Happy Valentine’s Day! February is Heart Month. This is a good time to look at the part that your heart plays in your golf game.
Do you know that within ten days of conception, the heart is the first organ to form in the fetus? It is the first to be formed because it furnishes the intelligence that the DNA depends upon for its instructions.
Recent research in neuro-cardiology shows that the heart is the major governor of intelligence in the body. The heart is our electrical power center as well as being the pump that supplies blood to the entire body. The heartbeat is so powerful it generates 40 to 60 times more electrical output than the brain. Its electric signal can be measured on any point on the body.
The heart is considered a single entity that has its own complex nervous system that sends messages to its nerve centers so it acts independently to learn, remember and produce feelings. Information sent from the heart to the brain not only affects perception, emotion and learning abilities, but also your coordination.
Scientists are now able to “see” emotions in the ECG heart rhythm patterns. These patterns are transmitted from the heart to the higher brain centers and profoundly affect how the brain processes information.
Emotions such as anger, frustration and anxiety cause your heart rhythms to become irregular. This causes an energy drain in your brain, resulting in doubt and insecurity, which makes it difficult to make decisions. On the other hand, feelings of love, caring and appreciation increase the access to clear and effective thinking and problem solving. These emotions produce more coherent heart rhythms, thus reducing the disorder in the nervous system.
“A person's world is only as big as their heart.” Tanya A. Moore
There are times when you have a feeling that you are going to hit a good shot, or make a long putt. From where does that feeling come? Where do you experience it in your body?
You have five senses; seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling and tasting that give you input to remember your feelings.
Where do you get your information? How do you know the right club to use or the best strategy to play a hole?
Good results come from good decisions. Good decisions come when you are in a good state. Bad results come from bad decisions. Bad results come from when you are in a bad state. A bad state is when your mind says one thing and your heart says another. That is indecision and doubt. When you are indecisive you are trapped in fear.
In the rounds of golf where you are “in the zone” when everything seems to flow in perfect order, your heart rhythms, blood pressure and brain waves are entrained, or in sync. When you have a passionate love for what you are doing and are playing at your peak performance level, you have bypassed the need for sensory and mental signals. You intuitively know what to do.
The power to do this is in your heart. By activating feelings of your heart, you gain powerful insights that we call intuition or inner wisdom.
“All the knowledge I possess everyone can acquire, but my heart is all my own.” Goethe
When golf becomes too serious, the fun vanishes from the game, because it is no longer just a game. Examples of this would be wanting to beat your opponent, or to shoot your lowest score. The research on being in the zone/flow state shows that the fun is gained from the pure purpose of playing the game. If your motivation to play is dependent upon the prizes or praise, and you don’t receive these, your amount of enjoyment fluctuates depending upon how many external rewards you receive.
Being in the flow or zone happens when a golfer is totally engrossed in the process of playing. Happiness is in the heart, not in the circumstances. The fun happens when the golfer’s mind and heart are immersed in the challenging activity that matches the person’s skills. If the game is perceived to be too huge a challenge, then anxiety is created.
A judgment is a comparison between how something seems and how we think it should be. Golfers make lots of judgments such as yardage to the target, how the wind is blowing, breaks on the green, etc. Most of the time we make these judgments from our conscious mind, whether or not we have a full picture of the situation. Golfers who are in the zone make their decisions from their heart intelligence, knowing automatically what to do without judgment. The heart is the source of all true intelligence.
Do you play to enjoy golf, or
Do you enjoy yourself while you play golf?
Remember why you love the game. All great athletes play their sports from their hearts. They “know” how to enjoy using their talent and skills to perform for their own enjoyment. In their hearts they “know” that they deserve to be the best and win. Visualize AND feel yourself enjoying playing at your best.
“The heart already knows… what the mind can only dream of..…trust your heart.” ---M.H.McKee
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