Why You Can’t Sleep At Night And What You Can Do About It

It’s harder to sleep in these times. Articles are written every day about the subject. Your reason for tossing and turning at night may be different from mine. But the result is the same. We’re foggy and tired the next day. We keep ourselves alert with coffee, sugar or other stimulants. Then we crash and drag and can’t remember where we left our car keys. Up and down we go. We stay up late to get things done, like “just one-more-email” which stimulates one more. We watch TV to chill before bed but then the theme of the last show we watched takes over our brain and creates restless sleep – if we’re lucky. For many of us, worries and concerns we’ve been pushing aside finally get their time to play out on the stage of our minds without distraction. Where’s that sleeping pill to shut it all off? But that sleeping pill just leaves us dragging again the next day.

We all know the statistics. Not enough sleep affects our emotional well-being, our cognitive clarity, our relationship communications, our performance on the job or elsewhere, our sense of connection to spirit or self, and ultimately our long-term health. (Anything we’ve left out?) We get anxious about not sleeping, which only makes it harder to sleep. Anxiety releases adrenaline which prompts body and mind into action–the opposite of what we need for sleeping. It’s a catch-22. Many of us have tried a lot of the recommended common sense remedies and still often find ourselves lying awake a good part of the night. What are we to do?

If this describes you or someone you care about, there is one place you may not have looked for help that’s about one to two feet under your nose, depending on how tall you are. That place is your heart.

Three Ways Your Heart Can Help You Sleep Better

Your heart beats in a rhythm. Research at the Institute of HeartMath shows that when you are worried, anxious, frustrated – stressed – that rhythm becomes irregular. The more stressed you are, the more chaotic your heart rhythm pattern becomes. So what makes the heart rhythm smooth out quickly? Research shows it’s positive feelings, like love, care, gratitude, appreciation, compassion or joy. These feelings not only feel good but are good for you. They order your heart rhythms, reduce cortisol and increase DHEA (the vitality hormone) to help you sleep more soundly and wake up more energized and refreshed.

When your heart rhythm pattern becomes smooth and ordered, it’s called a coherent rhythm. Below is a picture. You can see how jagged and incoherent the heart rhythm pattern is when you’re anxious or frustrated and how smooth and sine-wave like (coherent) it becomes when you’re feeling appreciation.

sleep-graph

What’s cool is that both graphs are of the same person feeling one way then the other within a period of a couple minutes. What’s even cooler is that scientists have found that the smooth, coherent rhythm is the pattern your heart rhythm naturally goes into during deep sleep. So why not give it some help? Here’s how you can:

When you close your eyes at night, tell yourself you aren’t going to overdramatize your concerns about sleeping. Here’s a heart-focused technique we call Attitude Breathing® to help create the coherent rhythmic pattern that can facilitate deeper and more effective sleep:

* Gently breathe an attitude of calm, ease and relaxation for a minute or two. * When relaxed, then breathe an attitude of appreciation, gratitude or love for someone or something–a pet, a time in nature, etc.

* Do this for a few minutes or so to activate the heart rhythms that help release beneficial hormones which reduce stress and restore your system.

If you go to bed with that stressed, jagged heart rhythm pattern, it can disrupt your sleeping rhythms. During deep sleep your breathing and heart rhythms are quieter, your metabolic rate slows and hormonal rhythms change. The stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) decrease. However, when these rhythms are disrupted, then sleeping restfully or waking up refreshed is hard to come by.

Have you ever noticed what happens when you go to bed without resolving a real or imagined conflict with someone? Your mind won’t stop rehashing what you could have or should have said. Your heart can help.

Respect yourself and the other person. If you can, communicate with her before you go to bed and with open-heartedness and latitude, try to work it out. Check to see if there’s something you need to correct within yourself to help the situation. Apologize if you need to and listen from your heart with an attitude of genuine care. Ask questions to sincerely understand where she is coming from, even if you think you know. If you can’t reach the person, talk about the problem with someone who won’t just agree with you but may provide another point of view. Then talk to the person as soon as you can. Don’t chicken out. Even if the situation doesn’t resolve right away, you can release yourself more knowing that you tried. Breathing the attitude of self-compassion has helped many people in “hard-to-resolve” situations.

Realize that what you do during the day also affects how you sleep at night. When you allow stress to build-up during the day, it throws off your body’s rhythms and can lead to overload, headaches, backaches, indigestion, energy drain and more. Your heart generates the strongest rhythm in the body, and your brain and nervous system entrain to your heart’s rhythm, whether coherent or incoherent. This exciting research is available if you want to learn more.

