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Open your heart!

Open your heart!
Photo: Thinkstock
  1. How love and fear affect our heart
  2. An open heart makes you healthy
  3. In dialogue with the emotions
  4. Expressing feelings in the relationship
  5. Listen in the heart's voice
  6. Fear of injury
  7. The right environment
  8. Protect the body

Psychology: Understanding Emotions

Show emotions! Here you will learn how to learn to treat yourself and others more lovingly, to listen to your own needs and desires, and to find your way to yourself.

Put your hand on the heart! What are you feeling right now? The raising and lowering of your ribcage, the rhythmic beating of your heart? Do some emotions come up as well? Feel: Do you feel happy or sad, satisfied or grumbling, calm or turned on, curious or resigned, cheerful or frustrated, relaxed or tired, laid back or exhausted?

An open heart in nine steps - the most important tips you can see in the gallery (9 pictures):

Are there repressed wishes, longings, hopes? Close your eyes, if you like, quietly for a few moments. And listen. Let your heart speak, it will do you good! For our hearts have long been considered the seat of our soul, the deepest truth and the seat of our innermost feelings.

How love and fear affect our heart

Our heart reacts as an organ immediately and immediately to what we feel right now. Our hearts beat faster when we're in love, and it knocks anxiously when we're excited. If we are sad, our hearts are noticeably tight, and if we are terribly frightened, the heartbeat can even be interrupted for a short time.

It will be easy for us if we are happy or we get good news. And our heart can hurt when it almost bursts with love - or when it's broken. After emotional or mental injuries, we close our hearts. Sometimes so thorough that we find it difficult to reopen it, and we no longer dare to go through life with an open visor.

An open heart makes you healthy

But if we close our hearts permanently, we not only harm our health, we also cut off from our true desires, longings and feelings.

The little prince knew this in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's famous book when he said, "Here is my secret. It's simple: you only see well with your heart. The essence is invisible to the eyes. "And unaffected by the mind. That is why it is very important for more joy and harmony in life, in everyday life: Dare to let your heart go far!

An "open heart" - what is meant by that?

When you're not in the hands of a surgeon with your chest open, psychologists and cardiac therapists under an open heart understand the ability to connect with our deepest feelings no matter how comfortable or uncomfortable they are.

Author and life counselor Safi Nidiaye writes in her book "Opening the Heart Instead of Breaking the Head": "By opening my heart, I am ready to feel something I have previously closed off (in fear)."

In dialogue with the emotions

The Starnberg couple therapist and author Katja Sundermeier ( explains: "Anyone who goes through life with an open heart is connected to what he really is and wants to be. He does not compare himself to others, but deals with respect and love. "

Lutz Hertel, psychologist and chairman of the board of the German Wellness Association, who in Duesseldorf will organize therapeutic heart groups according to the program of the US-physician Dr. med. Dean Ornish directs, says: "To open one's heart means to be in dialogue with one's innermost feelings, to know what is on our minds."

Sounds easy. Or?

It sounds simple - but is that really it? After all, it's not about communicating your own feelings on Facebook to his 378 friends in a status message. Or to scold a friend about the terrible lover. Or to scold colleagues for the unjust treatment by the terrible boss.

For anyone who dumps his soul waste unreflected on others does nothing good for his heart. "You cut it off, exaggerated, from your own feelings and from your own life and experience and has closed his heart, " says the Tuebingen psychologist Daniela Schmid.

Expressing feelings in the relationship

On the other hand, those who have an open heart know what they want, can name what they are currently experiencing in terms of emotions, and also dare to say why they feel sad, happy or hurt. The eternal relational classic "Woman waits for man to finally come home" is a good field of practice for this.

Instead of allegations like "Always you come too late, " says a woman with an open heart, which feelings are really behind their anger. "She confesses to him, for example, that she is afraid he is going to be a stranger. And that's why she feels jealousy, "explains couple therapist Katja Sundermeier.

Listen in the heart's voice

Even with good friends we often lack the courage to say what we really care about. This can lead to tormenting us, for example, on the birthday party of our best friend, although we would much rather sleep. But the fear of not being liked by the girlfriend makes us deaf to the inner heart's voice.

One only does a favor with others. "It would be better to call the girlfriend and tell her clearly that you do not feel like celebrating today, " advises the Düsseldorf psychologist Hertel. "And that you hope to be able to say that to your friend without fear of consequences for the friendship. Usually compassion then arises on the other side, "says Hertel.

And that works on the brave caller incredibly facilitating and rewarding. Which may even lead to his being inspired by this new energy, but still going to the birthday party.

