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A Science-Backed Technique From the Heartmath Institute to Boost Your Mental and Emotional Well-Being

As we go through life’s daily stresses, it always helps to have a tool to help us quickly shift to a more empowering and clearer state of mind.

This tool from the HeartMath Institute seems almost too simple to be true but that is where it’s beauty lies. It can be done anywhere, at any time and yet it packs powerful benefits. It releases neurochemicals that boost your system and clear your mind, resulting in an overall boost to your mental and physical well-being.

The “Quick Coherence” Technique by HeartMath

1. Heart-Focused Breathing Bring your attention to the center of your chest. Imagine your breath is flowing and out of your heart area. Breathe a little slower and deeper than usual in an easy and comfortable rhythm.

2. Activate a Positive or Renewing Feeling Make a sincere attempt to experience a regenerative feeling such as care or gratitude. Perhaps you can think back to a time when you felt love or appreciation for a person or a pet, or a time spent in nature, or even a past accomplishment. Breathe this positive feeling into your heart. Continue doing this for as long as needed until you feel a sense of more calm and peace.

Positive Effects on Your Body

Some of the things that happen in your body while you’re using this technique:

  • Your nervous system is synchronizing.

  • Hormones are being released into your system, that regenerate you (such as oxytocin and serotonin).

  • Signals from your heart to your brain are moving through your emotional and higher brain centers.

The combination of these allows you to experience more uplifting emotions and access more intuitive insights. It also gives your body the ability to focus on maintenance and healing instead of using its precious energy to fight a perceived threat.

Best Times to Apply the Quick Coherence Technique

You can practice this technique anytime, with your eyes open or closed. It is especially useful when you’re feeling stressed or before important meetings or communications.

The more often you practice this, the easier it will be for you to activate the qualities of the heart — such as love, gratitude, care, or compassion — on demand. This results in better communication, increased performance, and better long-term health.

If you find it hard to activate a certain regenerative feeling such as care or compassion, think of another positive one and go to that while continuing heart-focused breathing. Perhaps find the next better-feeling emotion that is slightly above where you find yourself at the present moment, working your way up the scale of emotions in a way that feels natural.

While you are in this coherent state, it is also an ideal time to envision what you would like to change for the better. The improved flow of signals from the heart to the brain opens up the higher perceptual centers in the brain so you begin to perceive things differently. Things then may not seem as stressful, confusing, or agitating. You gain additional clarity to navigate challenges more effectively.

Other articles in the Science of The Heart series, inspired by The HeartMath Institute:


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