Getting your heart into a coherent rhythm a couple times during the day helps release stress as you go and helps reset your body’s rhythms for better sleep at night. Here’s how.

Take a coherence break in-between activities, at your desk, on a break, or anywhere. Shift focus to your heart (look at picture of a loved one, remember a favorite pet, or recall a time in nature) and feel appreciation or gratitude. It’s important that the appreciation be heartfelt (not just from the mind) to activate heart coherence and hormones that help bring harmony and stability to your mental and emotional processes. Breathe the true feeling or attitude of appreciation through the area of your heart for a minute or two (without mentally multi-tasking as you do this). Taking coherence breaks also increases balance and resilience and helps you listen to your heart’s intuitive guidance on what else you need to do to release stress or prevent stress build-up.

It can take a little time to reset your natural rhythms if they’ve been out of whack for awhile. To help speed up the process we developed a heart rhythm coherence feedback technology called the emWave Personal Stress Reliever, which recently won the Last Gadget Standing People’s Choice Award at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show. You can use the emWave mobile device with the emWave Solution for Better Sleep Guide. This guide provides you with helpful heart-focused practices. Even if you don’t sleep like a baby on the first night, you will start to accrue benefits from the practice.

If you think this is important information for the sleep-deprived but not readily accessible yet, what would you suggest to get the word out? Send us your comments, suggestions, and thoughts on this. Put them in the comments section below or send us an email at [email protected] ***

To learn more or to download HeartMath’s free booklet Solving Sleeplessness click here. You can find out more about Doc Childre, Deborah Rozman and HeartMath at www.heartmath.com. Doc is founder of the non-profit Institute of HeartMath and the co-author of The HeartMath Solution and From Chaos to Coherence.

Deborah is a psychologist and business executive, and co-author with Doc of the Transformation book series including Transforming Stress, Transforming Anger, Transforming Anxiety, and Transforming Depression.

We invite you to join our Facebook and Twitter pages and our YouTube channel where the latest stress relief resources are often announced and made available. We also offer a Stress & Well-Being Survey™, the most comprehensive and accurate assessment tool that’s available free over the Internet. The survey takes five to ten minutes to complete, and will provide you with a comprehensive picture of how much stress you are experiencing, your energy level and what areas are most stressful in your life. Results are followed by tips for improving your scores.

Follow Deborah Rozman Ph.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/heartmath

Doc Childre is an internationally renowned stress expert, creator of the HeartMath System, considered by many hospitals, organizations and health care professionals to be a best practice in stress management, and Chairman and co-CEO of Quantum Intech, Inc the parent company of HeartMath LLC. He is also founder of the non-profit research and education organization, the Institute of HeartMath and author of a dozen books on stress, wellness and heart-based living including The HeartMath Solution, From Chaos to Coherence, The HeartMath Approach to Reducing Hypertension, and the Transforming Series of books with co-author Dr. Deborah Rozman. Doc is the creator of the emWave Personal Stress Reliever technology, which won the Last Gadget Standing People’s Choice Award at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show.

Deborah Rozman Ph.D., is a psychologist, business executive and co-author with Doc Childre of Transforming Stress, Transforming Anger, Transforming Anxiety, Transforming Depression and Stopping Emotional Eating: The emWave Stress and Weight Management Program. She is President and co-CEO of Quantum Intech, Inc. and serves on the scientific advisory board of the Institute of HeartMath. She is a key spokesperson for HeartMath on stress management and the role of heart intelligence and heart-based living.

Heart and hand

Practical Intuition – More than Just a Hunch

Intuition was once considered a mysterious gift bestowed on only a few. More recently, scientists are recognizing it as a skill that anyone can develop.

Most of us have had some experience with what we call a hunch, a heart feeling, gut feeling or just a sense of “inner knowing” in making decisions in business, or having a strong sense about something with our children or someone we care about, or even in everyday activities like an inner prompting to drive defensively.

At the center of this intuitive ability is the human heart. Once thought to be no more than a pump, the heart is now being recognized as a sophisticated intelligence whose power is only beginning to be scientifically understood.

Surprising new research is showing that the human heart is involved in accessing what is called non-local intuition. This research reveals that the heart receives intuitive information before the brain by a second or slightly more, according to published research conducted by the HeartMath Institute.

This unconscious perception can be seen in subtle changes in our emotions and body. For example, changes in our heart’s rhythm can occur with an intuitive feeling.

