HeartMath research has demonstrated that different patterns of heart activity have distinct effects on cognitive and emotional function.
During stress and negative emotions, when the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered, the corresponding pattern of neural signals traveling from the heart to the brain inhibits higher cognitive functions. This limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions. The heart’s input to the brain during stressful or negative emotions also has a profound effect on the brain’s emotional processes – actually serving to reinforce the emotional experience of stress.
In contrast, the more ordered and stable the pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during positive emotional states has the opposite effect – it facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings and emotional stability.
This means that learning to generate increased heart rhythm coherence, by sustaining positive emotions, not only benefits the entire body, but also profoundly affects how we perceive, think, feel and perform.
For more information on Heart Rate Variability and the Heart-Brain connection, CLICK HERE
The Emotions and Heart Rhythms diagram below shows two actual heart-rhythm patterns of the same person.
The chaotic-looking image in red, called an incoherent pattern, reflects a feeling of frustration. The coherent pattern in blue, was generated when they felt appreciation. The techniques HeartMath teach enable you to make that shift from an incoherent heart rhythm to a coherent rhythm, which is the foundation for intelligent energy self-regulation, optimal performance and mental clarity.
When practicing the techniques with the bio-feedback technology, you are able to see and experience the changes in your heart rhythm patterns. The patterns become smoother and more wave-like as get your system in to coherence and feel appreciation and other positive attitudes and emotions. This process reinforces an association in the brain between heart coherence (when the physiology is in sync) and positive feelings.