Did you know that the brain and the heart talk to each other?
The way they communicate is through peptides which are hormones and neurotransmitters from the vagus nerve or parasympathetic nervous system that produces a relaxation response and the sympathetic nervous system that produces a fight or flight response. When the heart and the head or brain are in alignment, people get “in the zone.” The state of synchronicity or coherence is where ideas, creativity, innovation and productivity and performance are enhanced and flows. It is also referred to as or “in the zone,” “on a roll” or “having momentum.”
Being in the zone
In positive psychology, a flow state, also known as being in the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. For athletes, being in the zone is having exceptional performances in which their highly-honed skills and abilities seem to be maximized.
Have you ever been in the zone where you are alert, fully aware and get things done or perform while forgetting about time and everything seems to occur smoothly without effort? That is a great place to be and you can create it at will with the right training. I have used this training and recommended it for over 25 years and it is called Heartmath®.
HeartMath® technology is an innovative approach to improving emotional wellbeing. Learn to change your heart rhythm pattern to create physiological coherence; a scientifically measurable state characterized by increased order and harmony in our mind, emotions and body.
Even though we know that the brain sends signals to the heart, the heart actually sends more signals to the brain. The heart can influence emotional processing as well as higher cognitive faculties such as attention, perception, memory, and problem-solving if you focus on it with a feeling of gratitude and appreciation.
When you are stressed and tense, the heart rhythm is erratic and sends stress signals to the brain which limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions. The heart rhythm reinforces the alarm signal of stress and this is like pressing on the gas pedal and the brake one after the other or at the same time. You can’t move forward. You have interference and it is not a smooth or fast ride. You get stuck. This is visible in heart wave patterns that can easily be measured. You can see erratic waves and that you are not in coherence. It is hard to have stable emotions, think clearly or perform at your peak when you are not in coherence and have one foot on the gas pedal and the other on the brake!
Gratitude and appreciation gets you in the zone
On the other hand, when you focus on your heart and a feeling of gratitude or unconditional love, your physiology changes. Your heart rhythm becomes smooth with beautiful synchronous waves that send signals to the brain. It is a state of coherence. Both are in tune with each other and your brain responds.
Your brain responds with clearer thinking, stable emotions, and improves overall health. Being able to generate on demand increased heart rhythm coherence, by sustaining positive emotions, benefits the entire body, but also profoundly affects how we perceive, think, feel, and perform. That is why it has been used by athletes, CEO’s and anyone wanting to perform at a higher level.
Coherence Is Not Relaxation
Being in the zone of coherence is both psychologically and physiologically distinct from meditation and relaxation. Relaxation reduces heart rate variability and shifts increased parasympathetic activity known as the relaxation response. This state allows for rest, digest, repair and reproduce. It slows down breathing, heart rate and lowers blood pressure. It is known as a vagal response. Coherence also increases parasympathetic activity but is physiologically distinct from relaxation in that the system oscillates at its natural resonant frequency and there is increased harmony and synchronization in nervous system and heart–brain dynamics. Unlike relaxation, the coherence state does not necessarily involve a lowering of heart rate, or a change in the amount of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) which is a marker for health and longevity but is primarily a change in the heart rhythm pattern.
Getting into the zone is fast, easy and can be done in the fully alert state. It has profound effects with proven benefits. Studies have shown improvements in mental & emotional well-being in just 6-9 weeks using HeartMath training and technology:
- 24% improvement in the ability to focus
- 30% improvement in sleep
- 8% improvement in calmness
- 46% drop in anxiety
- 48% drop in fatigue
- 56% drop in depression
At Vibrance for Life, we can help you with training and learning how to use the technology. It can even be done without the app or desktop version. I learned it and benefitted from it a long time ago when the training was on cassette tapes! You can also purchase the app or desktop version on our store at How To Live Younger or find a link in the Resource section.