While the degree of access to the heart’s intuition varies from person to person, we all have access to it – and this intelligence can be cultivated.

Practical intuition is something we can use daily for moment-to-moment choices and decisions in life; in helping increase our sensitivity and care towards others – and in deepening our connections with ourselves and those we care about.

Researchers have found a significant relationship between increased heart rhythm coherence and becoming more sensitive to our intuitive signals. As we slow down our minds and attune to our deeper heart feelings, our natural intuitive connection begins to flow.

Listening to our intuitive signals unfolds more understanding of ourselves, others, and issues in life. This practical intuition is something we can access daily for making more effective choices and decisions.

Stressed Woman

Stepping Away From Your Blind Spot

When visiting my 85 year old father last week, I took it upon myself to organize his apartment. The next day everything was back in its original spot. There’s comfort in the familiar and comfort was certainly more important to him than a new, more efficient place for his mail.

We all know other people who are stuck doing the same things the same way. Yet we fail to see our own narrow views or the “I know what I know” attitudes we hang on to, never considering the possibility that we may be wrong and there is be a better way.

The world around us is rapidly changing. Flexibility and adaptability are critical success factors. Although openness to new ideas and a sincere desire for positive change are more important than ever, we often stay with the familiar assuming it will continue to produce the desired results.

Albert Einstein said it best: “The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”

We miss opportunities because the discomfort we feel around change–fear, anxiety and worry–can literally limit the brain’s ability to see other options. This means if we want to think differently, we have to first feel differently.

Next time you hear yourself saying, “I know what I know”, make sure you aren’t blind to other options. Start by getting Neutral: focus on the area around your heart; breathe in and out through the heart. Then engage the power of the heart by feeling a positive emotion. The physiological change brought about by this emotional shift will enhance brain function and allow you to view the issue in a whole.


Take care,
Kim Allen

Man starting day with coffee

The Right Start for Your Day

Your alarm doesn’t go off, you over sleep and you PANIC. You’re running late, can’t find your car keys and you’re FRUSTRATED. You get stuck in traffic, miss your exit and you’re ANGRY. You reach to change the radio station, spill your latte and you’re ANNOYED. You have 3 urgent messages from a client, an ‘I need to talk to you’ message from your boss and you’re ANXIOUS. You’re late for the staff meeting, the only empty chair is next to the guy you can’t stand and you’re IRRITATED. Hey, cheer up! It’s only 9:15!

Sound familiar? And even though a lot of us ignore these ‘little stresses’ and our emotional reactions to them (Hey, this is life!), our bodies don’t: adrenaline soars, extra cortisol is pumped into your body, the heart races, muscles tense up. Over time, our bodies adapt and eventually forget how to rest. It’s the reason why we don’t sleep as well as we used to, we’re on edge more often than not and when we finally get that week-long vacation on Maui, we need three days just to feel relaxed!

There will always be traffic, urgent messages and staff meetings. But we can change how we respond to these every day hassles and in the process, reduce wear and tear on our bodies.

First, don’t ignore how you feel throughout the day. When you feel angry, irritated, anxious, etc. bring your system back to balance, quickly, on demand, with the free Quick Coherence® technique. Heart focus. Heart breathing. Heart feeling.

Second, take 5-15 minutes a few times every week to practice sustaining the heart feeling. Over time you can retrain your system how to rest. Just like stress accumulates in our bodies, so does emotional resilience. You’ll find the little stuff doesn’t bother you as much and you’ll have more energy to handle the big things when they come along.


Take care,
Kim Allen

Statue of Liberty

Independence Day

We talk, and sometimes even brag, about the amount of stress we’re experiencing these days. Yet, I still hear the same excuses for not doing something about it.

I just don’t have the time! We’re all busy and as long as we believe stress reduction requires time, we continue to reserve it for Saturday morning in the garden or 9:00 pm in the bathtub or late August in Maui! The truth is stress doesn’t wait until you have time to ‘manage’ it. You need something that works 24/7, QUICK! It takes less than a minute to stop the stressful feeling with HeartMath’s basic Quick Coherence® technique: Heart focus; heart breathing; heart feeling. Five times a day takes less than five minutes!

Nothing’s going to change anyway. Don’t expect life to suddenly transform around you every time you shift into coherence. Do it for your own sake. Don’t ignore the impact you can have on others when you are more balanced or calm.

