Everything You Should Know About HeartMathJan 31, 2023
HeartMath is a scientifically-proven technique to bridge the connection between your heart and your brain. It’s an effective method of reaching a smoother and calmer mental state which reduces anxiety and stress. HeartMath uses methods that focus on the connection between the heart and the mind. The most common techniques used in HeartMath are biofeedback and mindfulness exercises. Both of these techniques help you regulate your heart rate and improve your emotional well-being. The goal of HeartMath is to help individuals develop a greater sense of inner balance, reduce stress, and improve overall health and well-being.
How does HeartMath work?
HeartMath helps you tune into your heart's intelligence to find inner peace and self-awareness. It involves using physical awareness through technical devices, mental awareness through mindfulness exercises, and emotional awareness by identifying patterns.
- Biofeedback - using devices like the Inner Balance sensors, HeartMath helps you learn to regulate your heart rate variability (also known as HRV). Your HRV is the variation in time between heartbeats and is an indicator of how well your autonomic nervous system is functioning. The autonomic nervous system controls many automatic functions in the body, including your heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion. By using techniques like monitoring HRV, you can actually learn to control your autonomic nervous system and improve your emotional well-being.
- "Freeze-Frame" technique - One of the key techniques used in HeartMath is called the “Freeze-Frame” technique, which involves taking a moment to focus on the present and clear the mind of negative thoughts and emotions. This technique helps reduce stress and improve emotional well-being within a few moments. Other mindfulness techniques used in HeartMath include deep breathing exercises, visualization, and positive affirmations. These techniques are designed to help you develop a greater sense of inner balance, reduce stress, and improve overall health and well-being.
Who can benefit from using HeartMath?
HeartMath is particularly useful for people who experience stress and anxiety in their daily lives—such as parents with highly dependent children and young adults who have debilitating anxiety. It is also beneficial for people with chronic mental health conditions like panic disorder, PTSD, and people who struggle with overstimulation.
How to start using HeartMath
You can start enjoying the benefits of HeartMath by implementing some of the basic HeartMath techniques—such as deep breathing and positive visualization. One popular technique is the "Freeze-Frame" technique that I touched on earlier. This involves taking a moment to focus on your heart rate and breathing when you are feeling stressed or emotionally charged. To do this, take a deep breath in, hold it for a moment, and exhale slowly. As you exhale, imagine the stress or negative emotions leaving your body. Focus on a positive image or thought, (such as a beautiful scene or a loved one), to help shift your attention away from the stress trigger and towards a more positive mental state.
Another technique is the "coherence" technique, which involves breathing at a specific rate. Focus on the area of your chest where your heart is located and consciously breathe around 6-10 breaths per minute. This technique will shift you from a stress response to a more relaxed state.
You can also use sensory devices to track your heart rate variability and provides feedback that will guide you to achieve a state of coherence. To do this, you will need to purchase the Inner Balance sensory device from the HeartMath website and pair it with the Inner Balance smartphone app. You can learn more about this device here.
- HeartMath has several children's books and games that are developed specifically for children and teens.
- You can tune into HeartMath music for peaceful white noise during your work day. There are also music tracks that are specifically designed to reduce anxiety.
- Dive deeper into the science of HeartMath with the following books:
- Science of the Heart: Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance
- The HeartMath Solution
- Transforming Anxiety
- Transforming Stress for Teens
- Transforming Stress
- Heart Intelligence: Connecting with the Heart's Intuitive Guidance for Effective Choices and Solutions