The Science behind the Heart
The heart is something that is important to all of us. It is the seat of our souls; it is the seat of all of our dreams, hopes and aspirations for life. It’s the seat of our most cherished emotions and feelings, and our connection to the world. The information that I’m about to share with you is amazing. It will open your mind to unimagined possibilities we could never have thought possible because we didn't understand the power and magnitude the heart has on the quality of our lives. The people over at HeartMath, led by Howard Martin, are discovering things scientifically about the heart that is mind-boggling. I've included this in my program and I’m going to share with you everything that’s in this video, because I want you to have it. This information is so important to get out and it could be the key ingredient to open your mind up to new possibilities and new ways of experiencing your life.
How do you go about activating your own heart’s intelligence? Your heart has intelligence, and we’re going to learn this as we go on, but first, what are some of the qualities we typically associate with the heart? First, it’s the core of our essential and authentic self. We reach for our heart whenever were really trying to communicate with someone and reach them on a deep, meaningful level. It’s the source of our most revered emotions: love, compassion, care, appreciation, gratitude, joy, and peace. All this resides in the area of the heart. When we are in touch with our hearts, really in touch, we have a greater discernment of the world around us; we have an intuitive clarity that enables us to live in the world without being of this world. We have a deeper connection, not only with ourselves but with all others that cross our path, and with all of life. When we act from our hearts, we have this incredible ability to overcome all obstacles in our way, it gives us the courage to see the obstacles and not be daunted by the challenges they present, and combined with desire and determination, we are able to overcome these barriers. This is the birthplace of the hero. The hero within each and every one of you is located in your heart.
Life is about continuous growth. It’s about service to others. This is so critical for you to get. It’s the master key to making your life work. We, as a society, have reached a critical juncture in our evolution. As Howard Martin states in the video, “Humanity has reached a critical juncture. We are on the threshold of a new stage of social, spiritual, and cultural evolution.” What does this mean for us? All of the old ways of doing things, whether it’s our political systems, economic systems, social systems, are not working anymore; the models themselves are not producing the desired effects their implementation had intended. The economic disparity between the very rich and everyone else is far too wide and only the few have access to living abundantly; the political system is driving us away from each other, keeping us divided, and is being held at the mercy of corporations, banks, and special interests; our educational system is not educating our children to be free, independent thinkers and creators, and is de-geniusing them; these are just a few examples of what is happening in our society. However, what is so exciting is that there are so many new ideas percolating up from the groundswell of motivated people seeking solutions to the problems we have. Ironically, science and spirituality are merging together, verifying the foundational principles of universal spiritual truths with actual, physical evidence. And, as more and more people become aware of these astonishing discoveries, eventually, we will reach a critical mass where there will be a huge shift in consciousness on a global level, and people from all walks of life will demand changes to be implemented that coincide with this new awareness, and as a consequence, a better, happier, more harmonious and peaceful world will be established. This is the threshold we all now stand on.
Let’s get back to the heart and the work of Howard Martin and the scientists and researchers at HeartMath. Your heart is a source of wisdom and intelligence, very subtle, and its high speed. It’s a place you go to when you need some self-security; that sacred place when you really need to find the answers. When all others have failed you or life has brought disaster upon you, this is the part where you sink into within yourself during the great crises of your lives. Your heart is your own best friend. It’s your own personal guide who guides you towards making the decisions in your life, regardless of whether they are big or small. When you access this wisdom and intelligence within your heart, you are gifted with a greater discrimination of things and acquire a new ability to see yourself, people, places, things, and events that occur in your world.
The scientific research is now verifying and validating everything we've always known about the heart. The heart is so much more than just a blood pump. It actually sends communication out to the other parts of the body; it is a powerful communicator. The heart sends out commands all the time out to the brain and body, and it does this in four different ways. The first way is through neurological communication. There are so many nerves which surround the heart. Through these neurological connections, the heart sends out messages all the way to the brain, and the brain sends messages back to the heart, and what is evident is there is actually this communication happening between the heart and brain. What’s really interesting is when researchers map out this neurological communication going on between the brain and the heart, what they discovered is there is more information being sent from the heart to the brain than the brain to the heart. The heart actually sends out more information than it gets.