It’s not working. Be patient. Like learning any new skill, this takes practice. And simply thinking about it won’t have the same benefit. You need to focus on and engage the heart; shift how you feel. Anytime you learn something new, the least line of resistance has the tendency to win out. The time it takes to find an excuse can be better spent to:

Recharge your batteries. Make a shift before you feel stressed. Pause for 15-30 seconds and find something in your life to appreciate. Each time you do this, you boost your whole system.

ave fun with your practice. If you approach your practice too seriously, it will feel like a chore and create even more stress. Find ways to build coherence into your daily routines.

Finally, recognize your stressful feelings one more time today than you did yesterday and then do something about it. Just one extra shift to coherence a day can save wear and tear on your body.

This July 4th, liberate yourself from your stress, once and for all.



Take care,
Kim Allen

Tools

The Best Tools Available!

All the latest tools and gadgets won’t help you build a house unless you know when to use the power drill or the screw driver.

The HeartMath® system includes a variety of tools and techniques designed to use any time to create the mental, emotional and physical state we call coherence. We know that coherence is the foundation of good performance, optimal health and a better quality of life. We also know coherence is a great stress buster. However, if we only wait until we’re stressed to reach into the tool box, we can miss an opportunity to improve just about everything we do during the work day.

Troubleshoot throughout your day. Get coherent and reap the benefits of building a solid foundation.

When you… And you want to…
Have to make an important decision Think more clearly; reduce confusion; take a different approach; see the big picture
Are in a meeting Improve communication; stay on track; be more creative; stop the blame, judgments and contentiousness that can divide teams
Are faced with change Shift your perspective; be more flexible and less resistant; reduce feelings of anxiety
Are in a challenging situation Listen better; stop jumping to conclusions; be less reactive or defensive
Feel tired Reduce fatigue; get an energy boost; improve focus and mental clarity
Have too much to do and not enough time Improve your ability to separate the important from the urgent; improve your focus; save time: align your actions with what’s most important
Are in information overload Calm your mind; increase mental clarity and focus; have a clearer view of your priorities; reduce anxiety
Are bored Energize your system; expand your perspective; be more creative

Take care,
Kim Allen


Tom Smiling

Tom’s Story of Recovery

Tom’s brain injury recovery goals were to use heart coherence tools to help relieve anxiety, to help his attention, memory and reading comprehension, and have more clarity in using the Quick Coherence® technique. He was able to make the heart-brain connection, noticing that he felt less anxiety and stress in his body, felt calmer and able to think more clearly. He liked the feeling of being in a calm neutral feeling place. It gave him a feeling of having more control when so much of his brain injury deficits were beyond his control. Tom was excited to go home and look up the word Neutral in the dictionary.

To help his brain retain the steps of the Quick Coherence technique he needed to say it, write it and read it in his notebook which he carries with him at all times. Tom reported on his second session that he practices getting Neutral a lot during the day and its becoming a habit. His anxiety is better, he feels calmer and he’s sleeping better. His notebook and cue cards were very helpful to remind him to practice—he posted them around his apartment. At our fourth session, Tom indicated that he was ready to practice getting coherent on the emWave® PC! It was a challenge for him because of his attention deficit issues to look at the HRV pattern and get coherent. Considering all the challenges he was able to get 20% high coherence in less than 5 minutes!

Tom’s embarrassed feelings about being judged for his brain injury deficits often prevented him from communicating with others and getting the help and information he needs. He often misses going on favorite outings because of this. He was very excited to tell me that this time he recognized his embarrassed feeling, moved through it by getting neutral and was able to make the call to get information about a special outing. Recognizing this shift gave the confidence to do it again when the embarrassing feeling came up. He became so successful that he was able to advocate for himself and get the speech and language rehabilitation he very much needed.

By Tom’s seventh session, he was able to maintain coherence on the emWave Balloon Game while listening to the music, an indication that his multi-tasking attention deficit issues were improving. Gaining more control of his attention issues seemed to be the gateway to using coherence to help improve his memory. In subsequent sessions, Tom would practice sustaining coherence hooked up to the emWave® Pro while playing memory games with a deck of cards. Appreciating himself and his accomplishments became part of his daily coherence practice. His ability to think more clearly and make decisions was getting better. He felt confident enough to consider vocational rehabilitation.”

Stressed Woman

Justified

What are your excuses for not doing something about your stress?

