What is heart-brain coherence? How is your heart connected to the brain?
When we experience heart-brain coherence, our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations are in harmony, which can lead to a number of positive effects. For example, we may feel more centered, focused, and alert, with a greater sense of clarity and purpose.
Keep reading to learn about heart-brain coherence and how to achieve it through meditation.
Your heart is in constant communication with your brain and central nervous system. This means that, like your brain, your heart is also a source of knowledge and emotion, so it’s important that it’s in a coherent state.
Like our brain waves, our heartbeat can also be either inconsistent or coherent, Dispenza explains. A coherent heartbeat is more conducive to peaceful and positive emotions and raises your electromagnetic vibration. So your negative thought-feeling patterns are reflected in your heart as well. This means it’s important to activate your “heart center,” which means resting your attention on your heart in meditation in order to bring positive energy to it.
Dispenza illustrates the importance of the heart by describing some case studies of heart transplant patients who experienced subtle changes in their personalities after receiving a transplant. In one case, a woman who received a heart transplant from a young man developed cravings for specific foods that she had never craved before, and she later found out they were the favorite foods of the heart donor. According to Dispenza, this means there is knowledge stored in our hearts as well as our brains.
|The Benefits of Heart-Brain Coherence
The Heartmath Institute has been leading research related to heart-brain coherence. According to Dr. Rollin McCraty, “Coherence is the state when the heart, mind, and emotions are in energetic alignment and cooperation.” In this state, there is a harmonious flow of energy and communication between these different aspects of ourselves, leading to a sense of wholeness and well-being.
The Heartmath Institute offers resources for helping you attain better heart-brain coherence, including a video with a brief guided meditation, as well as a downloadable e-book with 12 different techniques you can learn.
Meditation for Heart Wisdom
To increase the energy in your heart center, Dispenza offers a meditation involving bringing your awareness to your heart as you breathe and set intentions. In this meditation, you’ll pay attention to your chest as it expands and contracts each time you take a breath. As you breathe like this, concentrating on your heart center, you’ll think about a positive intention for your life and try to generate a corresponding heartfelt positive emotion. (Shortform note: Dispenza’s website doesn’t include a guided version of this meditation, but you can find a version of it on the Insight Timer app.)
This exercise can be done for 10 minutes at first, and you can increase the time as you feel comfortable with it. Dispenza says this will create a more calm and coherent heart rate, relieving stress and anxiety, and conditioning your body and mind to feel love and compassion instead of fear and anxiety.
(Shortform note: In addition to meditation, another way you might try replacing fear and anxiety with love and compassion is through physical affection. In The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk says that physical touch, such as hugs, rocking, and massage, can create a sense of safety, protection, and trust that can relieve tension in our bodies and therefore create a calmer, more coherent brain and heart.)
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- How to use the power of your thoughts to transform your physical reality
- Why you may be trapped in a vicious cycle of negativity
- A unique meditation method you can use to reprogram your subconscious