In very simple terms, Heart Coherence is a state of harmony, balance and wellbeing of the heart. It’s important because it allows you to tap into what has been called ‘Heart Intelligence’? The HeartMath Institute describes it this way:
Heart intelligence is the flow of intuitive awareness, understanding and inner guidance we experience when the mind and emotions are brought into coherent alignment with the heart. Heart intelligence underlies cellular organization and guides and evolves organisms toward increased order, awareness and coherence of their bodies’ systems.
This description of what the heart has to offer is a far cry from what most of us were taught to believe about the heart and that is, that it is nothing but a muscle to pump blood around your body. Yes, that is of course one of its functions, but a growing body of research is suggesting that it is so much more than that.
As well as heart coherence, the institute refers to numerous other types of coherence as well such as heart-rhythm coherence, physiological coherence, social coherence and global coherence. Regardless of what type of coherence one is referring to, be it heart, body, personal, social or global coherence, it is referring to basically the same thing and that is a logical, orderly and harmonious connection between all aspects of a particular system or even between people.
When referring specifically to heart coherence, HeartMath goes on to describe it this way:
When we speak of heart-rhythm coherence, we are referring to a specific assessment of the heart’s rhythms that appears as smooth, ordered and sine-wavelike patterns. From a physics perspective, when we are in a coherent state, virtually no energy is wasted because our systems are performing optimally and there is synchronization between heart rhythms, the respiratory system, blood-pressure rhythms, etc.
Research conducted at the institute have documented the extensive benefits of this harmonious and synchronized state of the heart which includes increased emotional composure, more energy, clearer thinking, enhanced problem solving, immune-system function, hormonal balance, drops in blood pressure and more with both immediate and long term benefits.
The good news about heart coherence is that every one, no matter who they are, naturally experiences it. The not so good news is that it usually isn’t something that is sustained simply because of the normal daily stressors of life that we all have. The research clearly shows that by making a conscious effort to focus on positive emotions such as love, gratitude, compassion and similar emotions in and around the heart, you can very quickly create and experience the state and benefits of heart coherence.
When all is said and done, what this is really all about is emotional self-regulation, an essential life skill which many of us were never taught at school or at home by our parents. The result is that emotional management and integration its left up to you to just ‘figure it out for yourself’ which if not learnt can often lead to quick fix immediate gratifications to deal with, hide or distract us from the very emotional states we were never taught to deal with.
So the benefits of heart coherence are obvious, but now you might be asking yourself ‘How exactly do I get my heart into a coherent state?’ The process is extremely simple and literally only takes minutes to achieve. The below process was developed and called the Quick Coherence® Technique by The HeartMath Institute.
The Steps of the Quick Coherence Technique
- Heart Focus
- Heart Focused Breathing
- Heart Feeling
Step 1: Heart-Focus
Bring your awareness, attention and focus to your heart space.
Step 2: Heart Focused Breathing
Keep your attention and focus on the heart and while taking some slow rhythmic breathes imagine that your breath is flowing in and out through the heart. Breathe smoothly but just a little deeper than normal.
Step 3: Heart Feeling
Bring to your mind, but really feel in and around your heart a positive feeling. Do your very best to experience that feeling. Some options for the feeling are someone or something that you are grateful for in your life, the appreciation, love or care you have for someone or something. When you have found and connected to some positive feelings hang onto them by continuing these steps of focusing on the heart space, focussing on heart breath and connecting to and maintaining a heart feeling.