How to Listen To Your Heart And Transform Your Life

heart - woman smiling

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts. Einstein

What do you do when you feel stuck in life?

Do you listen to your heart?

Or do you weigh the situation? Sum up pros and cons. Think about it. Then think about it some more.

All the while you feel increasingly anxious and overwhelmed.

You think: if only there was an easy solution to making difficult decisions. That would make your life simpler.

Deep down inside you know your dreams, you know you accept too much BS from your boss, you know you want to live more in the present.

Yet you struggle to act.

Fears hold you back. “What about the money?”, “What about your partner’s feelings?”, “What if your boss fires you for finally speaking your mind?”

You know there is a way out:

Listen to your heart.

But how? It’s easier said than done.

Sometimes you hear your heart speaking. But it rarely lasts.

The simple truth is that it works and it can work for you too.

Why Your Mind Won’t Help You

We live in a society ruled by rationality where logic is favored over intuition. From a young age we are expertly trained to use our minds, but we are never taught how to use our hearts. The mind and the heart have different qualities.
The mind:

  • Fears
  • Thinks
  • Looks at the clock
  • Judges
  • Is considered masculineWhile the heart:
  • Loves
  • Feels
  • Is timeless
  • Forgives
  • Is considered feminine

When building rockets, yes, logic comes in handy. But when it comes to your daily life, personal struggles and relationships it is terrible.Read on and discover practical ways how you can access the power of your heart in this moment.

 

1. You Know How to Listen to Your Heart Already.

Don’t worry, I am not asking you to meditate, or write down your deepest thoughts.

Although you have never formally learnt how to use your heart, you have already done it many times in your life.

Recall a moment where you made a tough decision. This can be anything, as long as you enjoyed the outcome.

Maybe you decided to quit your job. Maybe you decided to stay at home instead of going to a party.

Whatever it is for you, go back to that moment.

In that moment, what did you think? I bet there was a struggle going on in your mind. Scary reasons why you can’t quit your job. A list of reasons you should and shouldn’t go to the party.

When you (finally) made that decision. What did you feel? Relief? Comfort? Discomfort? Excitement? Empowerment? Tension? Anxiety?

If you felt positive emotions, you listened to your heart and acted on its advice. If you felt negative emotions, chances are you didn’t.

To get the most from this exercise, write down:

What good followed when you listened to your heart, or (in case you didn’t), How would things be different, if you had?

By doing this simple exercise, you see that your heart is always there and always has your best interest at heart – pun intended.

No matter how much you rationalize your life, realize you will always feel some form of discontent when you neglect your heart’s interest.

 

2. How to Be Inspired When You Need It Most

Ironically when you need your heart the most, it is hardest to access. This exercise benefits you in three ways:

  • It takes you right to your feelings.
  • Your thinking goes to the background.

You create an anchorpoint to your heart when the need is high.

Make a list of what excites you so much you want to teleport to that moment right now. Make it as long as you want.

I have a cheat sheet of things that give me that warm cozy feeling anytime I think of it.

For example, I like campfires. My mind doesn’t interfere saying  “I like the natural light to a dark background, but sometimes the smoke gets too much”.

No, they make me feel good. Simple.

When you feel overwhelmed bring up one or two of these beautiful moments. It disrupts your patterns of thought and brings you back to your feelings.

 

3. What Would [Insert Personal Hero] Do

A change in perspective can make the difference you want.

Asking friends or family for help is admirable, but it won’t necessarily help you get in touch with your feelings.

Because your heart is yours and you have to walk the path, not someone else.

So instead of asking the usual suspects. Try something different.

Imagine you have a conversation with an inspirational person. Ask him or her specific answers to your dilemma.

  • What would he do in this situation?
  • What objections would he have?
  • What would he say?

Sometimes I have entire conversations with my imaginary friends. For different situations I have different heroes. It works, because your subconscious comes into play. By opening up to their answers, you block out your conscious, rational thoughts and give permission to your intuition to help out.

The qualities and wisdom that you perceive in these characters will bubble up to the surface in the form of feelings, intuitive answers, visions or voices.

 

4. Make Sure Your Mind Doesn’t Interfere

If the three exercises above didn’t do the trick for you, you can try one more thing. It will take you more time, but the effect is more profound. I personally like to do this when I have more impactful decisions to make.

We established that your thoughts interfere with your heart’s wishes. By thinking, you dampen the voice of your heart. What will happen if you keep the mind busy enough to be content, but not too busy to require your full attention? You create space for your heart.

A simple way to do this, is by doing a “mindless” activity. A task that requires a bit of your brain power, just to keep it distracted.

To give you an idea of what you could do:

  • Knitting
  • Cooking
  • Woodworking
  • Painting
  • Cleaning
  • Making MusicMeanwhile, you create room for feelings to arise, listen to them and hear what they tell you.

 

5. Your First Step to Transforming Your Life

Now you know easy ways to access your heart.

I imagine you won’t make any life changing decisions purely based on your feelings straight away.

First you want to test drive those feelings.

Do mini-experiments. Try something small and see what good comes from it when you let your heart guide you.

This way you create a positive feedback loop. You will see, I promise, that inspiring things will happen when you listen to your heart. The more positive feedback you get, the easier it will be for you.

Listen To Your Heart – Your Awesome Future Awaits

Now is the moment to bring your heart to the world.

You no longer get caught up in your head, feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

Instead you feel calm and at peace.

You speak your mind.

You end bad relationships and create new, loving ones.

You feel grounded and confident to follow your feelings.

Let your heart show you the way and create the life that you deserve today.

