A heart attack happens when there is a blockage of blood flow to the heart muscle. Chest pain can be caused by heavy lifting, weight lifting, or trauma to the chest.
Now why did I choose to begin this thought analyzing physical ailments? Because I believe ailments that manifest physically also mirror ailments that occur mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Our body is not a disconnected being. We operate based on systems that constantly communicate with each other to reflect our well-being.
I would like you to take a moment to examine your heart.....on an emotional/spiritual level. Are there any emotional blockages that disrupt healthy functioning? Some of these emotions can be anger, sorrow, joy and pleasure. Joy and pleasure- even though they are positive emotions- are included because if anger and sorrow are blocking the way, then joy, gratitude, contentment, and fulfillment are not able to flow freely. When your heart space is not allowed to be open and flow freely it even affects how you feel about yourself and how you show up in the world. Your mannerisms change, how you perceive others can change, and even your posture can change (instead of holding your chest out, your shoulders become more rounded and closed in as a form of protection).
There are plenty of factors that can cause emotional blockages in your heart space. If you have experienced emotional pain, heartbreak, stress, physical ailments, jealousy, abandonment, bitterness, fear of loneliness, and over-loving (to the point of suffocation) then you already understand the impact of an emotional heart attack. It feels like carrying a heavy weight that suppresses being able to love yourself and others freely, show gratitude, forgive, and trust.
So if you are experiencing emotional blockage, how can you overcome it? Through expression.....in a healthy way. The ACES Connection, a movement focused on healing trauma and building resilience, outlines a formula using the 3 R's (Recognize, Respond, Reset). Being more self-aware and recognizing the emotion that you are feeling which can be practiced by using mindfulness-tuning in to the emotion rather than avoiding it or trying to suppress it and paying attention to how your body is responding to the emotion you are feeling. Responding to the emotion in a healthy way must be authentic to you. Your response to release the emotion may come through many different ways such as crying, praying, taking a walk or run, reading, journaling, dancing, yoga, breathing, going to therapy, or even just talking to a supportive friend. After a response is given then we must reset. This is where good 'ol self-care comes into play. Self-care is a commitment to healing habits that stimulate all those good hormones that make us feel alive and well.
In my final thought.....I want to send encouragement your way to give yourself some grace. Practice freeing emotional blockages within your heart and allow yourself to flow more freely in life. Remember, on the other side of heart ache is joy and fulfillment. The other side is possible if you are willing to get there.