Ever have the feel­ing that your heart has a mind of its own? Turns out you were right. Ever acted on a hunch that you really couldn’t explain log­i­cally but you felt very strongly that it was the right thing to do?

Neu­ro­science — the sci­en­tific study of the ner­vous sys­tem — is really help­ing us bet­ter under­stand the impor­tance of the body, heart, and mind con­nec­tion. And, it turns out that our hearts and our gut do indeed have minds of their own.

In as few as five min­utes a day, you can dra­mat­i­cally enhance your abil­ity to tap into your deeper know­ing — or instincts — and have a much richer life expe­ri­ence. It’s a sim­ple breath­ing exer­cise that you can do when­ever and wher­ever is most con­ve­nient for you. The idea is to be com­fort­able with­out any inter­rup­tions or dis­trac­tions. Fol­low these easy steps:

1. Sit in a com­fort­able posi­tion with your hands open and palms fac­ing upward (you want to receive what­ever gifts are avail­able from this process).
2. Set a timer for five min­utes and play soft back­ground music. A good med­i­ta­tion track works well. While the music is optional, it can help you stay present — espe­cially if you are some­place noisy.
3. Close your eyes and breathe nor­mally. Don’t try to con­trol your breath­ing — just notice the sen­sa­tion of it enter­ing and leav­ing your body.
Allow any thoughts that enter your mind to gen­tly pass and refo­cus on our breath­ing. Try not to get frus­trated or dis­cour­aged if you lose focus. Our minds tend to be very busy, so it’s com­pletely nor­mal. Your abil­ity to focus will improve the more you do this exercise.
4. After five min­utes, raise your arms above your hear stretch­ing upward as much as you can for about 10 to 15 sec­onds. Allow your arms to gen­tly move to the left and stretch for another 10 sec­onds or so. Repeat to the right side.

That’s it! You’re done. After 10 days, you may begin to increase the length of the med­i­ta­tion — but, you don’t have to. Just prac­tic­ing this mind­ful breath­ing tech­nique for five min­utes a day cre­ates new path­ways in your brain and opens you up to an end­less set of possibilities.

For an extra power boost, try these three things for 10 days and see whether you don’t feel much more con­nected to your inner know­ing and much more bal­anced in your daily living:

1. In the morn­ing before get­ting out of bed, decide that today will be a phe­nom­e­nal day and place that inten­tion in your heart — lit­er­ally. Allow your­self to imag­ine all of the won­der­ful pos­si­bil­i­ties that the day holds and really feel the won­der­ful feel­ings that come up as a result. (4 minutes)

2. At mid­day, remind your­self of your inten­tion and make a men­tal note of any adjust­ments that you need to make for the rest of the day to honor your inten­tion. Have you allowed your­self to start get­ting irri­ta­ble? Take some deep breaths and release what­ever is start­ing to build inside that is not con­sis­tent with your inten­tion. (2 minutes)

3. At bed­time, name at least ten things you are gen­uinely grate­ful for. It’s won­der­ful if you can jot these down because there is so much value in jour­nal­ing. But, just men­tally mak­ing a note of the 10 things and allow­ing your­self to gen­uinely feel the grat­i­tude in your heart will be enough. (4 minutes)

You can cer­tainly take more time on any of these activ­i­ties — except #2. It’s impor­tant to limit time on the refo­cus­ing activ­ity so you don’t go down the rab­bit hole of self-​criticism and fault find­ing. This step is intended to just make you more aware of your thoughts and feel­ings and give you a chance to make any desired adjustments.

Begin­ning your days with a clear inten­tion to make them fab­u­lous, cul­ti­vat­ing the abil­ity to self-​regulate, and reg­u­larly prac­tic­ing grat­i­tude will enhance our heart, mind, body con­nec­tion. As the con­nec­tion gets stronger, so will your abil­ity to tune into your deep­est insights for liv­ing more joy­fully more consistently.

I’ll be shar­ing more about this at a net­work­ing cock­tail recep­tion on Mon­day, May 20th as part of the City Club of Washington’s Speaker Series. Visit http://joyfullyyou.com/events for more details.

Author's Bio: 

Pat­rina Clark, Pres­i­dent and Founder of Piv­otal Prac­tices Con­sult­ing LLC, loves recon­nect­ing peo­ple with their pas­sion and pur­pose. She is in high demand as an engag­ing and ener­getic speaker, coach, and consultant.

Patrina is an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University. She serves on the Board of Experts for the U.S. Women’s Cham­ber of Com­merce and is par­tic­u­larly pas­sion­ate about the Chamber’s Women’s Led Econ­omy ini­tia­tive because of its poten­tial to cre­ate an entirely new par­a­digm for women’s empowerment.

She also serves on the Board of Drec­tors for the Acad­emy of Hope, a Wash­ing­ton DC based non-​profit orga­ni­za­tion that is a lead­ing provider of adult edu­ca­tion pro­grams designed to empower the District’s most mar­gin­al­ized citizens.

Pat­rina has com­pleted grad­u­ate pro­grams at Har­vard Busi­ness School, George­town Uni­ver­sity, Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity, George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity, the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land and the Cen­ter for Cre­ative Lead­er­ship. She holds a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management.

Pat­rina is a cer­ti­fied Results Coach through the Neu­roLead­er­ship Group. She is also a cer­ti­fied Infinite Possibilities Trainer and trainer. She has numer­ous pro­fes­sional affil­i­a­tions and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions, includ­ing Human Cap­i­tal Strate­gist (Human Cap­i­tal Insti­tute) and Senior Pro­fes­sional in Human Resources (SPHR, HR Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Insti­tute).

Pat­rina lives in the met­ro­pol­i­tan Wash­ing­ton D.C. area. For fun, she loves to travel, dance, and zip-​line. She is also the national Pres­i­dent of the Eric Benet offi­cial fan club (The TrueEBs).