By Dave Wine
I invite you to think about the difference between open hands and closed fists. There have been some interesting medical studies that indicate some pretty major differences in our heart rates; blood pressure; and cortisol (stress) levels during experiments using these two dynamics. As you may have guessed, open extended hands lowered heart rates, lowered blood pressure and lowered cortisol. Closed fists raised the same measurements.
I’ve thought about this in more than just physical terms. When I’m “open” I’m more receptive to others input and opinions, I’m freer to express myself, I feel more spacious, I’m more loving, I feel better, I’m more relaxed. When I’m “closed” I tend towards being uptight, limited in my thinking, more stubborn, more judging, and feel smaller. And… you can mindfully watch and feel your body and know what is happening in your mind! Not only your fists, but is your body tense, tight, closed? Or it is open, relaxed and inviting? Your physical health will be optimized when you are open. And equally important, you will be a better listener, thinker, and doer when open and relaxed as well. As your body frees itself, so goes your mind and vice versa. We are intimately connected physically and mentally and our bodies follow our mind.
You can mindfully ask yourself at different points during the day….Am I open? Am I closed off? Even just opening your hands wide, even when feeling closed, can help open your body and mind to greater health. Try it. Make a fist and then open your hands and see which feels more spacious, open, loving, and helpful?
David is the President and CEO of the MAX enterprise, having served in that capacity since its formation in 2001. He has forty plus years of leadership experience in the business and faith-based worlds, being an ordained minister, having been elected to the highest position in his denomination, and receiving numerous awards and recognition for his leadership in the insurance industry. He currently serves on numerous boards in the church and insurance sectors. His hobbies include hiking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing as well as being an avid reader. David and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, a son, and five grandchildren.