by Rebecca Knight
The stress cycle, like an infinite loop, is the emotional importance we assign to things that create tension in our lives and is what keeps us in cycles of feeling negative emotions. In turn, we feel stressed, which can create unhealthy patterns, and lead to more stress and tension down the line. Stressed people can often be heard saying things like “I don’t think as clearly as I used to,” “I work longer hours but get less done,” “I feel like I’m in survival mode,” or “I have sleep problems.” Those of us that can relate to any or all of those statements can take that as a signal that stress is having an impact in our lives. The good news is, there are key things we can do to turn it all around quickly. The HeartMath system, created by the Institute of HeartMath, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people reduce stress, while building energy and resilience, encourages people to self-regulate their emotions and behaviors, with their scientifically proven approach to wellness through the wisdom of the heart.
This HeartMath graphic illustrates the impact to our heart when we are in a stress-related, frustrated state versus a calmer state of appreciation.
Heart Rhythms Reflect How In Sync We Are (see graph)
Through the HeartMath-based systems, we realize we have the power and the ability to avoid and defuse stressful situations in our lives. HeartMath’s straightforward techniques are easy to embrace and require little time to accomplish.
The following Quick Coherence Technique illustrates how to make the shift from the jagged and extreme heart pattern in the top box, to the smoother and even-paced heart rate in the bottom box using The Power of Positive Feeling:
Step 1: Heart Focus: Focus your attention around the center of your heart.
Step 2: Heart-Focused Breathing: Imagine your breath flowing in and out of your heart area.
Step 3: Heart Feeling: Remember a special place, a special person or activity that feels good to you. Examples include your favorite vacation spot, a small child who you hold dear, your favorite food or pet, etc.
Learning and practicing the powerful reset of our emotional response to stress and implementing the power of positive thinking is invaluable in reversing the damage stress has caused in our lives.
Rebecca Knight, founder of Blue Sky Services, offers in-person and virtual group classes and individual coaching beginning in January with HeartMath’s Revitalize You! program. She also offers complimentary introductions to the HeartMath system through the HeartMath Meetup at Coeur d’Alene Wellness Group. For more information, visit Meetup.com/Coeur-d-Alene-Wellness-Meetup.