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HeartMath's Heart Centered Breathing Technique

Today I want to share with you a technique called Heart Centered Breathing. It was developed by the HeartMath Institute. The HeartMath Institute has been around for about 40 years. Its original trajectory was to teach the military how to have and build more resiliency among soldiers. What’s come out of that research is nothing less than extraordinary.


We have been able to find that the heart is actually the thing that is required for increase in vitality…for regulating our nervous system. Not a bring down technique, but a bring up technique. What happens when we’re in a state of coherence is that our heart is informing our brain. Our heart is sending signals to our amygdala. And the amygdala is our fear center in our brain. It’s responsible for that fight, flight, and freeze response.


When we’re caught in that fight, flight, and freeze response, typically we’re not usually engaged in an activity where the bus is coming to get out of the way. But we’re caught in a cycle of programmed responses. Usually from earlier experiences that we’ve had in our life that are stored in our nervous system that haven’t found its way to be released.


When those traumas are stored in our nervous system, we have a decrease in vitality. We have decrease in connection. And when we have a decrease in vitality and connection. What happens is instead of having 1,400 chemicals that are in are brain encouraging us to be vital and to be alive, and to make connections that we enjoy, instead we’re stuck in that fight, flight, and freeze response. In that cortisol response. In that inflammatory response. And typically in the those responses, we are not only decreasing our level of vitality, but we are increasing our level of isolation.


When we’re stuck in those responses, we’re not really able to have the choices available to us in our awareness to actually create more vitality and create more connection. When the amygdala is involved, we no longer have the ability to tap into our prefrontal cortex – which is where our executive functioning happens. It’s the place where we can see what options and choices are available to us.


HeartMath also sells a device, a biofeedback device that clips onto your ear and plugs into your phone and connects to their free app. The device is about $250 (link below) and it will help teach you how to track and build your coherence over time. Really only a couple of minutes two or three times a day is all that’s needed to increase your capacity, increase your vitality, and bring you out of a trauma response. It’s very simple and has been used all over the world.


What I have for you today is a very simple HeartMath technique that starts by deepening your breath, slowing your breath, and focusing in on your heart. If focusing in on your heart is hard for you, that’s okay…you can just focus in on your own heartbeat. If you’re a visual person, you can visualize a pet or a family member…a child, or your very favorite place to be. Whatever gives you the idea or the sensation that your heart is opening. That you’re in a place of love.



This technique is a lot like box breathing where we breathe in deeper and slower to a count of four to five, we pause for four or five, we exhale four or five, and then we exhale four to five. If you want to breathe in through your mouth or your nose, it’s okay. It’s really you just developing a strategy of breathing that is best for you. But the general principles are breathing slower and deeper and connecting fully with your heart.


So simple, but after you do this breathing technique, I encourage you to check in with yourself to see how you feel. You’ll feel calmer and much more open.


I invite you to check out HeartMath’s Inner Balance device. Here is the link to learn more:

I hope you’ve found this information useful and have a fantastic rest of your day.


Be well,


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