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The Importance of Heart Rate Variability on Our Emotional Health and Well-Being

In a recent webinar with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk he shared some of his findings from his many years of research and working with traumatized adults and children. Below are some key highlights of his findings on HRV and its relationship to our well-being.

The Expression of Emotions and the Relationship to HRV

The heart, gut and brain communicate intimately via the vagus nerve, the critical nerve involved in the expression and management of emotions in humans.

We experience emotions in our body, not in our heads. Emotions are first of all a physical state and only secondary interpreted as a perception in the brain. By learning, literally how to control our heart, we learn how to gain mastery of our emotional brain and vice versa.

Dr Bessel van der Kolk

Heart Rate Variability Makes a Huge Contribution

We can actual change the state of our brain by what we do with our bodies. The way we move, the way we breath, the way we interact with other people physically. Important that we experience emotions in our body and not in our head. HRV is very important for the entire regulation of the complete system.

The autonomic Nervous System is the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic and enables humans to adapt very rapidly to the vast potential for changes that occur in their environment. Arrange you central nervous system in relationship to others and synch with yourself and your social interactions. We are deeply interconnected creatures and we affect each other.

Research Findings

Circulation

Study of 433 patients with moderate heart failure
Participants with increased HRV had a much better life expectancy.

Children of Divorced Parents

5-year old children whose parents had divorced

  • Three years after initial evaluation, those children whose HRV was greatest before the divorce were least affected by the family breakup.
  • Children with good HRV were coping with parents’ divorce and had the ability to concentrate and get along better with others. They had control over their actions and could see how their actions would affect others.
  • Children with poor HRV were in avoidance. Had trouble with impulse control, learning disabilities, getting along with other people and were a very high risk for drug addiction.

 

Dance Performance Enhancement

Neurofeedback and HRV biofeedback benefited performance in different ways. HRV training was better for overall performance and neurofeedback was better for timing.

People with good HRV tend to be more optimistic, take initiative and are stress resistant.
People with low HRV tend to be depressed or anxious and have trouble learning.

In a recent webinar with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk he shared some of his findings from his many years of research and working with traumatized adults and children. Below are some key highlights of his findings on HRV and its relationship to our well-being.

How can we train people to get good HRV?

Teach them first how to get inside of themselves
To feel safe, to pay attention to their selves

  • Instead of perpetually trying to produce ideal external circumstances, we must begin by controlling what is inside—our physiology.
  • By reducing physiological chaos and maximizing coherence, we automatically feel better immediately.
  • We improve our relationships with others, our concentration, our performance and our bottom line.
  • Once we have mastered our own inner being, what happens in the world outside has less of a grip on us and we actually have a better grip on the world.

 

Learning to regulate the brain stem and turning our attention inward gives our heart and brain the time it takes to recover their balance and intimacy.

Watch Complete Webinar

If you are a licensed health professional and would live to use treatment protocols with your clients or patients

Practicing heart coherence is an opportunity to positively impact our lives and the lives of others. Let’s all add an extra surge of heart and join us in the Million Heart Points Challenge to collectively achieve 1 Million coherence points a day on HeartCloud.

  • Vincent Keunen

    Hello Prabhakar, Vincent Keunen from Belgium here. I am interested by the patch you mention. Real time HRV measurement looks interesting to me. Can you provide more details? vincent@keunen.net Thanks!


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