Heart coherence: conscious breathing as first aid for stress

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Heart coherence: conscious breathing as first aid for stress

If everyone reading this article, the world would look a lot happier! It is about the heart coherence technique that allows you to quickly calm down under tension and stress. Impossible? Breathe in and out consciously for a few minutes, according to a fixed rhythm. Feel how you relax.

It is a scientifically based method to reduce personal stress.

Attention to breath

Inhale, exhale… We do it about 25,000 times a day, but we seldom think about it. It is as spontaneous and natural as our heartbeat. Being an innate ability of our bodies, we rarely look for ways to improve the quality of our breathing. Those who actively meditate or practice yoga do pay attention to it. But do we also know what the added value is of conscious breathing?

The connection between head and heart

Heart coherence: conscious breathing as first aid for stress

There are many techniques and therapeutic methods to reduce stress and experience peace in your mind and body. The best known are meditation and mindfulness. Both techniques have a common factor: focus on the breath.

We are learning more and more about the miraculous effect of our breathing, and about how poor breathing can be taxing on your body. At this time, when we are dealing with measures that limit our freedom of movement, fear and panic strike more often. You can put yourself in a more serene state of being in minutes!

‘You always have your breathing at hand. It’s the only part of the autonomic nervous system that you have an impact on,” says Joke Adins, stress trainer.

Heart coherence

If there were a ‘quick fix’ to quickly bring peace to your body and mind, this technique would come closest: heart coherence. It is a scientifically based method to reduce personal stress. Efficient, applicable everywhere, and all you have to do is breathe deeply and consciously for a few minutes!

What is happening? Researchers have found that the heart sends more signals to the brain than vice versa. When you breathe consciously, this has a positive effect on your heart rhythm, and that in turn has a positive effect on your brain. You create a regular, coherent, harmonious heart rhythm, which leads to relaxation. You will feel less stress and more inner peace. If you practice this breathing technique regularly, you will experience situations that previously caused tension in you very differently.

You are safe

Heart coherence: conscious breathing as first aid for stress

When you find yourself in a situation that causes you increased stress, the body naturally freezes, flees or fights. The hormonal system is ready to give all signals to the body so that it increases the chances of survival. Heart coherence offers an alternative to freezingflight or fight – namely safety! You are literally breathing yourself into a safe, more relaxed mode. Your heart will work harmoniously with the rest of the body; blood pressure regulation, oxygen supply, and hormones function optimally.

When the heart is in safe mode, it can send signals to the brain via the nerves, thus dampening the fear. In this way, the body and brain come back into balance. As writer Tchiki Davis puts it: ‘ Slowing down and staying present can remind your body that it’s safe and that our fight or flight system can take a break. 

For young and old

Heart coherence is suitable for everyone. It would be so beneficial if children learned this already in school. They are quite vulnerable when it comes to stress. They get an excess of stimuli over them… And their hormones are very active during puberty, so they often react instinctively to situations. They are all impulses that can be balanced by this super simple technique. But even if you are an adult, this technique has many advantages. As we age, our heart rate increases. If we do these exercises daily, they contribute to a healthy heart rhythm .

To work!

Heart coherence: conscious breathing as first aid for stress

When you start with the heart coherence technique, it is recommended that you do the exercise below three times a day. An exercise of 3 minutes has an effect on your body for no less than 6 hours! It mainly has an impact on the production of the stress hormone cortisol.

When you are already mentally occupied with the various tasks of the day that may demand a lot of energy from you, your body will help you by producing enough cortisol. This gives you an energy boost that makes you able to handle the tasks. Nicely arranged, but when the body is in a constant mode of readiness, it comes at the expense of our immunity.

There are several apps with heart coherence exercises. The frequency of inhale, holding, exhaling, and holding varies, depending on what you want to achieve with conscious breathing. This exercise is all about peace and balance. It is recommended to inhale for 4 counts and exhale for 6 counts. Do you find counting difficult? No problem, in the video you can follow the movement of the circle. Sit in a relaxed position with a straight back. Click here to experience your moment of tranquility.

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