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November 9, 2017
How Connection Impacts Heart Health

Amy O’Sullivan, an epic community member who’s also certified in Applied Positive Psychology (aka — she’s a boss mindset-shifter), has some awesome gems to share today.💖

She’s put into perspective what happens to our bodies when we genuinely connect with another human. Read on, then hug a bud.

Tiny moments of connection can alter our health

Small micro-moments of positive emotions are available to us countless times a day. Not only can they change the wiring of our brains, but also our hearts. And, these moments are available to us all the time — they’re in the connection with the barista during our AM coffee stop or the belly-aching laughter we share with a co-worker. It’s important we soak ’em up.

Barbara Fredrickson, a principal investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory at Chapel Hill, has done a lot of work around this. It turns out, positive micro-moments don’t only affect your emotions — they change you physically.

Here’s what micro-moments do:

1.// Help regulate glucose
2.// Fight inflammation
3.// Slow your heart rate through the vagus nerve

And the more we use the vagus nerve, the more we improve our capacity to love. The more we love, we are essentially lowering the odds of a heart attack and increasing the opportunity for a longer, healthier life.

So engaging in micro-moments of connection are equally as important as the diet, exercise and meditation we are committing to daily.

Sooo… an apple a day?🍎

When it comes to micro-moments, the more the better! Emotion durations are short-lived, so it’s the frequency that prevails.

However, it does require one thing, fam… you’ve got to step away from the iPhone, your newest Spotify station, or the ClassPass app for a bit. Pick up your head and connect. Micro-moment opportunities are everywhere, but you’ve got to be available for when they show up.

 

#morningmischief

Photo by Luis Ruiz

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