Another way in which the heart communicates is through the blood pressure wave. The blood pressure wave is that pulse you feel when you place your fingers on your wrist or any place on your body where a pulse can be felt. What you are feeling is this wave of energy being created by the heart while it is squeezing blood through the arteries, veins, and capillaries throughout the body. Now this wave, this blood pressure wave of energy is traveling through the entire body and it’s influencing every part of you, including your brain function.
Your heart also communicates with the body through the release of hormones. Back in 1983, the heart got reclassified as being a part of the hormonal system because what they discovered was that the heart was producing some very important hormones to regulate bodily functions and states. For example, the heart produces a hormone called atrial peptide. One of this hormone’s primary functions is to reduce the release of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. The heart is actually sending out a hormone to reduce stress and back off a stress hormone. Does this sound like just an ordinary blood pump to you?
Lastly, it communicates through an electromagnetic field, recognized by the people at HeartMath as the “electrical heart.” Howard Martin states, “The heart radiates an electromagnetic field that energetically affects each other’s moods, attitudes, and feelings.” Your heart, among all these other functions which I've just described for you, is also an electrical organ! The heart, by far, produces the strongest source of bioelectrical energy in the entire body. It is up to 40 to 60 times stronger than the second most powerful source which is your brain! This electrical energy that is being produced by the heart permeates through every part of your body, through every cell, and it because it is so strong, it actually radiates outside of the skin and out into the world. And this field is all around you. It envelopes you, like you are encapsulated in a sphere, and this radiation, this electromagnetic field stretches out beyond you and can be measured 3 – 4 feet outside of your body. What’s really fascinating is this electromagnetic energy will change depending upon what your emotional state is.
So, for example, if you are feeling a lot of strong, negative emotions like anger, guilt, shame, fear, hatred, or resentment, what it ends up producing is this incoherent spectra in the electromagnetic field. On the flip side, if you are experiencing a lot of the positive emotions that we typically associate with the heart, love, compassion, appreciation, gratitude, hope, kindness, what ends up happening is it produces this beautiful coherent spectra in the electromagnetic field. What does this information tell you? You are broadcasting this electromagnetic energy not only to every cell in your body, but you are broadcasting it outside of yourself and into the world around you. You are actually communicating what you are feeling and what your emotions are to every single person outside of you whether you vocalize it or not. And they pick up on these emotion and feelings once you cross over into their electromagnetic field, and visa versa. Now, we’re moving into the realm of physics.
If my field crosses your field, my field is going to be affected by your field and your field is going to be affected by my field, because our individual fields stretch out beyond our bodies anywhere from 3-4 feet. The moment you or I get within that space, our fields will cross and interact with each other. We will be non-verbally and energetically influenced by the electromagnetic energy emanating from our hearts. Multiply this now with a room full of people; take the next step, and multiply it with the number of people in an auditorium; a city; a whole nation.
When you think about this new information you have of the heart the next logical step is to examine how does the collective field relate? The implications of what this scientifically verified knowledge could potentially have would be profound. It would impact significantly the ways in which we interact with each other because we would have a greater understanding of the collective influence the heart’s electromagnetic energy has on the society as a whole. First, though, the folks at HeartMath had to figure out a way to measure this. Their solution to this was to measure heart rhythms. This is different than your heart rate. Your heart rhythm is the timing between heartbeats. This timing changes between every single heartbeat, and as they started mapping this out, what they discovered was some very complex patterns began to emerge. What these patterns show is a lot of what is going on in a person’s body, their overall physical health, and about the quality of communication going on between the brain and the heart.
For example, if you’re feeling frustrated, you have this feeling of frustration, what they can measure is your heart rhythm patterns. What they notice when they map out your heart rhythm patterns is it becomes very jagged and irregular, and you can see the graph of this on the video. Whenever this pattern shows up in your life, it’s not very good for your health, and, the heart actually sends signals to your brain to shut down your higher perceptual centers, which is called corticol inhibition. As a consequence, you do not have access to those areas in your brain which allows you to solve your problems and to think things through clearly.
