Updated: Sep 29, 2021
Have you felt recently that your mind sometimes wants one thing but your instinct (usually your heart) wants another? How many times have you taken the “wrong” decision or act negatively due to your emotions?
We all have experienced these kinds of contradictions that come from an incoherent pattern between our mind and our heart. I can bet that when you are experience a sensation of pleasure, relaxation, happiness and everything seems to match you have a deep sensation of wholeness, of satisfaction and probably also of gratitude because all those positive emotions act together in your body creating a state technically called homeostasis, commonly known as balance and in those moments even if you’re around a person that has a cold or that is just whining nothing can break your coherence pattern because the magical chemicals you are releasing in your system are protecting you, because the vibration you’re emitting doesn’t match with a negative vibration.
We assign a label to our emotions based on the fact that they cause a positive or a negative effect in our lives, but of course, they are also producing that same effect in our body, we only don’t have the awareness many times that internally we’re also disrupting our homeostasis. Every interaction we have with people, events or common circumstances of life will have an effect on us according to our perception, resonating with our emotional software installed, reacting with our programs that we have been conditioned to believe by our parents or caregivers.
All the sensory information that we’re perceiving from the external world, is perceived through our senses, let’s take for instance sight. Our eyes will take abstract images or physical shapes translated into a language that our body can understand, which is, usually our internal voice (1) as it transformed into a vibrational wave of energy which now is able to emit and produce and effect inside of us. The words and nosies we hear as well as translated into this vibrational realm which is first perceived by our heart and then signaled to the brain into a chemical language that travels through systems and organs producing also effects caused by a set of biochemical reactions that we have inside of us.
As you can see, we have two languages, sort of saying, and for the sake of not complicating more our understanding of the kind of coherence that the heart and brain generate we’ll leave at that.
Our external assets of senses which are our eyes, ears, skin, tact have the first encounters with all the stimuli that we’re receiving, then those perceptions have to translated into a chemical language, in the middle of the translation we have a vibrational component, those energy vibrations that are emitted internally will turn on our internal biological machinery and we’ll produce a series of reactions that will eventually lead to an internal positive or negative response, depending on the kind of emotion that you generated.
That emotion within you is influenced by all the patterns and programs installed when you were a child. That’s why when we are children our “reactions” to the environment doesn’t stick to us so long, as when we grow up. Because we are not yet that polluted by toxic environments, this is true of course, if you have a kind of smooth childhood experience, however when children are exposed to more and more negative triggers or behaviors through their development, the perception of things starts changing, and sadly we are more reactive to external stimuli and we also tend to maintain those negative effects for a more prolonged period of time.
This short cycle of how we’re processing our sensory information is what starts to generate a set of behaviors towards those stimuli, which if we were conditioned to react poorly and negatively, then we will develop a more reactive personality, consequentially evolving into a judgmental character, and if not detected or modified will turn out to be the victim personality that we see every day in many people that have been conditioned to react like that and that they have a minimum of five to ten years being victims of their lives.
Coherence in ordinary language means correlation, a sticking together, or connectedness; also, a consistency in the system. Thus, coherence in this context refers to wholeness and a global order: This is coherence as a distinctive organization of parts, the relations among which generate an emergent whole that is greater than the sum of the individual parts. In the example of organizing words in a coherent sentence, the meaning and purpose conveyed by the arrangement of the words is greater than the individual meaning of each word (2).
It is important to note that all systems, to produce any function or action, must have the property of global coherence. Global coherence does not mean that everybody or all the parts are doing the same thing at the same time. Think of a jazz band for example, where the individual players are each doing his or her own thing, yet keeping in tune and step with the whole band. Coherence in this sense maximizes local freedom and global cohesion and resonance with the musical theme (2).
In a living system global order or coherence must be sustained and maintained over time. For example, biochemist and geneticist Mae-Wan Ho (1998) has suggested that a whole living system is a domain of coherent, autonomous activity that is coordinated across a continuum from the molecular to macroscopic to social levels (2).
