Allow your heart to lead you to solutions that are wise, inclusive and that reduce your tensions and increase your health, says
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” Hamlet explains to Rosencrantz. How about solving problems with the inclusive brain that does not divide in black or white, good or bad, but that arrives at encompassing and wise conclusions, while also decreasing stress and improving health? The Institute of HeartMath offers a tool to achieve precisely that.
It may surprise you but changing the way you feel, and the way you deal with life does not have to be a momentous task, but can be accomplished with ease, in as little as five minutes at a time.
Over the years, I have discovered and honed a variety of instruments and tech- niques to help myself and others improve their lives in simple, effective, and efficient ways. HeartMath is one of my favourites. I use it for myself and with my clients, and I teach it in my transformational seminars as well.
The Heart has a mind of its own
Pumping blood is just one of the heart’s many func- tions, even physiologically. The heart has 40,000 neu- rons. HeartMath researchers observed that the heart was acting as though it had a mind of its own and was profoundly influencing the way we perceive and respond to the world. In essence, it appeared that the heart was affecting intelligence and awareness. It sends more messages to the brain than vice versa! Therefore, we have to ask which one of the brains really is in charge, the thinking one, or the feeling one!
Positive emotions create increased harmony and coherence in heart rhythms, and improve balance in the nervous system
The heart creates the largest electromagnetic field in our body – it is about 60 times more powerful in ampli- tude than that of the brain. The vital organ can feel, and it has memory. So when we say that we are heart broken, that is actually what our heart is feeling.
The mission of the scientists of the Institute of HeartMath, founded in 1991 by Doc Childre in California, is to facilitate fundamental shifts in health, well-being and consciousness. Their groundbreaking research, centres on the role of the heart and the physiological mechanism by which it communicates with the brain (hence the name HeartMath). It thus influences infor- mation processing, perceptions, emotions, and health. The Institute is asking questions such as, “How do stress and different emotional states affect the auto- nomic nervous system, the hormonal and immune sys- tems, the heart and brain?”
Over their years of research, it became clear to the scientists at the HeartMath Institute that negative emo- tions lead to increased disorder in the heart’s rhythms, and in the autonomic nervous system, thereby adverse- ly affecting the rest of the body. In contrast, positive emotions create increased harmony and coherence in heart rhythms, and improve balance in the nervous sys- tem. The health implications are easy to understand: Disharmony in the nervous system leads to inefficiency and increased stress on the heart and other organs, while harmonious rhythms are more effi- cient and less stressful to the body’s systems.
When we are upset, feeling bad in any way, our heart rhythm pattern is erratic. When we feel good and at peace, the heart rhythm patterns become smooth and balanced. They harmonise with the brain waves – it is called coherence – we feel calm and aligned – our body and mind can operate at full capacity. We are more productive, healthier, and happier.
Considering that stress causes about 80 per cent of diseases, the beneficial impact of decreasing tension becomes quite evident. By increasing coherence and reducing stress, you raise the pH level of your body, and you limit the risk of chronic and acute illness. Stress is not objective. It mainly has to do with the way we react to life and its challenges.
Different people react to different triggers, and in various ways. By creating healthier, more productive ways of facing them, we decrease stress. You must have noticed that when you get up on the wrong foot, your day tends to go downhill from there. The oppo- site is true too. The better we feel, the less stressed and hassled we get by events.
We even see and interpret them in different ways. Therefore, any method that helps calm you down will benefit your health. Meditation is, of course, a prime example, the only draw- back being that it usually requires time, a cer- tain discipline, as well as practice for it to work. The HeartMath method only takes a few minutes; all you have to do is remember to use it, particularly, when you are under fire.
Here is how it works:
- Recognise the stressor/ the problem that bothers you – What is it?
- Shift your focus to the heart – Put a hand on your heart and breathe deeply into your heart
- Activate a heart feeling – Recall a positive memory, a beautiful, blissful moment of your life when you felt wonderful (we all have such memories, just search a little if it doesn’t come easily)
- Ask – Heart, tell me a better way to deal with the situation/the problem.
- Listen to the message from your heart – Pay attention to the first words, pictures, sounds, feelings that come to you.
If it sounds encompassing and wise, you know that the answer truly stems from your heart. The voice of the heart speaks of whole- ness and oneness; it is the song of your high- er self and your soul – all-encompassing, drawing a bigger picture, and taking you to a higher level of awareness. It offers win-win solutions. Its messages are imbued with high vibrational emotions like gratitude, forgive- ness, acceptance, happiness, peace, under- standing, love, and unity.
Coherent hearts create a healthy world
Should the answers involve anger, blame, jeal- ousy, pride, exclusiveness, intolerance, victi- misation, separation or any other negative feeling or behaviour, you can tell that it is not the heart speaking; the ego took over. Repeat
the exercise and make sure you spend enough time connecting with a beautiful memory. Feel what you felt, see what you saw, hear what you heard and let the memory take over your whole body. Emotions are felt in the body, not in the mind, so ensure that you are feel- ing the goodness of the memory in your heart as well as the rest of your body. When you can keep a coherent heart in a critical sit- uation, you can literally change the hearts and minds of those around you. Indeed, the institute’s research shows that the coher- ent heart of one person can have a scientifically demonstrable effect on the brain waves of another per- son. The implications for better relationships, teamwork, peace-making and health on a larger scale are profound. It becomes even scientifically evident why solving problems from the heart instead of the mind is crucial. When we act out of the heart’s wisdom, we automatically collaborate instead of compete. We take the other party’s well-being into consideration, not just our personal gain. We focus on the bigger picture. We think in terms of unity rather than differences and separation. The more we come from that place of peacefulness and understanding, the more the world will change. Scientists now say that we only require ten per cent of the population to raise their awareness to create a tip- ping point (the hundredth-monkey effect) that will transform everyone’s behaviour. Are you willing to be part of that ten per cent? The HeartMath method can assist you in the endeavour. Irma Battig will teach this and other techniques at the Life Positive Expo in Mumbai on December 22, 23. See ad on pages 44, 45, 46 for more details.
Irma Battig is a transformational healer and coach. Currently practising in Mumbai, she will soon be offering sessions and seminars out of her wellness center in Alibaug.
To read these articles online and post your comments, go to http://www.lifepositive.com/Magazine/Nov2012. We welcome your comments and suggestions on this article. Mail us at edi- firstname.lastname@example.org