What is Coherence, and How Can It Bring You Calm, Clarity, and Health?
I’ve been using the HeartMath InnerBalance biofeedback device for about one year. This simple device helps you train your heart rhythms and mind to attain “coherence”, a harmonious state of being which is ideal mind and body wellness. Coherence can be attained with meditation and prayer, but it can also be quickly attained with coherence training.
The heart has its own highly complex nervous system and these neurocardiological signals are sent to the brain via neural pathways that lead to higher levels of the brain. These signals influence brain activity, thereby affecting the entire body and mind.
The heart rhythm is chaotic during stress or frustration, but is smooth and steady when one is at peaceful and harmonious. Coherence is a high-performance flow state and brings our heart, brain, respiration, immune system, etc. all in alignment, or in sync. Positive thoughts and feelings such as appreciation and compassion create a state of coherence. Years of research identified which emotions give smooth heart function and which create erratic heart activity (although we intuitively can know this). By learning to change heart rhythms to the coherent condition, one affects the mind, body, brain function, and moods for greater vitality and serenity. Modern western medicine (and certainly ancient eastern medicine) is well aware of the effect of stress and negative thinking on health, and by being in coherence one can maintain better health and most definitely can facilitate more contentment.
There are many ways to attain coherence and numerous technologies to assist this means, but as far as devices go, I can only speak of the HearthMath Innerbalance since it is what I use and the HeartMath products are probably the most widely used. It's deceptively simple to use. You simply place a clip on your ear to monitor your pulse and the connector to your phone (I have the lightening connector version to plug into my iPhone. The app has a simple breathing pacer and will let you know when you are in coherence with a green dot indicator on the screen. If you go to red, you are out of coherence and it coaches you to go back to harmonious and loving thoughts. I have seen time and time again, no matter how smoothly I am breathing, if I have a stressful thought, however fleeting, the indicator goes straight to red. I gently stop that and get back to positive thoughts.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the HeartMath Institute nor do I receive any compensation for my review of this product.
Photo credit: HeartMath Institute.