Not many people know that there is a physiological connection between the heart, head, and emotional output. Further, many don’t know that our hearts have their own nervous system that communicates directly with our heads. Being intentional about aligning the heart with the mind is an important practice for improving heart rate variability (HRV) and cardiac coherence. Cardiac (heart) coherence is the measurement of the order, stability, and harmony of our emotional output.
Our lives are more stable and aligned, we are better able to communicate between our head and our hearts, and we are better able to express emotions when we have better heart rhythm.
In order to improve heart coherence, try a simple exercise:
Start with your eyes closed and feel for the beating sensation of your heart.
Start to breathe intentionally, slowing down and deepening your breaths.
Play a game with an imaginary net, noticing your thoughts and catching them in your net.
Once you have caught your thought, notice the impact it has on your beating heart. Did it increase the rhythm? Decrease the rhythm?
Make a choice if you want to keep that thought or release it.
In your journal, answer the following:
I had the thought that…
It made me feel (name and emotion and the sensation in your heart)...
I am choosing to keep/ replace this thought because…
I choose to replace the thought with this new thought…
For example, I might journal something like:
I had the thought that I am never going to be great at writing. It made me feel anxious and my heart felt heavy and strained as though the blood was too thick to pump. I am choosing to replace that thought because I know that I put in time and effort to be a great writer and just by putting in attention and effort, I am already doing great. I choose to replace this thought with a new thought: I am a great writer because I practice every day.
This is just a short example, but you can write for much longer and in much more detail to build your connection with your heart and mind. This is also a great practice for creating affirmations as you release the sneaky thoughts that hold you stuck in self doubt!