This Valentine’s Day I thought I’d share a Practicing Presence practice that originated at the Heart Math Institute. I’ve modified the technique a bit and I would encourage you to do the same, make it work for you so that you will practice it daily. Over time, the accumulating impact of this practice will literally, synapse by synapse, change your brain.
Heart Coherence Technique
You can do the Heart Coherence Technique anytime, anywhere, and no one will know you’re doing it. I have taught countless colleagues and students how to utilize this technique. In approximately 5 minutes, it creates positive changes in your heart rhythms, sending powerful signals to the brain that can improve how you’re feeling. You can apply this technique when you feel overwhelmed or you simply want to practice increasing your coherence. It’s a great way to begin each day.
Step 1: Heart Focus. Focus your attention on the area around your heart, the area in the center of your chest. If you prefer, the first couple of times you try it, place your hand over the center of your chest to help keep your attention in the heart area. If your mind wanders, just keep shifting your attention back to the area of your heart.
Step 2: Heart Breathing: Breathe deeply, but normally, and feel as if your breath is coming in and out through your heart area. Focus on the area of your heart. This helps your mind stay focused and your respiration and heart rhythms synchronize. Breathe slowly and gently until your breathing feels smooth and balanced, not forced.
Step 3: Heart Feeling. As you maintain your heart focus and heart breathing, activate a positive feeling. Recall a time when you felt good inside and try to re-experience the feeling. One of the easiest ways to generate a positive, heart-based feeling is to remember a special place you’ve visited or the love you feel for a close friend, family member or a pet. This is the most important step. Once you’ve found a positive feeling, sustain it by continuing your heart focus, heart breathing, and heart feeling.
Give a listen to this practice for yourself!