HeartMath Technique & Meditation
Updated: May 9
As I have taught individuals how to use the HeartMath techniques, one comment I would frequently get is "this is meditation," which I would respond with, "HeartMath techniques take it one step further. When you meditate, you are sitting still, but with HeartMath techniques, you can be using the techniques while in a stressful situation. After practicing, as the old sage goes, "practice for 21 days, and it becomes a habit." I inform my client's that they need to practice the techniques at least three times a day, when they first get up, sometime in the afternoon and in the evening or at bedtime. Here is an example of when my body reacted to using the HeartMath technique in times of stress. I was at work, and I had to go to Minneapolis to see a client. I was driving down this back road, and this little white car sped past me. My hand immediately went to my heart area. What happened next was astonishing because I didn't even think about it. My body calmed down immediately; I could continue to focus on my driving. My blood sugar did not drop (I am hypoglycemic). I did not have to eat candy to keep my sugar level at an average level, and I could continue to drive. Practicing had helped my body remember what it needed to do in times of stress. I did a lot of traveling in my previous job, and I had this same thing happened, and my body reacted the same way.
As we know through research, the heart, brain, and gut communicate through the Central Nervous System (CNS) electrically. It has been thought that the brain shared with the heart more than the heart communicating with the brain. HeartMath and others have done extensive studies on Heart Brain communication, which they have learned that the heart communicates with the brain more than the brain communicates with the heart. In his brief article, Ian Kennedy talks about heart-brain communication, whereas the heart sends "400 times more" electrical singles to the brain.
As I stated above, my body remembered what to do when in time of stress; our body has memory. Lacy and Lacy, in the '60s, were a husband and wife that had studied the heart and how the heart had communicated with the brain. They were not the first to examine the heart-brain connection, but the information was either forgotten or purposely forgotten. Lacy and Lacy brought it upfront and got others to research the heart-brain connection.
If you have ever tried to do meditation, the most vital part is breathing. The difference between HeartMath Techniques and meditation is that HeartMath you can do on the go, anytime and anywhere. You can use the techniques, and people will not even know you are using it. These days it is vital for us to manage our stress, anxiety, and emotions.
In the next couple of paragraphs, we will go through meditation and HeartMath's first technique, Heart Focus Breathing. Breathing is essential to both methods, and the experts vary on which is better to breathe in through the nose and out the mouth or breathe in and out through the nose. I prefer breathing through the nose, which I breathe at my own pace.
Before we start with meditation, you need to sit up in a comfortable chair or lay on the floor. Some people like to sit on the floor or a couch sitting straight up with legs crossed. If your choose to lay on the floor, stretch your legs in front of yourself, and then lay down very slowly, you can brace yourself with your hands at your side and gradually lay back. After you have laid on the ground, put your palm of your hands up, facing the sky. You then choose a mantra such as "Ummmmm Ummmm" or use "I am calm, I am peace," as you do your mantra, focus on your breathing by breathing in through the nose and out through the nose, or you can breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. You can stop doing the mantra and lay still or continue with the mantra. After doing the meditation with the mantra for 10 to 15 minutes, bring yourself back into your body; some people feel like they are floating while doing the medication.
Breathing is the most common part of the mediation technique, but as for the HeartMath, breathing is vital, but it also is what you do while breathing in and out a positive emotion(s).
Our feelings are part of being human, which they are not all that bad. How we manage our feeling daily affects how our body functions internally. Are you the type of person that reacts to situations, or are you a nonreactor that goes with the flow? Some individuals are like a supernova, which these individuals pull in all their feelings, then one day they explode. By being a supernova, you destroy yourself from the inside out, like a volcano. In being like a volcano, you explode your feelings all over the place at inappropriate times or against a loved one, friends, or people you don't even know. Either way of dealing with feelings in this manner can be detrimental. As you read on, you will learn ways to cope with your feelings and replace them with more positive feelings.
My life has been filled with stress with family, work, and just everyday life. I will admit I have had issues with being negative and angry. The anger almost cost me my relationship, I was told to do something about it, or it's over. I was distraught over this, so I searched the internet for something that would work this time. I had tried different things throughout my life, such as throwing eggs at a tree, putting on gloving, and twisting a stick. As I look back, they were silly. Then I came across a book called Transforming Anger: The HeartMath's Solution for Letting Go of Rage, Frustration, and Irritation1 as an e-book. I was reluctant to buy it, but I read books with no success but bought it.
I read it, and I said, "wow, this is for me!" The book opened my eyes to how I have gotten away from my heart and let all decisions only be made with my head and letting my emotions take complete control. The heart and head need to work together, which we will discuss later.
Anger is a feeling with underlining feeling(s), which may be insecurity, fear, loneliness, or sadness. The two that hit me the most were insecurity and fear. The HeartMath techniques have helped me and continue to help me to this day. Some days are not easy, and I have to use my HeartMath, and even sometimes, my friends remind me to use HeartMath.
The first technique that I will teach is called Heart Focus Breathing. It's an easy technique, and it is the first step in most techniques. First, get comfortable sit up or lying on the floor, whichever is most comfortable for you. Second, put your hand on your heart; your heart is not the dead center of your chest or to the left but just to the left of the center of your chest. Third, close your eyes and start to focus on breathing in out and out of your heart. Breath in 5 seconds and breath out 5 seconds or whichever is more comfortable for you. Do Heart Focus Breathing for approximately 30 to 60 seconds. Now open your eyes and write down below how you are feeling or what inspirations you get:
Heart Focus Breathing can be used anywhere and at any time. No matter what situation you are in, people will not know that you are using Heart Focus Breathing. I have used it in interviews or before I pick up the phone when I see a phone call from someone that is unusually negative. You do not need to close your eyes to do Heart Focus Breathing or any HeartMath technique. I will discuss later HeartMath techniques and meditation.
Quick Coherence is another technique; start with Heart Focus Breathing. Once you have done Heart Focus Breathing after 30 seconds to a minute, then begin to breathe in and out a positive such as self-compassion, peace, calmness, or whatever positive feeling you want to breathe in and out. Before opening your eyes, wiggle your fingers or toes. After you are done, journal about what you felt while doing Heart Focus Breathing. By doing the journaling will help you get insight. I cannot stress enough about doing Heart Focus Breathing or Quick Coherence daily to help you manage your emotions or a stressful situation. If you know you are going into a stressful meeting, do Quick Coherence before going. I wish you well in using the techniques to help manage your stress and anxiety.
If you would like to learn more about HeartMath and how to apply it to your life go the link at HeartMath Living from Heart Course and click on it. You will learn how the HeartMath techniques work and how to apply them to your life and learn more techniques other than what is in this blog.