Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”
~ Miles Kington
Qualities associated with wisdom include: a clear-eyed view of human nature and the human predicament, emotional resiliency, the ability to cope in the face of adversity, openness to other possibilities, forgiveness, humility, and a knack for learning from lifetime experiences.
We can learn about wisdom from its qualities. It is difficult to have a succinct definition because wisdom is something that wise people live rather than think about.
If wisdom were an Olympic event then the gold medal winner would most likely be about 60 years old.” Stephen S. Hall
Wisdom and the Heart
Modern Western scientific thinking, until recently, has limited the heart’s function to that of a mechanical pump. Historically, the heart was ascribed a far more multifaceted role in the human system, being regarded as a source of wisdom, spiritual insight, thought, and emotion.
Intriguingly, scientific research has begun to provide evidence that many of these long-surviving associations may be much more than metaphorical. Recent studies have shown show that the physiology of the heart, specifically a high variability of heart rate during low physical activity, is related to less biased, wiser judgment.
Human heart rate tends to fluctuate, even while a person is sitting. Heart rate variability (HRV) refers to the variation in the time interval between heartbeats and is related to the nervous system’s control of organ functions. Researchers found that people with more varied heart rates were able to reason in a wiser, less biased fashion about societal problems
Optimum heart rate variability (HRV) is directly related to the efficient use of energy and our health in general. An optimal level of HRV reflects healthy function, adaptability, flexibility and resilience. This leads to a decrease in stress related disease and premature aging.
The wisdom associated with optimal HRV includes the ability to recognise the limits of one’s knowledge, to be aware of the varied contexts of life and how they may unfold over time and to acknowledge others’ points of view.
So, how can we increase our HRV?
- Network Chiropractic Care has been shown to increase HRV as session by session we release deeply held stresses and our heart, along with every aspect of us, functions in a more relaxed and coherent way.
- Rest, relaxation and sufficient good quality sleep.
- Getting out in nature and fresh air and taking off your shoes to become more grounded.
- Go for regular exercise.
- Breathe deeply. (See alternate nostril breathing below.)
- Taking considered action in the direction you are being called to follow.
- Listen to calming music that you love. (Avoid TV watching especially in bed.)
- Engage in creative activities.
- Look to carryout “in the flow” activities that give a balance (and push your boundaries) between challenge and your skill level. See http://enkindlewellness.com.au/living-in-the-flow/.
- Practice connective tissue stretching activities like yoga and palates.
- Practice meditation.
- Eat healthy, natural foods that decrease inflammation in your body (see below)
Alternate Nostril Breathing
- Place your ring and pinkie fingers at your left nostril and your thumb at your right nostril.
- Block the left nostril using your ring and pinkie fingers and inhale through your right nostril.
- Block the right nostril with your thumb and exhale through your left nostril.
- Inhale through your left nostril, keeping the right nostril blocked.
- Continue for 9 more rounds.
Foods that Increase Inflammation and therefore decrease HRV>
- Processed fructose (HFCS)
- Grains – e.g. wheat, rye, barley
- Vegetable oils such as peanut, soy or corn oils.
Foods that Decrease Inflammation and therefore increase HRV.
- Fish oils
- Dark leafy green vegetables
- Green tea
- Fermented vegetables and traditionally cultured foods
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Spices – cloves, ginger, rosemary, turmeric