As a young girl, I remember making a heart over the "i" in my name. I would also draw a large, stylized heart around my name and the name of whatever boy I had a crush on at the time. For a while, Kurt Russell even had a place of honour in my heart. A Disney heart throb, he was.
As I got older, I would look at those little decorative hearts with a certain amount of disdain. I had my heart set against such displays of silliness. I was now too m.a.t.u.r.e.
Then, during my teaching years, I'd smile when I'd see hearts of different sizes and colours festooning the papers and notebooks of my students. Always the girls' work, of course. No boy would dare to be caught - publicly, anyway - wearing his heart, on his sleeve, so to speak.
Fast forward to the infancy of this millennium. I was at a retreat when I had a "heart attack.". I spent nine days in the hospital awaiting transfer to another hospital for an angiogram. I was finally released and told that I would get my tests done as an outpatient. Months later, when all the tests were completed, the explanation for my heart event was "non-specific". Somehow, I knew in my heart that my arteries would be clear. Thankfully, my heart continues on with its rhythmical lub-dub-lub-dub sound.
Then, in 2005, I came across The HeartMath Solution. This book changed my life - you could say that I had a change of heart. In fact, it was the genesis of Auntie Stress, as I later went on to do the training. As I began to apply what I learned in the book, I noticed some small changes in how I felt. Next, came the technology - then, it was called The Freeze-Framer. It is now known as the emWave.
Hmmm, that's interesting. I thought I felt better, but when I actually sat down to view my heart rhythm pattern, I was unpleasantly surprised. My heart rate variability (HRV) had not yet improved. It took practice, moving out of thinking and into feeling. One goes with the other, but the true improvements come about when you get out of your head and into your heart.
Suffice to say, I was in my head, a lot! Worry - check! Frustration - that's me! Anger - sad to say, I had that, too. Those were the emotions I most frequently bathed in. Without techniques and tools to transform those negative thoughts and emotions, stress happens.
Recall how you feel when you're with someone you love. What people, places, things and activities make your heart sing? You'll want to get the proof that you have actually moved into a state of coherence, and not just thinking you're doing it, like I was.
What is coherence? The short answer: harmony among the components of a system (yours), where no energy is wasted due to the internal synchronization among the various systems which allow for the emergence of new levels of creativity, cooperation, productivity, health and well-being.
What is important to know about HRV:
- Beat to beat changes of the heart.
- When you take your pulse, you get an average measure of your heart rate - it is not reflective of how your heart is speeding up and slowing down.
- When you soak in negative thoughts and emotions, it is reflected in the rhythm pattern.
- Upward slant is the heart speeding up.
- Downward slant is the heart slowing down.
- Aim for a smooth and even pattern - like a gentle wave on the ocean, not the "Rocky Mountain", jagged view.
- When the rhythm is jagged, it indicates an imbalance between the two branches of the nervous system.
- Balance your nervous system and you see an improvement in the rhythm.
- Balance your nervous system by practicing techniques that move you out of the Stress Zone and into the Stress-Free Zone.
Here's an example of one of my sessions on the emWave. When it is actually running, you are better able to see the gently rounded peaks and valleys. Once the session has completed, you see the view that is displayed here:
Would you like to meet your heart? Please contact me to make a heart/health/well-being investment. In addition to the desktop version, which you see displayed here, I have a portable version - emWave2 - and the Inner Balance for Apple products, available for purchase.
If you need help putting your heart into making a change, consider taking a five-hour coaching program. Remember, it's not just stress. Please contact me for details.
iPad, iPod, iPhone and iOS, are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Inner Balance Trainer is a trademark of Quantum Intech, Inc.
emWave is a registered trademark of Quantum Intech, Inc.
HeartMath is a registered trademark of the Institute of HeartMath.
4 Replies to “Happy Heart Day!”
Thank you for sharing your very personal journey of how the HeartMath program truly helped transform your stress and provide you with heart health.
Your experience that preceded its use must have been very scary and I feel for the additional stress and worry that you had following the event that led you to the hospital when you were waiting to hear that you were ok.
It is also so remarkable to hear/read how you may think that you are more relaxed/less stressed but until you actually measure your heart rate variability, you do not know.
This is now reminding me of how many years ago I had learned biofeedback as a potential method for addressing my migraines. I was able to see with this very simple ring contraption that I had lowered my heart rate [demonstrating relaxation] after having listened to a visualization tape. I still have that ring somewhere; perhaps I should put it on to see if my meditation has the same effect…
I’m also most appreciative of the wonderful graph you have provided here and your instructional notes on what it all means. This is a lovely gentle nudge! 🙂
The weird thing is that during that whole “event”, I never once felt that I was at risk. When I look back at that time, I believe that I had a stress attack. When you consider the huge number of chemicals that can flood the system during a bout of stress, it doesn’t surprise me that I had elevated levels.
May I suggest going one further and improve your heart rate variability. 😉
Pretty insightful and informative….shared.
I appreciate your stopping by and sharing. 🙂