On the opposite end, if you are experiencing feelings of appreciation, gratitude, and love, when they've mapped this out, it is a very smooth sine wave-like pattern. This is indicative of high performance. There is a high quality of communication going on between the heart and the brain. This is really good for your health. You’re not tense, or stressed, or anxious, and thus, the heart is able to function smoothly and effortlessly. When you’re in this state of high performance, the heart is actually sending messages and signals to your brain to open up and activate the higher perceptual centers. This is called corticol facilitation. When you have access to these higher perceptual centers, to your higher thinking capacity, you are able to solve your problems. You’re not stuck in the mire of being in the problem and entangled in all the emotional turmoil associated with the trauma; you’re able to stand up above the problem. You can look at the situation from above the battlefield because you are not in the battlefield. You stand on higher ground, able to look and assess the situation from a higher point of view, which gives you the clarity you need to find the right solutions to bring resolution to the problems you face.
All of this relates to the changes in the heart. It’s not just the brain you have to work on by changing your thoughts; you also have to work on clearing up the emotions clogging up your hearts, these toxic emotions that build up over time, that prevent you from experiencing life on an emotional and feeling level the way it was intended to be experienced. This information provided to us by the wonderful scientists and researchers from HeartMath gives a whole new context and meaning to the old adage ‘A change of heart changes everything.’ What you change in your heart – if you focus on something that you love, if you focus on gratitude, if you focus on appreciation, if you focus on kindness, if you focus on forgiveness – you can change the way your brain functions. If you can change the way your brain functions, you can not only change the effect on the brain, but as a happy consequence, you can change the world around you because your thoughts, feelings, and emotions will be in alignment with bringing out the greatest good for yourself and for others.
Every one of you has this power. Start today to cultivate this power within you. Break away from the addiction to your negative emotions, implant in your heart the desire to feel and experience love, appreciation, gratitude, joy, hope, faith, and make it a regular practice to check in on yourself to see if you are setting your hearts free, or keeping it chained by the toxic, negative emotions corroding your authentic connection to your world. It is impossible to feel a positive emotion and a negative emotion at the same time; they cannot occupy the same space. One emotion will dominate. You have the choice as to how you want to be in this world. The one thing for which you have absolute and unquestioned authority over is your thoughts. Therefore, choose your thoughts wisely. Decide, once and for all, to cultivate the emotions of the heart in your life. Stay consistent. Eventually, with continued practice, this will become your habit, and your habits become your character. Remember: you are the change you wish to see in the world, it all starts with you!
Exercises to activate your heart’s intelligence:
So how do you go about finding this in your own life? You begin by first learning how to appreciate yourself and others. Think about someone you love, picture them in your mind right now, see them, and reflect for a moment what it is that you appreciate about them? What about them makes you smile or laugh? Take some time to write these thoughts down, and reflect on them. The next step, is to find out what it is you appreciate about yourself? What do you love about yourself? What qualities do you possess that stand out? Take a moment to reflect on this, write them down, and put these exercises in a folder or binder so you can reference them when needed.
Another way to do this is to create for yourself a gratitude journal. Every day, for the next month, write down 5 things for which you are grateful for and 3 things for which you are grateful for not. Examples might be: I am grateful for the morning; I am grateful for the bed I sleep on; I am grateful for the cup of coffee I have when I wake up; I am grateful for the shoes on my feet; I am grateful for the food I have to eat. Examples of what you are grateful for not would be: I am grateful for not being in a war zone; I am grateful for not being terminally ill; I am grateful for not living in abject poverty. Taking inventory of all the things for which you are grateful for and grateful for not allows you to see how much you take for granted and it connects you to your heart instantaneously. Start your day out this way, connected to your heart, and you begin to cultivate the emotions of the heart in your life on a daily basis. Try it! After a month of daily inscriptions, I promise you will find your days to be much happier and filled with appreciation and gratitude.
Charlie Pacello is a PTSD, Depression, and Healing Trauma Recovery Expert and Life Coach, a former US Air Force Lieutenant, and creator of the program, 'Lt. Pacello's Life Training Program.' He can be reached by visiting his website at www.charliepacello.com