Internal coherence with the external stimuli is of paramount importance to develop a resilient personality and to be able to cope with real life, the external chaos or incoherence that governs many settings sometimes is not so easy to regulate or to make it more bearable for us, however if we develop a discipline to have an internal, strong coherence between what we see, hear or feel with the interpretation that we give it to us, then we will be able to withstand more successfully our everyday interactions, our response to events that not always come out the way we pictured them and eventually that internal peace and coherence will have an effect in your outer world.
All these theory and research facts will help us to develop a model to cope better with life challenges, so let’s take a real-life example to put into action a brain-heart coherence that allows you to reproduce it in your everyday life:
Let’s say you have a meeting with your Boss and Team, which is very important, the topic of the presentation that you will deliver talks about patience and resilience in the work place. You have prepared for the meeting, the day has come, and as usual your morning routine starts by checking your social media, a couple of mails, grabbing a cup of coffee, and then Murphy’s Law becomes present, you start your day dripping off coffee in your shirt as you get in your car to start driving, then you start thinking quickly if you have time to go up and change, or the traffic will stop you from doing that, check the maps and traffic looks heavier than usual, another triggers steps up in the ladder, your try to maintain your peace of mind, however you are already biased towards having a “bad day” though you’re doing everything in your power to avoid the repetitive set of painful and negative thoughts that are now present in your mind, finally you make it to your office with your fashionable stain of coffee in your shirt, which you’re more worried than people really noticing it. Once you get to your office to take out your laptop you realize you forgot the adapter device to plug into the projector. You call your systems department to borrow one and ask them to be delivered to the office where the presentation is about to start, your Boss luckily hasn’t arrived, but some members of the Team are already inside of the meeting’s office, you try to remain calm but you are anxious, worried and somewhere to be uplifted to pretty damn angry.
The time of the meeting has arrived, your Boss is already entering the office and the guy with the adapter hasn’t shown up, therefore you call from there to pressure, and you start giving the presentation by improvising an introductory speech, some members of your Team start noticing that you’re nervous, anxious and you interpret their look as if they’re noticing your coffee stain, some of them start laughing with each other, and that just make it worse, therefore you snap at them and start attacking them saying that they should be ashamed of their childish behavior just for a coffee stain, they look at you ashamed and surprised because of course they hadn’t even notice the “coffee stain”, so one of them tells you to relax and that just make it worse because you know have a completely flooded brain and body with all the negative chemicals that started with a simple “coffee stain” in your shirt.
Do you think that taking into account all the series of narrated events, people and your Boss will be able to put attention in the topic of your talk? Do you even believe that you can do a good job with all the negative reactions that you and only you provoked and attract?
I don’t think so …Now, this everyday real-life story will allow is to exemplify a much more heat-brain coherent scenery.
Let’s take the same situation, you have an important talk with your Boss and your Team, you still spill coffee on your shirt, but instead of reacting poorly to the stain, you take a deep breath, you internally think it’s just a coffee stain, nothing happens, I’m ok, I have prepared for the meeting, and nothing can interfere with my image that everything will be fine, therefore you just try to clean it and leave it at that …you don’t even allow yourself to be bother by it …
When facing a difficult, challenging situation from your external world. Evaluate how bad is it? Most of the things can be fixed if you maintain a positive attitude;
Take a deep breath and if possible close your eyes picturing and visualizing what you wanted to happen with the important event. This will allow to transform a possible threat into a peaceful vibration that will be transmitted to your body as such and will allow you to have more clarity;
Carry on with the plan you had and if another negative thought wants to come along, stop it with a question. That will take out the power of thought and center you in your positive attitude avoiding that it can be even introduced as a negative emotion;
As you approach the time of your compromise, keep taking deep breaths and allowing your visualization of the event to become stronger. That will bring more peace into your inner emotions and allow yourself to oxygenate your brain and maintain your thinking clear on the target you have;
Right before you start your compromise either in your car or if you have 2-3 minutes available go to the bathroom, keep breathing and find the meaning that you to convey for the message you want to give, or if it’s an encounter visualize now with more details how you want things to happen, if possible close your eyes and repeat to yourself that everything is under control, you have prepared for the compromise and things will go out as you have visualized them!
