What is HeartMath?

Have you ever reflected on how you make decisions? Are they based in a calm, heart open logical way or are they oftentimes emotionally reactionary? How many times have you made a decision based on stress and later regretted it? Did that regret lead to a series of negative thoughts?

How would you like to make better decisions, relate differently to your negative thought patterns, respond to life in a manner that is a reflection of your best self, rather than a reactionary response based on whatever knee-jerk emotion took over in that particular moment. Meet HeartMath, a number of science based techniques to build inner resilience in order to help you live more from your heart’s intelligence. In this article, we will explore the concept of HeartMath, its purpose, and the 5 benefits it can have on your life. 

How it Works

With over 25 years of research, the Institute of HeartMath studies the ‘heart-brain’ communication and how our emotions when left unchecked can create an incoherent state. Their unique approach focuses on the connection between the heart and brain by utilizing techniques that harmonize the two, which we call coherence. Offering practical on-the-go techniques to manage stress and cultivate emotional resilience. These techniques help achieve a coherent state, similar to the benefits of a regular meditation practice. However, it’s a lot easier to practice these techniques and integrate them into your life than attempting to sit in lotus pose for however long.

The Science Behind HeartMath:

Heartmath combines the principles of neuroscience, psychology, and physiology to provide a system of coherence-building techniques. It gives you a choice point – by focusing on regulating your heart rhythms, you can move your attention away from the stressor and get back to a state of coherence between the heart, mind and body. Helping you relate differently to your negative thoughts or emotions. Unlike traditional meditation practices that often require dedicated time and space, HeartMath provides techniques you can practice throughout the day to quickly find your way back to inner peace regardless of external circumstances. 

The heart has its own complex nervous system called the “heart-brain.” Fun fact, the heart actually sends more information through electromagnetic signals to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. This understanding that the heart is not just a pump but an intelligent organ that influences our entire being means the foundation to change can start from the heart. Through this coherence, we can change our attitudes and promote new healthier neural pathways to form. 


How HeartMath Helps:

When consistently practiced, HeartMath techniques offer numerous benefits for all aspects of your life. Here are 5 ways HeartMath can and has positively impacted my life:

1. Coherence and Stress Reduction

When I was overwhelmed with stress, it manifested itself as breaking out in hives, terrible decision making (actually cringe worthy decision making), hair loss, weight gain/weight loss just to name a few. As I reflect back on that time in my life, I remember trying to think my way out of stress which only made it worse. Little did I know how simple it could be. I couldn’t think my way out of stress, but I could breathe myself into a state of coherence. HeartMath techniques can help shift the heart rhythm into a coherent pattern, which then activates the body’s natural relaxation response. This process reduces stress hormones, improves cognitive function (less cringe worthy decisions), increases emotional resilience, and your ability to respond to stressful situations with composure. 

2. Enhanced Cognitive Function

Ever had that age old debate, can an old dog learn new tricks? Turns out they can. HeartMath techniques can actually teach you how to rewire your brain and enhance your cognitive function throughout our lives irrespective of age. Regulating your emotions and attaining a state of coherence between the heart and brain fosters neuroplasticity, which is simply the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. We tend to identify with our thought patterns, regardless if they are actually helpful to us or not. By practicing HeartMath regularly, you can train your brain to shift negative thought patterns to more productive ones, respond more efficiently to decision-making, improve attention and focus, creativity, cognitive flexibility and enhance problem-solving skills. The techniques promote a balanced autonomic nervous system, which is crucial for optimal brain function.

3. Better Intuition

Have you ever had that ‘gut feeling’ about something but it was so faint you didn’t think to listen? (Me most of my 20s) By practicing HeartMath techniques we can cultivate that soft whisper into a louder voice. HeartMath techniques provide a pathway to quiet the mind, tune into the wisdom of the heart, and increase a heightened sense of intuition. As mentioned before, the heart isn’t just an organ but an intelligence center with its own neural network. This neural network connects to the brain and influences our perceptions, emotions, and intuition. By connecting with the heart’s intuitive guidance, you can gain access to deeper insights and wisdom. This enhanced intuition helps you make more informed decisions, live a more purposeful life allowing you to make more conscious choices aligned with your values and well-being.

4. Improved Physical Health

Through various studies, HeartMath has found our emotions play a huge role in our physiology. While Eastern traditions have long acknowledged a mind-body connection, it was the 20th century when science started to explore this concept. You can read more on this at the National Library of Medicine. Various studies have shown chronically high levels of stress hormones increase blood sugars and fats, disrupts sleep and normal cognitive and emotional function. (Insert stress response just thinking about these issues) Here’s the good news though, by simply being in a coherent state we can positively impact our physical health. HeartMath techniques have been found to improve cardiovascular health, boost immune function, reduce blood pressure, improve sleep habits, increase energy levels and support the body’s natural healing processes. So the better we learn how to take care of our emotions, the better off our bodies are.

5. Practical and On-the-Go Techniques

What I love most about HeartMath techniques is its practicality and accessibility. HeartMath can be practiced anywhere and anytime. Eyes open or shut. You can practice for 30 seconds or as long as you’d like. When stressful situations arise, you can deal with them in the moment without having to remove yourself from the situation. It’s almost like, as your internal world slows down, so too does your external world. It’s ideal for anyone who has a busy schedule or if you struggle to find dedicated time for self-care. Whether it’s practicing a technique during a hectic workday or a visualization exercise in the comfort of your home, the techniques can be seamlessly integrated into your daily life providing immediate relief from whatever issue you’re dealing with. These techniques are similar to on-the-go meditation techniques, an active meditation if you will. 


As you can see, it’s as if HeartMath is a magic pill, it can even cure cancer! Haha, just kidding. Depending on who you are and the sincerity of your practice you may experience some or all of the described benefits, which many of my clients have attested to. HeartMath empowers us to find inner balance and peace amidst the chaos of our busy lives. Providing a roadmap toward a more harmonious and peaceful life. If you would like to learn more about HeartMath and other benefits it provides you can visit their website here. Has this article piked your interest? Schedule a chat with me to discuss working together! 

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