsletter, I’ll break down the meaning and benefit of heartfulness practices.
A quick exercise to start: what do you see in the photos below?
Spooky. Evolutionarily, identifying these ghoulish faces is an important skill to have. Our ancestors needed the ability to quickly discern a face among the trees-- especially a scary, threatening face.
While today most of us are not running for our lives from predators of the jungle, our brains are still wired to be constantly on guard for threats. Scientists call one of the outcomes of this mechanism of thinking "negativity bias." Negativity bias means that we, as a species, are unfortunately hyper-tuned to the “bad” or “negative” events in our day, much more than to the positive and happy moments.
Try to recall the last time you had a performance review at your job, or received feedback on a project. If you were told 4-5 things you are doing well, and one thing you needed to change or improve-- what did you end up ruminating on? Usually, it’s the one piece of criticism. That’s just the way our human brain works.
But-- we are not actually doomed to negativity all the time, and this is where the concept of heartfulness comes in.
Heartfulness is the intentional cultivation of positive states of mind such as gratitude or compassion.
Heartfulness practice is scientifically proven to change neural pathways in our brain. Through these practices, we essentially train ourselves away from our default negativity, and become better at focusing on the positive. With consistent heartfulness practice, we begin to simply feel better about our lives. Heartfulness, when coupled with mindfulness, is proven to have greater benefits than just practicing mindfulness alone. For this reason, it is an integral part of the Mindful & Well Education curriculum.
One very simple heartfulness practice you and your students or kids can do is to make a list of things or people for whom you are grateful. You can also think in the following categories, such as 3 things you are grateful for:
in your home or bedroom
that someone did for you recently
about your partner, sibling, or parent
Consistently recognizing a couple things you are grateful for, perhaps each morning when you wake up or every evening at the dinner table, can have a lasting positive impact on your brain.
And if you’re in Santa Cruz, your kids can learn heartfulness first-hand in a Mindful & Well Education summer course for ages 11-14. The purpose of the class is to reduce stress and help kids feel more connected to themselves and others. We will practice mindfulness, heartfulness, yoga, and more. All students will remain 6 feet apart and the course will take place outdoors. We will meet 5 times total between July 20th-August 7th. I will work with families' schedules to determine what days and times of the week work best. In order to maintain a safe environment, enrollment is limited to 4 spots. Read more here, and reply back to this email if you’re interested.
Wishing you plenty of heartfulness over the next month,
Open to ages 11-14, this course helps kids reduce stress and strengthen their connection to themselves and others. We will practice mindfulness, heartfulness, yoga, and more. Summer Course »
Available for youth, parents, & educators
Private coaching provides the opportunity for scheduling flexibility and unique personal growth, as the curriculum can be tailored to you or your child's individual needs.
Prefer to meet virtually? Mindful & Well Education offers online coaching sessions
If you’d like personalized resources or coaching in mindfulness and wellness practices, send me an email at email@example.com. You can also subscribe to the monthly Mindful & Well newsletter below. I’m always available to answer any questions you have, by email or in the comments below.
Thanks for stopping by!