I was asked by a reader of the post My 7 tricks to kick depression to explain the concept of Cardiac Coherence.
Cardiac coherence is the idea that you heart beat is influenced by your emotions which in turn have an influence on your mind and your health.
An incoherent cardiac rhythm is considered a marker for risk of depression, heart disease and many others…
Modern medicine usually will track your heart beat rhythm and if it is all over the place, will be very prompt to provide you with a pill or even a pace maker (In extreme cases) to make sure that your heart beats regularly and normally, back to a coherent rhythm, one associated with health and low disease risk factor.
However, in order to understand the importance of heart coherence, scientists studied healthy rhythm which they tend to find on low stress individual or meditative monks… And since then, a person who has had a heart attack is advised to avoid strong emotions as it can caused heart attack because of the impact negative emotion can have on cardiac rhythm.
Stress was also found to be a culprit, yet stress is so versatile that it is almost impossible to live stress-free. Your work, your busy schedule, the way you eat or don’t eat, the way you exercise, your emotional well-being and the list can go on and on, all those aspects can lead you to being stressed, which in turn elevates your risk of heart attack and your risk of disease.
What can you do about it?
Reducing stress has become a goal in the medical community. And lately studies have demonstrated that your biochemistry is influenced by how you feel. So if you are stressed or anxious, your whole body is affected. Not only your mind, but every single cell in your body is swimming in an anxious or stress soup. The good news is those same studies have demonstrated that if you change your emotional wellbeing, if you focus on feeling happy and calm, your biochemistry is also immediately changed to one of happiness and calm. It is almost instant.
Yet, I can hear you say. But I can not control my emotion 24/7.
What if you could?
You can consciously, through your breathing, control your emotions. Your emotions (your mind) control your heart beat. So if you are scared, your heart beat goes up for example, using the sympathetic system. And until recently it was assumed that there was very little one could do to change that fact. If you were emotional, there was not much things you could do. Or you could remove yourself from real life and live a sheltered life and then live longer.
But, recently it was demonstrated that through the parasympathetic system, one could actively control one’s heart beat rhythm which in turn influence the emotional mind. Focusing on one’s breathing and consciously slowing the breathing cycle, one can slow the emotional response and return the mind to a quieter state: A coherent state.
In order to return to a normal state of cardiac coherence, the simplest way is to breath in and out deeply and calmly. (No more than 6 cycles per minute). In doing so, you control your breathing and therefore your heart beat.
It is very simple.
Place your hand on your heart, and breath deeply pretending you are breathing into your hearth. Focus on your heart beat, feel it and you will notice your heart slowing down. Continue doing this breathing for 5 minutes and you will have restored your cardiac coherence.
You can enhance the experience by focusing on all the things you are grateful for. You can not be resentful or anxious and grateful at the same time. It is impossible! So making an effort to calm yourself and feeling grateful will have an impact on your mind and on your biochemistry. Enjoy.
Heart Coherence and EFT
This technique is very well complimented by EFT. In our modern society, we are told to avoid emotions at all costs, (after all they can kill you, so better avoid them!). We constantly distract ourselves and we run afraid of our own emotions. They make us weak!
Most of us burry emotions, so we don’t have to deal with them. Some will be processed and integrated into our bank of experiences, while others will just become part of our emotional bagage. With the years, that bagage become more and more difficult to deal with and this is when problems occur.
When we spend a lot of our daily energy running from and avoiding those pesky emotions, we don’t have energy left to deal efficiently with life and all its demands. EFT can help you lighten your bagage, by processing those emotions safely and efficiently, one at a time.
EFT requires courage, because in essence, the method requires you to face your negative emotions head on. It is so far from the current positive thinking trend, that most people don’t even want to imagine facing them.
How many clients have bulked at the idea of even saying “Even if I have that problem,…” It is so negative, it is not what I want to focus on. Aren’t we supposed to focus on what we want?
EFT does not let you delve on your negative emotion. You look at it and you process it. You don’t stay with it and wallow in it! When you engage in an EFT session, you are asked to be courageous and face that emotion, but you are sent in with a tool and a practitioner who has the experience to guide you through that fear and see you to the other side safe and sound.
When you deal with your emotional bagage, your stress level slowly reduces. You are spending less and less energy dealing with your negative bagage and you are left with more energy and mental clarity to deal with the demand of modern life.
With this comes a stronger sense of control and confidence in your ability to deal with what ever life can throw at you. And with this sense of calm, comes cardiac coherence.
So if you are told that you need to control your stress in order to gain a healthier life, it is most important to regain control over your cardiac coherence.
Remember, it is a two way street. Your mind (Your emotions) will have control over your heart rhythm, but you can consciously control your cardiac rhythm which in turn will control your mind (and your emotional state)
YOU ARE IN CONTROL, ALWAYS!
If you need help with your emotional bagage or your heart coherence, don’t hesitate to book your free discovery session. Click here!
Joelle @ Joelle’s Practice