Dr. Barbara Collins | Brain Petals for Your Heart
Dr. Barbara Collins is a midlife transition expert.
Midlife, Tranisition, Menopause
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Brain Petals for Your Heart


One day I was waiting in line at the Post Office. The line was so long, I was tired and stressed out. I wanted to just leave, but I needed to get an important document in the mail. I thought, “This is not working for me. I need to relax and think about something pleasant.”

So, standing in line, I tried to think positively. I thought about my granddaughters, Mecca and Micah; they call me MiMi.  When we talk on the phone they say, “I love you, Mimi“,  and my heart melts. I feel immediate joy and gratitude.

Then, Latin music started playing on the radio; I love Latin music! I recalled how my cousin Bobby would take me Salsa dancing when I was a teenager in New York City. I smiled, and my body was relaxed and less anxious about waiting.

After waiting almost 20 minutes, I left, feeling much better. Changing my thoughts to joyful memories decreased my stress.

When I got home, I wrote a list of as many joyful moments I could. I was surprised to discover how many numerous brief joyful moments I could remember.  It felt great to write it so I could use these moments when I need to feel some joy at any time of the day.

Did you know the mind has between 60-80,000 thoughts per day? That’s an average of 2,500 thoughts per hour.  Oh my! That’s a lot of thinking. The brain is powerful to hold thousands of thoughts each day.

No wonder I get a headache when I over think something.

My post office experience proved to me that I can control my thoughts; maybe intentionally add a few joyful thoughts in my day or night.

I name these powerful thoughts “Brain Petals” for the brain.  Brain Petals are brief joyful, gratitude or loving thoughts that help you relax, lower blood pressure and most of all makes your heart smile.

If you really think about your memories you will discover many brief joyful moments.

Try this experiment.  Think of a brief moment when you felt joy or love. Breathe a few gentle breaths embrace yourself in the feeling. Your heart if it could talk would say now this feels really good. Your blood pressure probably dropped a few points.

Trying to recall a joyful moment may be challenging at first.  Aging is like trying to remember where I put my car keys or glasses.  It’s hard to avoid stress but you can create a relaxing moment waiting in line, waiting for an appointment or just sitting looking outside your window

If your life feels difficult right now just try to recall a joyful, loving or grateful moment even if someone just smiled at you in the store.  Your brain doesn’t register why this person is smiling at you.  The brain only captures the thought and sends the feeling to your heart.

Go gather a few “Brain Petals,”  o.k.? You may need one on a stressful day. Try it works!

As I’ve aged, I’ve realized that stress when we are younger is a lot different that stress as we getting older. Our older bodies are impacted with more to handle just to stay healthy.