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

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

Crystal ball

Solution for Developing Your Intuition

Developing Your Intuition is the process of perceiving or knowing things to a high degree of certainty without conscious reasoning. Researchers with the HeartMath Institute and many others who have conducted numerous controlled and scientifically validated studies over more than half a century have expanded the definition of intuition to include not only conscious perception by the mind alone, but also by the body’s entire psychophysiological system. This perception often is evidenced by a range of emotions and measurable physiological changes exhibited or detected throughout the body, according to the study Electrophysiological Evidence of Intuition: McCraty, Atkinson and Bradley, 2004.

The only real valuable thing is intuition.Albert Einstein, 1879-1955

Taking into account the array of intuition research, along with findings from years of experimentation at its research facilities in Boulder Creek, Calif., and elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad, HeartMath theorizes that intuitive abilities we’re unable to attribute to subconsciously stored memories and experiences or to the conscious brain’s analytic processes, make sense in another context: The body is connected by sensory perception to a field of energy that enfolds the information we attribute to intuition.

What the Heart Knows

What we know today about what the heart knows is truly exciting and the implications are great. Relying on a variety of data from numerous studies and experiments, particularly heart-rhythm-pattern measurements, IHM’s findings point to the human heart as playing a key role in the intuitive process, and a recent study concludes the heart actually receives intuitive information faster than the brain – by a second or slightly more. This would seem to attribute some independent intelligence to the heart: In fact, the concept of a “heart brain” is widely accepted today.

It has been established that the heart has a powerful electromagnetic field and its own complex nervous system and circuitry that generates up to an estimated 60 times the electrical amplitude of the brain. The electromagnetic signal our heart rhythms produce actually can be measured in the brain waves of people around us. It is no wonder that the findings by researchers at HeartMath and elsewhere conclude the heart has its own organized intelligence network enabling it to act independently, learn, remember and produce feelings – all attributes which, until recently, were nearly universally held to be solely in the brain’s dominion.

… but it is wisdom to believe the heart.From a poem by George Santayana, 1863-1952.

You and Your Intuition

Perhaps the knowledge that the heart possesses this intuitive intelligence doesn’t mean much to you because your experience has been that although some people seem capable of tapping into their intuition, you haven’t been able to do it. As far as you know, you’ve never experienced intuition, or it is such a rarity that you readily dismiss all such instances as mere coincidence or sheer luck. What would it mean if you could fine-tune this intuitive ability? Is it even possible? The HeartMath Institute’s extensive scientific studies indicate you can develop and enhance your intuition. In tandem with its years of research, HeartMath also has engaged in comprehensive development and testing of tools and programs to help you develop your heart’s intuitive intelligence and use it advantageously.

Heart intuition or intelligence brings the freedom and power to accomplish what the mind, even with all the disciplines or affirmations in the world, cannot do if it’s out of sync with the heart.The HeartMath Solution, 1999, Childre and Martin

The Rhythm of the Heart

After years of research, the very core of HeartMath’s findings regarding the ability of human beings to improve their lives emotionally, physically and mentally is the revelation of what is known as “heart-rhythm coherence.” In simple terms, here is what heart-rhythm coherence and incoherence mean, followed by a description of what happens when the heart is in or out of coherence:

A coherent heart is one that has smooth, ordered heart-rhythm patterns such as might be seen in an electrocardiogram.

An incherent heart is marked by jagged, disordered or irregular heart-rhythm patterns.

As testing has shown, events, sights, sounds and other stimuli in the environment around you contribute to your heart-rhythm patterns, and regardless of the favorability or unfavorability of these patterns, the heart transmits them to the brain for processing. This process includes storing and remembering these patterns for future use. When heart-rhythm patterns are coherent, the heart’s ability to perceive intuitive information is heightened. Stress chemical pathways reverse, paving the way for increased synchronization between the heart and brain. It is in this synchronized state, which athletes call being “in the zone,” that you can achieve optimal mental clarity, cognitive performance and perception of intuitive information.

When you have a coherent heart, you are at your best. If you are accustomed to being appreciative, caring, compassionate, all of which lead to a coherent heart.

Your heart processes your caring attitude and responses into coherent rhythm patterns and these are sent to the brain, which in turn triggers remembered responses appropriate to or learned from previous similar situations.

When heart-rhythm patterns are incoherent – disordered and irregular – your heart sends these unfavorable patterns to the brain, which then searches its stored heart-rhythm patterns in search of a match and simply triggers a remembered emotional response – what you might call learned behavior. When things irritate or anger you and more often than not you respond by shouting or slamming a door the brain is likely to recommend the same emotional response the very next time something angers you. Anger leads to incoherence, which leads to a negative response, which leads to continued incoherence.

