How to use Heart Coherence to manage your anxiety
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Heart Coherence . Have you ever heard about Heart Coherence? Do you know what Heart Coherence is exactly? In short: It can help you deal with stress and emotions. Read on to discover how can you benefit from it.
Not long ago I was invited to participate in an online workshop about Heart Coherence on meetbutter.io (the new and better Zoom ). I had never heard about it and was really curious about what it actually was… The workshop had Capucine Chandon as a special guest, she’s a certified coach in Heart Coherence (she’s also a certified yoga and meditation coach!!!). She discovered this stress management technique in 2017. At the time she was studying photojournalism, but didn’t feel quite like that was her purpose. She was stressed out, had a hard time enjoying herself, and so she started looking for a method to deal with the stress that she was experiencing. That’s when she began a journey to find her purpose. And she found out about Heart Coherence.
What is Heart Coherence?
So, what is Heart Coherence, you’re asking?
Basically, Heart Coherence is when the various systems of your body, such as the immune system, the hormonal system, and the autonomic nervous system are in sync; when the body, mind, and your emotions are alighed. It means everything “is coherent” – things (your body systems in this case) are aligned, everything in your body flows, your body works really well. Short, your physical (your body) and mental state (your brain) work like a very well-oiled machine.
Heart Coherence, and the effect of heart activity that influences our brains has been studied for over 40 years, and scientific research came up with some techniques that help you get a deeper insight into your patterns when it comes to stress, and emotions.
Check out this website to know more about the science behind Heart Coherence: www.heartmath.com/science
The scientific research about the heart – brain connection shows that, yes, the heart responds to orders coming from the brain. At the same time, the heart and heart signals have also a big impact on our brain. So, the connection between heart and brain is not a one-way connection, but the two are interdependent.
Heart Coherence and the related tools and techniques can be an essential help to get through stressful times such as we are living in right now and to change your patterns in a sustainable way.
What is a techinque you can use to calm down and reach Heart Coherence?
Heart coherence represents a set of tools and techniques to regulate stress and anxiety. A thing that we all experience, especially now during this pandemic. Some more, some (lucky ones) less. But I guess, we all have to cope with it at one point.
One of those tools is called Heart focused breathing. For this exercise you don’t need to be sat somewhere, or even close your eyes. This is something you can do, while you’re sitting in from of your PC, or while you’re riding your bike to work.
- Focus on your heart area, your chest; you can also put your hand over your heart for example
- Imagine the air flowing in and out of that area
- Continue breathing, a bit deeper than usual, make the oxygen spread all through your body
- Remember a person you’ve had a strong and positive feeling for. That positive feeling can be anything from compassion, to joy, empathy, or love…
- Think of that moment, when you had that exact feeling
- Let this feeling spread all over your body, like the oxygen spread before
After doing this exercise you should feel already more relaxed, your heart beat is lower than before, you have filled your mind and your body with a positive feeling, even though from the past, which has surprising effects on our overall mood.
The interesting thing about reminiscing in a positive feeling and emotion from the past is that your brain doesn’t know the difference between past and present feeling and emotion. It doesn’t know that the feeling comes from the past, for your brain it is like it’s happening right here, right now. So, anytime and anywhere you can actively influence your mood, and shift it. Only by evoking a positive feeling from the past. Isn’t that incredible?
On this note, it’s important to acknowledge every feeling you have, do not push a feeling, whether it is good or bad, away. Acknowledge it. Every feeling is legitimate. They all have a message. About a need that hasn’t been satisfied.
This is easier said than done, I know Sometimes I’m having a hard time myself even acknowledging the feelings that I have, let alone take a step back, look at them from an outsider’s POV and just let them go again. I guess it’s also a thing that comes with practice, and becoming aware of your feelings is the first step.
Also, it’s important to remember that stress is not something that comes from the outside; it is an internal reaction to external events. It’s a reaction of your body and your mind to what is happening around you. Outside sources can be a trigger, ofc, BUT how you react to those triggers determines your stress level and your anxiety level. That means, that after all you have *some* sort of control over how you react to those things; but again, this needs time and patience to get to a point where you are not so susceptible to outside triggers anymore.
Methods that can help in that case is certainly meditation and mindfulness techniques. I can only recomment the app headspace, where you can access guided meditations for all aspects of live: starting from the Basics, to Coping with Cravings, Happiness, Acceptance, Sports, or Managing Financial Stress. I’m currently doing the Level 1 of Managing Anxiety and I love the sleep meditations.