What IF you don’t have the time? We’re all busy and as long as we believe stress reduction requires time, we continue to reserve it for Saturday morning in the garden or 9:00 pm in the bath tub or late August in Maui! The truth is stress doesn’t wait until you have time to ‘manage’ it. You need something that works 24/7, QUICK! It takes less than a minute to stop the stressful feeling with HeartMath’s basic Quick Coherence® technique: Heart-focused breathing; heart feeling. Five times a day takes less than five minutes!

AND nothing’s going to change anyway. Don’t expect life to suddenly transform around you every time you shift into coherence. Do it for your own sake. Don’t ignore the impact you can have on others when you are more balanced or calm.

YEAH BUT it’s not working. Be patient. Like learning any new skill, this takes practice. And simply thinking about it won’t have the same benefit. You need to focus on and engage the heart; shift how you feel.

Anytime you learn something new, the least line of resistance has the tendency to win out. The time it takes to find an excuse can be better spent to:

Recharge your batteries. Make a shift before you feel stressed. Pause for 15-30 seconds and find something in your life to appreciate. Each time you do this, you boost your whole system.

Have fun with your practice. If you approach your practice too seriously, it will feel like a chore and create even more stress. Find ways to build coherence into your daily routines.

Finally, recognize your stressful feelings one more time today than you did yesterday and then do something about it. Just one extra shift to coherence a day can save wear and tear on your body.

It’s time to get a handle on your stress, once and for all.



Take care,
Kim Allen

Meditating Moms

A Mother’s Mantra

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned began shortly after my son was born: Let go of expectations. Let go and let him sleep in his own room; let go and let him cross the street to play; let go and let him walk to school; let go and let him choose his clothes, his career, his own path. It’s a life long process and I still have times I have to remind myself, hey, this is not about me, is it?

It’s easy to worry, feel disappointed, be irritated or get annoyed by someone’s actions or choices because they aren’t what we expect or want or what we think we know is right. How easy it is to see others and operate more from our own agenda rather than what is needed or important or best for the other person. And sometimes, when we do get what we want, we discover it wasn’t the best of all possibilities after all.

Whether it’s the actions we expect coworkers to take, the recognition we believe we deserve, or where we want our children to live, we can save a tremendous amount of energy (and stress!) when we accept that people will not always do what we want them to do. This doesn’t mean losing control; rather, it’s acknowledging that we’re not in control and don’t need to be for things to turn out okay.

Lesson learned: Appreciate the unpredictable nature of life. Let go of expectations and view the world around you from a new and more spontaneous perspective. Be more flexible and ready to adapt and respond to whatever may come our way with more intelligence, more creativity and more balance.

Expect only the unexpected!



Take care,
Kim Allen

Woman exhibiting multiple emotions

Are We Resigned to Stress?

Are We Resigned to Stress?
HeartMath Stress Experts Say We Can Significantly Reduce Our Stress
by Understanding How Our Emotions Work

In the 1950’s a noted researcher named Hans Selye popularized the term stress for the first time. Selye said: “Everyone knows what stress is, but in reality nobody knows.” Today, however, we are learning more about the underlying mechanics of stress as science helps to unravel the mysteries of emotions. HeartMath, a globally recognized authority on the physiology of and relationship between stress and emotions, has spent the last 17 years decoding the underlying mechanics of stress. HeartMath experts say the subtler day-to-day stressors are breeding an attitude of resignation towards stress. Stress can become engrained in our brain’s neural circuitry, forming unhealthy habits that drain us emotionally. HeartMath studies show we can significantly reduce the amount of stress we experience by understanding how our emotions work (www.heartmath.com).

Our accelerated lifestyle has contributed to a mindset that living with daily irritations, anger, frustration, low-grade anxiety, and hopeless feelings is normal. After all, many people you know feel this way. A recent survey conducted by the National Consumers League shows that adults are considerably more stressed now than they were five years ago or even one year ago. Most of us have tried different approaches to dealing with our stress, but find we don’t have the time to stick with it, or maybe we feel a temporary relief but the stress returns soon after. Feeling we’ve run out of options, we tend to defer stress with the mind by talking ourselves into believing that’s just the way life is. Deferring stress is the same as resigning to stress or believing it’s a force we can’t change.

In a recent study conducted by Dr. Jean Twenge of San Diego State University and her colleagues, researchers observed a significant resignation in young people, with many kids feeling like nothing they do matters. The project studied more than 25,000 young people and found a strong increase in cynicism, helplessness and general negativity. Stress affects everyone from young children to adults, and experts are concerned that if we don’t put more emphasis on stress and the core emotional causes, we could be looking at a generation that will progressively develop a crystallized “whatever” attitude towards life.

