The heart is responsible for pumping blood to the entire circulatory system so that organs, tissues, and cells receive nutrients and oxygen. Research is proving the heart may be as intricate as the brain, referred to as “the little brain.” The heart-brain actually sends more communication to the head-brain than the other way around.
Here are a few important things to know about the heart -brain:
The heart magnetic field
The heart is the most powerful source of electromagnetic energy in the human body, producing the largest rhythmic electromagnetic field of any of the body’s organs and enveloping the cells of the body.
The heart’s electrical field is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the electrical activity generated by the brain.
Furthermore, the magnetic field produced by the heart is more than 100 times greater in strength than the field generated by the brain and can be detected up to 3 feet away from the body, in all directions.
The heart – brain cohesion
The Heartmath Institute has been leading research related to heart-brain coherence. According to Research Director Dr. Rollin McCraty, “Coherence is the state when the heart, mind, and emotions are in energetic alignment and cooperation. It is a state that builds resilience.”
When the parasympathetic and the sympathetic system are out of sync from emotions such as anger, anxiety, or frustration, this produces an erratic rhythm or incoherent state. The brain receives this input which affects whether higher cognitive functions can be accessed to self-regulate.
Positive emotions such as compassion and love generate a harmonious pattern in the heart’s rhythm, leading to coherence and greater emotional regulation.
When harmonious interactions exist and rises within the body’s systems, so does the brain’s alpha activity which supports stress relief and creativity.
This calmer yet focused state improves:
Making better choices
An expanded view of options
Reduction in stress
Adaptability to change
Higher cognitive capacity
Mental Clarity/Emotional stability
Access to intuition and creativity
Following are steps to stimulate positive emotions for greater heart-brain coherence:
- Bring focused attention to your heart. You can also place your hand(s) over it for a physical connection.
- Use Dr. Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 Relaxing Breath Technique. Breathe in for four seconds, hold for seven seconds, exhale slowly with a wooshing sound for eight seconds. Repeat four times. This lowers the heart rate.
- Bring to mind something that makes you feel love, joy, or thankfulness. You can also create this in your imagination such as spending time with a child, a pet, or in spiritual presence.
- Amplify the positive emotions that come forth such as joy, creativity, amusement. You can even give them happy or soothing colors. Allow a smile to form as you savour the moment.
- Now feel your heart with gentleness and kindness for a few moments then visualise sending these feelings from your heart to your brain. Be as creative as you’d like, such as picturing them as healing light energy or shooting stars as your brain tingles.
- Expand to other areas of your body including organs, muscles, bacterias, cells and atoms. Notice how they respond. Perhaps your cells are now vibrating with the energy of joy and love. You may say the words ” May all the beings in my body be happy ” a few times, and “may i be happy” a few times. Imagine your cells dancing and soothing with the energy of love.
The heart emotions and heart wall
Like every other organ of the human body, the heart produces emotions such as :
Abandonment, betrayal, forlorn, lost, love unreceived, effort unreceived, heartache, insecurity, overjoy, vulnerability. And more positive ones such as love and compassion.
In response to emotional distress, the subconscious mind may use negative emotions to surround the heart as a protective barrier against emotional pain to form what we call a heart wall. Heart-Wall emotions may be from any time in our own life and they can also be inherited. A Heart-Wall may cause us to feel disconnected from others, lonely, sad, anxious, and unmotivated as well as physical discomfort such as neck and shoulder pain, anxiety attacks and difficulty sleeping.
Sources: www.psychologytoday.com, www.heartmath.org, and the emotion code book by Bradley Nelson.