Research has opened up the realm of the heart in a way that is truly inspiring. Far from the heart being a mere pump, a mechanical device that delivers blood to where it’s needed, it has been shown to have an inherent relationship with the brain. Apart from other things, it is this relationship that is the seat of our emotional intelligence and which provides the clue to managing our emotions. There is an intelligence in the heart that communicates with the brain and the rest of the body. Research has shown that engaging this heart intelligence can reduce blood pressure, improve the nervous system and brain function and balance hormones.
Neuroscientists and neurocardiologists have provided evidence of the heart being part of the nervous system. It communicates neurologically, biochemically, bio-physically, and energetically with the body and the brain. It plays a primary role in the regulation of the nervous system and has a direct effect on our emotional state. As such, we are able to manage our emotional state through accessing our heart centre.
We feel at our best and perform at our best when there is coherence between the heart and the head. In scientific terms this is evidenced through the electromagnetic activity of the brain and the heart – both of which have an electromagnetic field that can be measured. The coherence of the fields, the rhythms of the heart and the brainwaves, affect and are affected by feelings. Feelings such as anger, frustration, irritation, disappointment lead to incoherence which has a negative impact on the nervous system which in turn causes blood pressure to rise, hormones to fluctuate and create the feelings we know as stress. Conversely heart centred feelings such as compassion, forgiveness, joy, thankfulness, and love lead to coherence which has a positive impact on the nervous system, lowering blood pressure, balancing hormones, and making us feel relaxed and at peace.
The heart has its own electromagnetic field that has been measured to extend some 8 to 10 feet beyond the body and can be detected by sensitive detectors called magnetometers. So the heart projects what we are feeling, our minds project what we are thinking. Heart research has shown that we influence one another’s heart fields, they are contagious, not just between people, but between people and other animals.
For many, our minds are busy all the time, it feels like we never stop having thoughts, and that do so is an unnatural way to be. Thoughts are rarely if ever neutral, so the constant chattering in our heads is a direct source of incoherence compromising our well-being and creating stress.
What is exciting is that we can consciously affect the heart bio-field as well as the heart/brain connection to bring ourselves back into a balanced, healthful state. We do this through shifting to being heart centred and practising Heartfulness. Heartfulness is how I have chosen to describe the practise of actively engaging heart intelligence, which as you’re starting out with the practise is a quick and powerful way to neutralise stress, but can be fully developed to become the dominant state that you live within. It improves our inner fitness, heal hurts and we become skilled in developing compassion, love, forgiveness, gratitude, and joy, all of which have a profoundly beneficial effect on our whole health and well being. Becoming heart centred is key to a richer, more serene, compassionate, and deeper experience of life.