To overcome stressors, increase creative solutions, become a more effective leader, and to enter a peak state of performance, we must understand the significant effect the heart has on the brain and the body.
Our knowledge of the heart’s profound influence on the brain and body comes from the field of Neurocardiology – the interplay between the nervous and cardiovascular systems. This area of research has developed rapidly for the last 20-30 years. Much of the research has focused on Heart Rate Variability (HRV), which is the time intervals between one heartbeat and the next heartbeat. This in itself can be surprising to some, as we often think the time it takes from one heartbeat to the next is consistent – it is not.
Studying these variations in time between heartbeats begins to illustrate the heart’s influence over the brain and body. When these intervals between each heartbeat become ordered and structured, the heart enters a high coherence state. High coherence is achieved by learning how to manage one’s breathing and by entering into a positive emotional state. This is when the magic happens, and this is why we recommend HRV training with HeartMath devices when training our clients.
Over the last couple of decades HRV training has been incorporated with business leaders, competitive athletes, police training, managing anxiety, and more. It is a big part of mastering a mindset for success, and often only takes 4-6 weeks of training.
Feeling and thinking with your heart
Learning how to enter into a high coherence state essentially means you are in control of your emotional response to stressors. Our physiology is designed to be flexible so that we are able to work through environmental challenges (internally and externally), and a large part of this flexibility is found in HRV. To be able to fully take advantage of the body’s physiological flexibility means cultivating an awareness and practice to support it. This often means our learned and automatic emotional responses can be managed and changed with HRV Biofeedback training.
Most importantly, from the brain’s perspective, when you are able to respond to challenges from a high coherence state, the brain minimizes its emotional overdrive. Areas of the brain responsible for initiating the “fight, flight, or freeze” stress response are dimmed. This allows the parts of the brain that are responsible for processing more demanding solution-focused decisions to light up and take control. This is crucial for any situation that demands maintaining emotional stability, focused delivery, and a balanced perspective.
Benefits related to HRV Biofeedback Training:
- Increased relaxation states
- Increased productivity
- Sustained attention
- General mental flexibility
- Faster reaction times
- Behaviour inhibition
- Cardiovascular health
- Improved immune function
How can you influence your HRV?
You can practice the general Quick Coherence technique, which is described below, throughout the day. Incorporating HeartMath technology can help you maximize your training by making sure you are effectively managing your HRV and in a high coherence state.
The simple steps to Quick Coherence:
- Step 1: Focus your attention in the area of the heart. If this is challenging for you, try placing your hand on your heart, or simply bring your awareness to your chest.
- Step 2: Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual.
Suggestion: Inhale 5 seconds, exhale 5 seconds (or another rhythm that is comfortable)
- Step 3: Make a sincere attempt to experience and to focus on a feeling such as appreciation or care for someone or something in your life.
Suggestion: Try to connect to the feeling you have for someone you love, a pet, a special place, an accomplishment, etc., or focus on a feeling of calm or ease.
Interested in peak performance? Optimal living? Then these tools are for you! Contact us for training and consulting – helping you do better, by thinking better.
HeartMath products available for personal training:
“HeartMath’s digital health products offer both monitoring and training so you can easily and effectively manage stress and re-balance your mind and emotions. Transform feelings of stress, anger, anxiety and frustration into more peace, clarity and vitality.” HeartMath, LLC.
Inner Balance with Lightning Connector
Use with your iPhone or iPad to achieve better focus, reduced stress, and a more positive emotional state. Inner Balance app and sensor for IOS is for use with newer iOS devices including the iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iPad Air.
Inner Balance with 30-Pin Connector
Use with your iPhone or iPad to achieve better focus, reduced stress, and a more positive emotional state. Inner Balance 30-pin Made for iPod touch (4th generation), iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPad 2, iPad 3 iOS devices.
Note: Use of this device on newer products (iPhone 5 or 6) requires the official Apple Lightning to 30-pin (0.2 m) adapter.
An innovative handheld device that helps you focus a racing mind and achieve emotional balance. emWave2 is a portable training device you can use on the go or at your computer to transform your response to stress and quickly re-balance your mind, body, and emotions. Comes in your choice of silver blue or charcoal gray.
emWave Pro Desktop
emWave Pro is a unique user-friendly desktop training system that objectively monitors your heart rhythms and displays the physiological level of coherence — an optimal state in which the heart, mind and emotions are operating in sync and in balance, while the immune, hormonal and nervous systems function in a state of harmonious coordination.
Contact us for more information, training, and consulting.
- Heart Rate Variability (HRV) biofeedback: A new training approach for operator’s performance enhancement
- A Healthy Heart Is Not a Metronome: An Integrative Review Of The Heart’s Anatomy and Heart Rate Variability
- What the Heart Says to the Brain (and vice versa) and Why We Should Listen
- The Effect of Short Duration Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Biofeedback on Cognitive Performance During Laboratory Induced Cognitive Stress