HeartMath researchers say stress and emotions cannot be separated. Dr. Rollin McCraty, director of research for the Institute of HeartMath, says, “Ongoing low-grade stress can do more harm to the body, mind, and emotions than one large stressful event can. “We’ve studied the physiology of stress in thousands of people of all ages over the last seventeen years. One common factor we’ve observed is that although someone can ‘think’ they’re not stressed or defer it as just an irritation or a low-grade anxiety, the stress reaction has already been triggered. The body is responding more strongly to what the person really feels; the body registers even the subtler everyday irks and frustrations as stress.”

Psychologist Deborah Rozman, Ph.D., founding partner of the HeartMath System and co-author of Transforming Stress: The HeartMath Solution for Relieving Worry, Fatigue, and Tension, says, “The majority of people believe that emotions just happen to them. We haven’t been taught that we can shift out of stressful emotions. But it’s important to understand that stress is accumulated by carrying around unsettled or negative feelings without resolving them. The lack of understanding about how to address our emotions is one of the real causes for today’s stress epidemic.”

Our brain’s neural circuitry is designed to create habits to make it easier to perform tasks without having to think much about them. Each time you repeat a habit, whether an attitude, a behavior, or a repetitive task like driving a car, it becomes more reinforced and automatic. According to HeartMath researchers, the same is true with stress.

The subtler or more mechanical everyday emotional reactions tend to go unnoticed and accumulate. Experts say this eventually this leads to resignation, low-grade anxiety, and low-grade depression.

Dr. Rozman says, “Stress accumulates because we keep storage bins of emotional reactions to people and situations. These storage bins keep us reacting in the same old way over and over. We resign and feel that’s just the way it is, and continue to fill these storage bins with frustrations, hurts and resentments.”

The subtle stressors we tend to ignore are generally everyday occurrences. Dr. McCraty gives this example: “Have you ever received an email from someone you recently had a frustrating conversation with? As soon as you see the sender’s name you experience feelings of dread and irritation. The past experience triggers unresolved feelings about that person. The reason you feel this is because you’ve stored these feelings in your amygdala.”

McCraty explains that the amygdala is an almond-shaped neuro-structure in the brain. It stores emotional memories to help you make instant decisions and cross-references these memories to help you avoid a threat. For instance, if you were bitten by a dog as a child you might feel anxiety in the future when you see another dog. Or if you have accumulated feelings about a certain relative who treats you with disrespect, then each time they call, a feeling of irk gets triggered and you experience that accumulated stress all over again.

One way HeartMath experts say you can stop the negative emotional experiences from accumulating is to learn to track the more subtle emotional reactions. They suggest thinking of the emotions as sound effects. Your outer sound effects, such as sighs, swear words, negative humor, and expressions whispered under your breath can give you clues to the real feelings underneath. Your “inner sonics” like ugh, silent swear words, and feeling that things have “gone south” go on all the time and affect your next thoughts and choices. Many people believe that the mind rules. But HeartMath results show that it’s our emotions that are shaping much of our thinking and, more often than not, determining our choices and behaviors.

Accumulated stress can actually prevent us from finding the creative solutions we need to better deal with stress. Whether an irritation triggered by a relative or co-worker, or low-grade anxiety triggered by current news events, HeartMath’s research shows that stress compromises our cognitive abilities. We can’t think as clearly or as creatively and we have a harder time making decisions.

Becoming more aware of the subtler or more mechanical everyday stressors – and learning to release the stress so it doesn’t accumulate in an emotional storage bin – will go a long way in helping people feel less emotional drain, stress, and anxiety.

HeartMath research has been distilled into simple strategies and learning programs that can significantly help to reduce stress. Fortune 100 companies are using HeartMath’s techniques and technologies to improve employee performance and lower organizational healthcare costs. Hospitals and healthcare organizations around the country are using the techniques and technologies to help employees and patients alike. HeartMath’s corporate and healthcare clients include Cisco Systems, Duke University Health System, Boeing, Liz Claiborne, Shell, Unilever, Ohio Hospital Association, and the Stanford Business School, among others.

One of HeartMath’s award-winning programs is called the emWave® PC Stress Relief System. This patented software program uses a special finger sensor that allows you to see in real-time on your computer monitor how your emotions are affecting you.

The program’s tutorial teaches the user HeartMath’s scientifically validated techniques. HeartMath results show that with even a little practice you’ll quickly learn to recognize the more subtle and mechanical stress reactions and how to transform them into productive and creative energy and solutions.