Happy heartbeats day!
The heart is an amazing organ. It works on demand; that is, it adjusts itself to our body’s needs. During exercise or high stress, the heart rate increases and conversely it slows down in times of rest and relaxation. Depending on a person’s heartbeat rate, the average daily heartbeats range from 80,000—100,000. Heartbeats are also described as a personal metronome that nature gave us to mark time. Something to consider then is how we spend our daily allotment of heartbeats.
Research suggests that each heartbeat reflects many complex interactions between our mental and physical states. Beyond being a pump, each heartbeat is an important part of appreciating and living life. Through our heart, we feel love, sadness, joy, and amazement. We place our hand over it when expressing emotion or making a pledge. It is our heart that allows us to feel the wonders of being alive.
February is appropriately designated as Heart Awareness month. A perfect opportunity to remember how precious each heartbeat is and acknowledge the importance of its continuous operation. How could we honor the gift of each heartbeat to attain greater meaning? How about honoring our heartbeats with gratitude for being alive and increasing our attention on doing good, being kind?
We honor heartbeats when we take care of ourselves (rest, exercise, and healthy eating) and we take care of others (family, friends, coworkers, and strangers). We honor heartbeats when with let others know that we love them, appreciate them and value who they are and how they live their lives. Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to express those sentiments.
A poll of 2,000 Americans found that more than half of the responders said they look at Valentine’s Day as a way to show appreciation toward everyone they love—partners, friends, kids, and pets. The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Zulily examined Valentine’s Day habits and behaviors and showed that contrary to popular belief, this date night isn’t all about romance—59% commemorate heart’s day with their nearest and dearest friends, 51% plan on celebrating with their kids, and 28% will hang with their fur baby.
No matter how Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day, 69% will say “I love you” more on February 14, than any other day of the year—a great start toward healthier heartbeats. Given the meaning of Valentine’s Day has broadened from that of a day for the romantics, maybe it can also be an annual reminder for each of us to reflect on how we spend our heartbeats. Wishing you Happy Heartbeats day!
Originally published in the Orange County Register, February 13, 2020