These five simple steps will allow to recruit positive vibrations, positive chemicals, introduce a powerful message in your body and in turn you will be able to see a clearer scenario in every situation that you encounter, of course, this was a very simple probably everyday situation, however in can be practiced with more challenging situations. The core of the model is to allow yourself to remain calm, to accept that some negative emotions might come up, but to dismantle them with the power of questioning the nature of them and then taking out all the negative power to just leave them as imaginary situations or messages that were not even yours and just let them pass, instead of resisting them, and giving them more power to break you.
Heart rhythms associated with positive emotions, such as appreciation, are clearly more coherent—organized as a stable pattern of repeating sine waves—than those generated during a negative emotional experience such as frustration. We observed that this association between positive emotional experience and this distinctive physiological pattern was evident in studies conducted in both laboratory and natural settings, and for both spontaneous emotions and intentionally generated feelings (2).
Our research has shown that negative emotions such as frustration, anger, anxiety, and worry lead to heart rhythm patterns that appear incoherent—highly variable and erratic. Overall, this means that there is less synchronization in the reciprocal action of the parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) (2).
In our research on the physiological correlates of positive emotions we have found that when certain positive emotional states, such as appreciation, compassion, or love, are intentionally maintained, coherent heart rhythm patterns can be sustained for longer periods, which also leads to increased synchronization and entrainment between multiple bodily systems. Because it is characterized by distinctive psychological and behavioral correlates as well as by specific patterns of physiological activity throughout the body, we introduced the term psychophysiological coherence to describe this mode of functioning (2).
Self-regulation of emotional experience is a key requisite to the intentional generation of sustained positive emotions—the driver of a shift to coherent patterns of physiological activity. Emotional self-regulation involves moment-to-moment management of distinct aspects of emotional experience. One aspect involves the neutralization of inappropriate or dysfunctional negative emotions. The other requires that self-activated positive emotions are modulated to remain within the resonant frequency range of such emotions as appreciation, compassion, and love, rather than escalating into feelings such as excitement, euphoria, and rapture, which are associated with more unstable psychophysiological patterns (2).
Once again and as discussed in the research paragraphs now there’s ample evidence that successfully breaking a negative toxic cycle comes with the premise of owning your emotions, recognize them, questioning them, being able to gain consciousness of why they are presenting at you, taking their power by maintaining your alignment to a positive outcome and just understanding that they will be present as we move along the journey of mastering our regulation of them. However, you can, and you will be able to overcome them if you keep a gratitude mindset of each of the steps that you’re applying, even if in the first attempt doesn’t come out as expected, keep your positive attitude and outlook of the visualization that you previously created.
You have to remember that every possibility is at your disposal, however there’s a strong requirement to be met, your will, your action and your mindset have to be aligned to generate a positive visualization of every item that you want to come out as expected in your life, nobody else can do that for you, and it is just matter of practice. Whenever you feel that you can’t or is difficult, or you don’t have the discipline or patience, think that when you were younger, specifically a child, you were able to use your imagination to create all sort of scenarios and stories in your mind, and I bet you 90% of them were positive.
Thus, you’re still that child, you just have to get rid of all the dirt layers that society, media and maybe your parents put on you, but now is time to get rid of them and start rebuilding a new persona, a new mindset and a great heart and mind coherence!
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Ortega D. “Do you Listen to Your Inner Voice?”. https://www.gen-es.mx/bloggenesmx. June 25th, 2019.
McCraty, R., Atkinson, M., Tomasino, D., & Bradley, R. T. (2009). The Coherent Heart Heart-Brain Interactions, Psychophysiological Coherence, and the Emergence of System-Wide Order. Integral Review: A Transdisciplinary & Transcultural Journal for New Thought, Research, & Praxis, 5(2).