October 2009 - A Change of Heart Changes Everything
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Feeling positively from your heart provides an amazing boost to your health and creativity. As a hypnotherapist, I have seen first hand the power of positive feelings on the health and happiness of my clients.
A California institute demonstrates how people can actually make their heart beat in a healthier way. Through its research, the Institute of HeartMath proves that health starts with love, and that love can reduce stress. It is a method that is used by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and more than 100 organizations—from global corporations to hospitals to government agencies and schools. This simple method is changing the world.
From a hypnotherapists viewpoint what I respect and appreciate about the Institute of HeartMath is that since 1991 they have generated a large body of convincing scientific evidence that it is indeed possible to create love. HeartMath’s research shows that emotions work much faster, and are more powerful, than thoughts. The heart is much more important than the brain to overall health and well-being. Its dominance inside the body is now clearly demonstrated. Thinking clearly with your brain is useful. But feeling positively from your heart provides an amazing boost to health and creativity.
Briefly re-experiencing a cherished memory creates synchronization in your heart rhythm in mere seconds. This increases the release of healthy, energizing hormones, while at the same time decreasing levels of damaging stress hormones, at the same time your immune system is strengthened, blood pressure decreases … and health and focus increase. The greatest threat to health, happiness and peace in this world is stress.
Managers are often sent to stress seminars. Yoga lessons are offered at company headquarters. But these measures aren’t very effective as long as stress continues to permeate the corporate culture. A successful anti-stress strategy provides results precisely at the moment the stress is experienced. The HeartMath strategy is very similar to what is possible through self-hypnosis. Learning how to relax at that moment of stress, with effective tools to shift your emotions to positive ones can add years to your life, not to mention the quality of your life.
HeartMath programs utilize an innovative biofeedback system ... whereby your finger or ear is hooked up to a sensor that shows the heart’s activity on a computer screen. The feedback is not a precondition for the result of the HeartMath exercises, but seeing your heart rhythms live on a computer screen makes it easier to convince critics of the favorable effect of positive feelings.
To measure the heart’s reaction to particular events, HeartMath uses a relatively new concept—one that is currently a hot item in mainstream medicine—as an indicator of a healthily functioning body: heart rate variability (HRV). Research conducted 10 years ago showed that the heart has its own neural network–in essence, a little brain. It has now been demonstrated that the heart sends signals to the brain and the hormonal system via nerves which carry the heart rhythm patterns. It doesn’t matter so much how many times a heart beats per minute; it’s the rhythm of the heartbeat that counts.
Feelings of compassion, love, care and appreciation produce a smoothly rolling—HeartMath calls it “coherent”—heart rhythm, while feelings of anger, frustration, fear and danger emit a jagged and capricious “incoherent” image. But this is more than a statistical difference. HeartMath’s research shows that a different heart rhythm leads to other chemical and electrical–even neurological--reactions in the body.
Simply put: when people experience love, they not only feel happy and joyful, but they also produce, for example, more DHEA, the hormone that prevents aging, and gives us feelings of youthful vitality. By contrast, a “loving body” absorbs less cholesterol, thereby preventing arteries from clogging. In addition, blood pressure stabilizes. Positive feelings—like love—generate health. HeartMath’s slogan—a change of heart changes everything—pretty much sums it up.
But how do you “change your heart?” According to HeartMath research, it is much simpler than it looks. “If you consciously shift your attention to a positive emotion ... or if you allow your thoughts to return to the feeling of a cherished memory, your heart rhythm changes immediately.”
And here’s more: studies show that the electromagnetic field of your heart ... can be measured from between two and three meters from the body. HeartMath has discovered that if someone has a coherent heart rhythm, it has a demonstrably positive effect on other people in close proximity to him or her. Just think about how you feel in the presence of someone who is appreciative or caring, compared to being close to someone angry or frustrated. If your own heart rhythm is coherent, there is a greater chance that your environment will also behave coherently. Changing the world starts with you.
A lot of people feel powerless. Climate change. Poverty. War. Terrorism. There are so many things we could fear in the world. So where do you start as an individual, when the size of the problems seem so daunting? It is important to know that you can have a demonstrably positive effect on the world. We can change the world, starting with ourselves.
I encourage you to learn more about stress release techniques that can truly make a difference in your world, whether it is meditation, self-hypnosis or the HeartMath tools.
Click here to learn more about HeartMath
Click here to learn more about self-hypnosis
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