Bio: Wouter is on a lifelong mission to help people from all backgrounds discover their full potential. Checkout his Free Little Guide To Mindfulness (Even If You Have No Time)

 

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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{ 19 Comments }

  1. Russell Smitheram says:

    Hi Laura,

    Great post. The heart tends to always go unheard, competing with the mind, and rarely wins.

    I particularly liked #4 and we will be putting it into practice.

    Regards

    • Wouter says:

      Hey Russell,

      Thank you. #4 Is my favorite too. Let us know how that works out for you.

      I wouldn’t say the heart and the mind are competing as such. The mind is just very loud. The heart is always there, patiently. You can choose to listen to it at any time.

      Great things start to happen when you use them together.

      Wouter
      Wouter´s last blog post ..Super Test

  2. Laura says:

    There are a lot of good points here. I think the one that resonates with me the most is the finding it hard to be inspired when you need it most.
    It is so hard to access your heart during these times and you tend to get stuck. I like the idea of creating a cheat sheet to have during these times.
    I’m going to work on mine 🙂
    Laura´s last blog post ..7 Ways to Find Your Life Purpose

  3. Ewen Munro says:

    Great post. “The mind can be right or wrong, but the heart is always rights.” ‘) #keepgrowing #keepcreating

  4. Wouter says:

    Hey Laura,

    That is hard, isn’t it? It feels a bit like looking for a light in a pitch black room.
    A little pocketlight just to help you find the bigger light would be great. That is your cheatsheet 🙂

    Wouter
    Wouter´s last blog post ..Super Test

  5. Stéphanie says:

    I’ve been trying to let my heart speak louder for a while now. Sometimes its voice is loud and clear and indeed the relief I get from listening and acting on its message is close to divine. While my heart still gets overpowered by my mind at times, I have a feeling these practical and easy exercises will really help me when I need a break from my thoughts. I’ll definitely make use of your tips, Wouter! Thank you so much for this post!

  6. John says:

    I tend to think “balance,” between the heart and mind is needed in important life decisions. That said, I notice, the mind tends to “win” in most my decisions, so balance means focusing on the heart and consciously giving it a chance to rise. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  7. Laura Tong says:

    Wouter, I love all that you made me feel just by reading this. Imagine what I’ll feel by truly listening to my heart. It’s easy enough to hear it when it pounding in your chest but to call on its infinite wisdom, now that’s how to find our true path. Thank you for such a fabulous post.

  8. Julian says:

    Good post

    Love the 3rd part, what would your (personal hero) do, but what I try to do these days is to tame it by adding, ‘what would your (higher self) do’, as in, I try to get into the mentality of acting as if I am enlightened, or very wise. It allows me to become less emotionally attached to the outcome, which promotes peace (and even a sense of adventure;-)
    By doing it this way, I’m less likely to get stressed, and peace isn’t too far away. I panic less, and am able to get back to work.

    Thanks for the post.
    Julian´s last blog post ..Insomnia, Meditation, and an Intuition-booster!

  9. JakeFS says:

    “We live in a society ruled by rationality where logic is favored over intuition.”

    I am really trying to be more mindful in my daily life, but I fundamentally do not understand where you’re coming from with this statement. You’ve described society in the exact opposite of the way I perceive society.

    I think society is ruled by gut feelings, truthiness, and intuition. It’s a world where arguments from ignorance and gut feelings are typically considered equivalent of those made from rational analysis.

    The US president-elect did not win because people rationally weighed the two options and chose better candidate. Instead they trusted Trump in their gut to Make America Great Again. People feel that he tells it like it is, even though every rational analysis shows he lies at an unprecedented rate and scale even for a politician. One of Trump’s spokespeople just this week argued that there’s no such thing as facts. To my eyes we live in a post-truth post-facts world, and I don’t understand how my view is the complete opposite of years.

    You don’t even need to look at campaigns, look at campaign coverage. The media spends very little time rationally discussing policy, but they spend a lot of time talking about how voters feel about candidates and how the latest gaffe or faux-scandal we affect those feelings.

    This also true in the way we treat the science supporting human-caused global warming: It’s happening and humans are a significant cause. The rational facts are in, but ~50% of the public ignores the scientific consensus and follows their gut. The same is true of evolution, and unfounded fears about vaccines or GMOs.

    I like your advice in terms of understanding and connecting with our inner thoughts, needs, and desires, but the last thing this world needs is less rationality.

    • Wouter says:

      Hi Jake,

      Interesting thoughts and thank you for sharing.

      I agree with you, in light of the perspective that you describe.

      I am referring to rationality in the case of making tough a personal decisions that can change your life. In those instances I think we rely on “ratio” too often.

      The topic of rationality is worth a post on its own. Because, as you point out, what we believe to be rational behaviour on a greater scale can often be the opposite.

      I am curious to what arguments Trump’s spokesman had concerning facts. But I have written an interesting article on it here http://www.simplysyntropic.com/facts

  10. Ter Scott says:

    Great blog article! May I ask a favor? I’m looking to help self-help authors; plus I’m also looking for examples and stories as to how others have been helped: http://tinyurl.com/j922xrc

  11. Wonderful articles in this post it’s very beneficial for me. Thanks to share this post.

  12. Julian says:

    Clever article. Points 4 and 5 are critical. You can only access your subconscious (where your feelings subside) indirectly, so distracting yourself mildly, as in painting, knitting etc is a great way of not only listening to your heart, but also increasing your psychic/intuition abilities. You can also do this by using your peripheral vision when you meditate as well. And point 5, creating a positive feedback loop, is crucial for gaining the required confidence in your own intuition, which will save you hours of heartache. Thanks for posting
    Julian´s last blog post ..Mindfulness meditation: My top 5 techniques for 2017!

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