Why is it so hard to open our hearts?

Because in childhood we learned that our feelings, needs and wishes are not in order, "says psychologist Daniela Schmid. If a child wants to be hugged because he longs for closeness, but the mother refuses him because she prefers reading the newspaper, that would be "an incredibly painful experience for the child, " said Schmid.

As the child repeats this experience, it will soon avoid any situations that could lead to that experience again. While in the future Mutti can read the newspaper without being disturbed by childish wishes for affection, the idea is implanted in the child that his own needs are not important, since they are not taken seriously.

Fear of injury

And because one's own wishes are not important, the child also does not feel important or lovable, closes his heart and thus access to his feelings. "This results in a tough attitude towards yourself, " explains the psychologist. And this attitude makes life difficult for us as adults.

Socialization, society, the experiences we have made in our lives, and the fear of being hurt, help keep the heart locked. "Often it is also false consideration that prevents one from opening his heart, " says the Düsseldorf expert Hertel.

The right environment

"You do not want others to feel like they're feeling." Behind them is the fear of being lonely. "That's deep in our psyche, " says Hertel. It is better to suppress one's needs in order not to jeopardize the continuity of a relationship or friendship.

Sometimes just lacking the environment to open his heart. Because that only succeeds in a trusting atmosphere, in which we are accepted without ifs and buts as we are.

How do you recognize that the heart is closed?

Depression and anxiety are signals, just as the desire to change something in his life, because you feel that something is missing, explains the psychologist Daniela Schmid.

Inner emptiness, lack of self-esteem and self-love, jealousy, greed, comparisons with others, perfectionism, sadness, performance thinking, envy, feelings of powerlessness, lies, struggles for justice and struggles for love are clear warning signs - if any signs should apply to you Now you might think about your heart.

Why does it make sense to open his heart?

Because one is with an open heart very present in the here and now and can be touched by life, says the Tübingen psychologist. Because one can only recognize with an open heart, which partner fits one, explains the couple therapist Katja Sundermeier. And if that's not enough for you: who learns to open his heart, lives healthier!

What does the heart opening have to do with health?

Anyone who goes through life with an open heart knows what he wants and what is good for him. Who keeps his heart locked, suppresses his needs, runs the risk of always living in worry, never really to be happy, never to feel safe. This can lead, according to psychologist Lutz Hertel, that you slip into a chronic state of stress.

And that in turn can negatively affect the stomach, intestines, kidneys, muscles, the entire organ system and the heart. For a stress hormone level that is permanently too high, weakens the immune system and focusses inflammatory foci in the body.

Protect the body

On the other hand, those who feel safe, experience compassion and compassionate security, whose stress hormones can sink to such a low level that the body can always regenerate and survive even more tense life phases.

Monkeys, says Hertel, would louse themselves for just that reason. "You give yourself to the other and let him do something good for yourself." This reduces the pulse rate and the body is capable of a real regeneration. Let's just make a monkey!

How can you learn to open your heart?

First of all, one has to realize that the heart is closed, and then be ready to open it. "You have to be able to deal with feelings like love, grief and anger, " explains psychologist Daniela Schmid. You also need an environment that maintains a cordial relationship.

This can be the partner who lovingly supports you. Or the circle of friends. A therapist or a heart group that meets regularly. "It is important that it is people who accept you as you are. Some do not immediately attack you with well-intentioned advice. "

Another requirement is to go into personal responsibility. "Do not blame others for your perceived happiness or misfortune, " says the psychologist. "Be mindful and loving with yourself and do not judge yourself so hard. Treat yourself to some regular breaks. "This can be the weekly yoga class, the daily walk or the monthly spa visit.

How do you recognize that the heart is open?

"A sense of liveliness and presence in the here and now, " says Daniela Schmid. "A feeling of security, " explains Lutz Hertel. For Katja Sundermeier these are feelings and states of joy, curiosity about life, serenity, loving interaction with oneself and others, a sense of nature, a sense of beauty, honesty and openness to one's own feelings, truthfulness, trust and feeling, loved and loved by life to be cared for, understanding and compassion, inner peace and inner peace.

"It's an inner decision and a decision for life, " says Katja Sundermeier. And for the health. "We would all be healthier, " says Lutz Hertel, "if we were more cordial together."

Recommended reading

Safi Nidiaye has written several books on the theme of "open heart", her latest work has just been published.

"The Voice of the Heart" by Safi Nidiaye (Bastei Lübbe, around 8 Euro) order here on >>

Psychology: Life coaching on SHAPE Online >>