Ways to relieve stress including 'heart-breathing'

- Eighty percent of all medical problems are believed to be directly related to stress. Many doctors will tell you that reducing stress in your life can make you feel better and reduce your risk of disease. With help from the Heights of Health in Houston, FOX 26 News is sharing some techniques that can teach you how to control stress better. 

One technique is "heart breathing."  

"You start by putting your hand in your hand over your heart, also known as your heart space, and just gently close your eyes," explains Heather Goodwin, director of the Holistic Behavior Division at Heights of Health. "It almost helps when you focus on your heart, send it a bright green light. Imagine the center of your chest lighting up in a bright green light, which is the color of our heart chakra. That's the first step -- focus on it, send it some love."   

The next step is called "heart-breathing."  

"Just imagine that you are sending air in and out around your heart," says Goodwin. "One way that helps me when I can't get in the group feeling air going in and out space, notice and shift to your nostrils. When you take it in, it's nice and cool and exhale it's nice and warm, transfer to heart space and see if you can feel that cold air going into the chest, and out of the chest  do that for a few moments."

The final step is "heart feeling."  

"The thought is you can generate and hardwire an emotional memory that you bring back to mind in a time of stress< says Goodwin. "When you think about a memory, a person, maybe a vacation, something that occurred in your life or an individual in your life that you feel a deep love and gratitude for, a time when you felt those emotions. Just think about it, recreate the story, visualize the scene or person." She goes on to say that science has proven that the more you practice high-vibration emotions, the more you increase your overall well-being.  

Taff Weinstein, a client of Goodwin, allowed FOX 26 to observe him undergo this therapy. He is a successful business owner and family man. That powerful combination often comes with a lot of stress.  

"I always felt overwhelmed, like I could never catch up, so it helped with that," says Weinstein. "Now my mantra is always getting it done, and I do, but it's still very stressful. Then, maybe angry sometimes."

Goodwin says most people don't truly realize just how powerful the heart is and how big of a role it plays to our overall health.  

"Many of us think of the heart as a powerful organ that pumps blood through the body, and what we don't realize is that it is truly a second brain," adds Goodwin. "The heart has its own nervous system with 40,000 neurons, and it actually has the most receptor sites for oxytocin, which you generate."

Goodwin also says that the point is to get something called oxytocin flowing -- it's known as the "love" or "feel good" hormone. If you can get that hormone flowing when you're stressed out. Goodwin says it can really calm you down and provide healthy benefits for your entire body.        

While there are all types of meditation, Heather says touching the area around your heart can stimulate that feel-good hormone. Weinstein says he and his wife practice these techniques every morning for ten minutes.  

"Huge, huge difference!," says Weinstein with excitement. "One of Heather's sayings - it's ten minutes to be, not to do, you're not doing anything, not thinking about work, just breathe and start the day off right!"

For more information about Heights of Health, visit http://heightsofhealth.com/.

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