How in touch are you with your own heart?
So often we hear about cardiac episodes that come on suddenly and unexpectedly, but the truth is heart disease happens over time, and there are often warning signs long before an episode takes place. When it comes to heart health, intuition is a powerful tool that could save your life.
Before getting into the fundamentals of intuition, I want to take a few moments to look at some of the common and not-so-common symptoms of heart problems. After all, February is American Heart Month, so what better time to learn more about how to identify and prevent heart disease?
Common Heart Attack Symptoms
Most people know that sharp pains in the chest or arm could be an indicator of a heart attack or stroke, but there are other symptoms that we often see when people have cardiac episodes. These include pains in the back, nausea, sweating, shortness of breath and dizziness. You may also experience discomfort similar to indigestion or heartburn and have an irregular heartbeat. Whether these feelings are severe or quite light and pass quickly, it is important to seek cardiac treatment right away.
Uncommon Heart Attack Symptoms
Many people with cardiovascular disease, particularly women, experience subtle symptoms that could be written off simply as the flu or stress. These include pain in the jaw, persistent coughing or wheezing, swelling in the feet and ankles, nausea and sweating. In addition, you may have a sense of anxiety, dread, or impending doom. In many cases, these symptoms can be experienced weeks or even months before an attack, and while they may not seem particularly dangerous, they do merit attention.
What is Intuition and Why is it Important?
Intuition is your inner guide that helps direct your decision making. We all have this inner guide, but we may understand or experience it differently. Some may experience it as a gut feeling, an inner, all-knowing voice, or a sixth sense. Studies by the HeartMath Institute reveal that both the heart and brain receive and respond to intuitive information and that there is compelling evidence to suggest the heart receives intuitive information before the brain. This innate knowledge can alert us to potential problems within the body if we know how to listen to it.
Connecting to your inner guide is easier than you think. The first step is simply being aware of your intuition and acknowledging that it is there. One great way to do this is with meditation or mindfulness practice. Find a quiet space, sit still and focus on what is going on inside your body. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you and trust your first instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore the problem or overthink it, instead take decisive action to fix it. This could include making lifestyle changes or seeking medical help.
Dr. Cynthia Thaik is a Harvard-trained Los Angeles cardiologist who practices with her heart. She helps replace stress, fear and anxiety in her patients and instills a sense of inner calm and peace by educating and inspiring them to take proactive steps towards health and healing.