If you’ve ever had one of those moments where you’ve had to stop — take a deep breath and then count to ten — so that you wouldn’t scream or strangle the person in front of you, then you’re well on your way to the HeartMath Solution! If you have practiced techniques to achieve inner tranquility such as meditation, guided visualizations or prayer, then you can accelerate them. This impressive book takes all these methods a step further — like the Bionic Man, you can do it “better, stronger, faster.”
By now, we’ve all heard of the disastrous effects of stress upon our bodies; uncontrolled stress can lead to heart problems, compromised immune systems, depression and a host of other ailments. That’s why so many people are on the lookout for ways to reduce or eliminate stress from their lives. What most people don’t realize is the vital role of the heart in maintaining physical and mental health — and not just as a glorified version of the water pump in your car.
According to authors Childre and Martin, new research is proving that the heart has an intelligence, complete with bio-chemicals, hormones and neurotransmitters, just like the brain. The HeartMath Solution is essentially learning how to tap into this heart intelligence. (For the “math challenged” — don’t be put off! It’s just a simple formula for accessing the heart.) Written with a marvelous blend of science and compassion, the authors show how developing heart intelligence can improve all aspects of one’s life — at home, in the workplace, and in the larger community and society.
Much of the research the authors provide confirm our deepest intuitions about the heart — we’ve all known the joy of “following our heart,” or the grief of “not listening to our heart.” What the research is showing is that the heart communicates with the brain in unexpected ways, via hormones, electrical impulses, and more. By learning Childre and Martin’s methods to regulate the heart’s rhythms, we can vastly improve our health and meet life with more mental clarity, resiliency and less stress — the physical results are “coherence,” or harmony between all the major systems of the body.
The biggest news is that the research supports something else that many have long suspected — that the heart’s rhythms are regulated by love, and loving thoughts! The authors highlight research that shows that positive, loving emotions such as care, compassion, non-judgement and appreciation have measurable effects on our blood chemistry. Feeling any of these positive emotions trigger a physical cascade of events resulting in increased levels of anti-aging DHEA and disease fighting antibodies, and decreased levels of stress produced cortisol. As the authors state, “These aren’t just nice sensations meant to put us in a better mood. They have muscle.”
Perhaps it’s no surprise then that negative emotions such as anger, blaming, criticism, or anxiety have the reverse effect upon our bodies — they lead to more stress, faster aging and reduced immune response. The good and the bad news is that these effects, either positive and negative, last for hours. One of the author’s studies showed that feeling either a positive or a negative emotion for five minutes impacted the body correspondingly for six hours or more!
This may be one of the biggest arguments yet for changing our lifestyles and changing our perceptions of the world so that we may tap into our heart intelligence. Fortunately, HeartMath Solutions offers techniques, exercises and real-world examples of how to do this in every area of our lives. The authors have worked with individuals, corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions among others, and this wealth of experience is reflected throughout the book.
Best of all, this book is appealing on many levels — those readers who enjoy science will find that “the proof is in the pudding,” and those of a more spiritual bent will find that their deepest intuitions are confirmed. By showing us how to use our heart to manage our mind and emotions Childre and Martin have opened up important new vistas of health and well-being.
For more information on The Institute of Heartmath visit www.heartmath.org