I was working with a client this morning who has been suffering with COVID induced anxiety for over twelve months. The anxiety has, in the client’s own words ‘impaired every aspect of my life.’
The “Quick Coherence®” technique
One of the life skills I shared with my client was a wonderful technique called the “Quick Coherence®” technique. It was developed by the HeartMath Institute. For more than 25 years, HeartMath has been researching the heart-brain connection and learning how the heart influences our perceptions, emotions, intuition and health.
Research by HeartMath and others has identified that activation of positive emotions plays a critical role in breaking the anxiety cycle. Using positive emotion-refocusing exercises like the ” Quick Coherence®” in the moment that anxiety is experienced can help to change our perception of situations as a threat and greatly reduce or even stop the feeling of anxiety.
What is coherence?
The state of coherence is important to all of us in helping to maintain our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Coherence in relation to any system, including the human body, refers to a logical orderly and harmonious connectedness between parts.
Borrowing from physics, when we are in a coherent state, virtually no energy is wasted. This is because our systems are performing optimally and there is synchronisation between the heart, respiratory system, blood pressure rhythms, heart rate variability patterns etc. Among the many benefits of coherence are calmness, good energy levels, clear thinking and good immune system function.
Each of us is capable of achieving, maintaining and increasing our coherence. One of the simplest and quickest paths to learn coherence is through intentional positive feelings. These include compassion, caring, love and gratitude and other states of appreciation. In contrast, we can quickly become incoherent when we experience negative attitude and emotions. For example, emotions such as fear and anger.
When to use the ” Quick Coherence®” technique
I recommend using Quick Coherence® at least once each day. You can use it anytime, anywhere and no one will know that you’re doing it. In less than a minute, it creates positive changes in your heart rhythms, sending powerful signals to your brain that can improve how you are feeling. I usually spend between 5 and 15 minutes practicing the technique depending on how much time I have available.
The important thing is not how long you do it each day, but that you do it each day! With practice, the effect becomes deeper and more profound.
Using quick coherence at the onset of less intense negative emotions
The technique isn’t only for use against anxiety. It can be especially useful when you start to feel any uncomfortable or draining feeling such as frustration, irritation or stress. Using quick coherence at the onset of less intense negative emotions can prevent them from escalating and bring you back into balance more quickly.
The Quick Coherence® Technique – instructions
Quick Coherence® has just three simple steps. As these steps are applied, the body’s functions synchronize to a coherent state, minimizing the experience of anxiety and allowing for a more intelligent response to the situation. HeartMath says the key to the technique’s effectiveness lies in the third step of the technique in recalling positive emotions and feelings.
Here are the three simple, but powerful steps:
Step 1 Heart Focus – bring your attention and awareness to the area around your heart, the area in the centre of your chest. If you like, place your hand over the centre of your chest to help to keep your attention in the heart area.
Step 2 Heart Breathing – imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual. Find an easy rhythm that’s comfortable.
Step 3 Heart Feeling – as you maintain your heart focus and heart breathing, activate a positive, renewing feeling. Perhaps you can reexperience a time when you have felt a feeling of love, compassion or appreciation for a person, a pet, a moment in nature or an accomplishment, or just breathe in an attitude of love or gratitude. This is the most important step.
HearthMath have created this Quick Coherence® video: https://youtu.be/sKmKKCdnJ4U to help people master the technique.
I have a heart rate variability monitor that measures coherence and I use it to measure client’s coherence pre and post practice of the technique. Clients are amazed to find that just practicing once a day for five minutes produces rapid improvements in coherence and a reduction in anxiety.
Is it time to free yourself from anxiety?
If you are suffering with anxiety or stress and want rapid relief schedule a free, no obligation 15-to-30-minute Discovery Consultation by clicking HERE. Alternatively, you can call/text me on 021 056 8389.
Stay safe and well.
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