The Coherent Heart (Heart-Brain Interactions, Psychophysiological Coherence, and the Emergence of System-Wide Order). McCraty, Atkinson, Tomasino, and Bradley

A HeartMath TIP:

Try the Quick Coherence® technique to shift your emotional state and send positive emotions through your system.

  • Heart focus: Shift your attention to the area of your heart and breathe slowly and deeply.
  • Heart breathing: Keep your focus in the heart by gently breathing – 5 seconds in and 5 seconds out – through the area of your heart – and do this two or three times.
  • Heart feeling: Activate and sustain a genuine feeling of appreciation or care for someone or something in your life. Focus on the good heart feeling as you continue breathing through the area of your heart.

Benefits of Developing Your Intuition

  • Make better, heart-based decisions more often
  • Improve physical, mental, emotional health
  • Increase effectiveness at home, work, school
  • Reduce stress
  • Maximize your creativity

Tools For Developing Your Intuition

Inner Balance™The Inner Balance Transformation Sytem is an innovative technology to improve health and well being. It includes self monitoring and integrated training. You simply run a session focusing on a positive moment and track your results over time. Research has shown that focusing on positive emotions like appreciation can greatly reduce the effects of stress and deliver you to a more calm peaceful state.
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emWave®: Regular use of this scientifically validated, stress-relief technology has proven to be a vital tool in reducing anxiety, stress, anger, emotional chaos and boosting energy and vitality. The emWave technology is easy to use and noninvasive. It will help you achieve heart coherence – synchronization between the heart and brain – and reach your optimal physical, mental and emotional balance. When your emotions are in balance, you stop the energy drain and start the energy gain. Then, by practicing the easy-to-learn techniques you’ll receive with your emWave only minutes a day will help you revitalize and re-energize your mind, body and spirit anytime, anywhere.
» Learn More

Heart Lock-In Technique®: Using what HeartMath considers to be one of its foundational techniques for achieving synchronization between the heart and brain, you’ll to learn achieve and maintain a coherence level that will allow you to distinguish between the voice in your head and the one in your heart, where positive feelings of love, caring, appreciation, etc., will quickly transform you in ways you may never have dreamed possible. Learn the steps of the Heart Lock-In technique in the powerful book The HeartMath Solution, Childre, Martin, 1999.
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Before Cognition: The Active Contribution of the Heart/ANS to Intuitive Decision Making as Measured on Repeat Entrepreneurs in the Cambridge Technopol: This report, presented at the Fourth AGSE International Entrepreneurship Research Exchange in Brisbane, Australia in February, 2007, provides the preliminary results of a study on the psychophysiological basis of entrepreneurial intuition possessed by that unique sector of persons in the business world “who have extraordinarily accurate hunches about the locus of new future business opportunities.” Repeat, or so-called serial entrepreneurs, were selected for the study “because they have beaten the odds against success.”
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Decision

Solution for Effective Decision-making

The Decision-Making Process

Decision-making is the reasoning process we use to select a course of action from among any number of possibilities that present themselves mentally or otherwise. Making a decision either can involve a period of deliberation or seemingly none at all. Friends, family and others, sometimes even complete strangers, will advise us to stop and think before making a decision and never do the first thing that comes into our heads. Contrast that with wisdom passed down through the ages recommending we go with our instincts or that we listen to our hearts.

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882.

It turns out that our emotions are much more important in the decision-making process than previously thought. The HeartMath Institute has conducted more than 16 years of research and has compiled substantial data about the role of emotions and the brain in decision-making. Quite often the choices we regret are the products of unmanaged emotions, but when we allow calm and intuitive heart-based feelings to guide us the outcomes of our decisions are far more favorable.

When the Heart Decides

Researchers with HeartMath and other organizations believe intuitive feelings emanate from the heart. They have found evidence showing the human heart has an intuitive intelligence greater than science and medicine have historically believed. Even without our realizing it, the heart guides us in much of what we do, but often we allow our brains or our unmanaged emotions to take the lead role in our decision-making and later regret our choices.

We now know the heart has a powerful electromagnetic field and complex nervous system and circuitry that generate up to an estimated 60 times the electrical amplitude of the brain. The electromagnetic signal our heart rhythms produce can actually be measured in the brain waves of people around us.

We also know our heart-rhythm patterns say a lot about our emotional balance and the stress we are experiencing: The calmer we are the more regular our heart-rhythm patterns are, and the more stress we feel the more irregular the patterns are. Researchers at HeartMath and elsewhere have concluded the heart possesses its own organized intelligence network that enables it to act independently, learn, remember and produce feelings. Until recently it was believed only the brain was capable of these functions. Through years of studies involving thousands of people, researchers at HeartMath and elsewhere have shown when we intentionally experience positive feelings such as care and appreciation we can improve our heart-rhythm patterns. That means reduced stress, getting sick less frequently, thinking more clearly, even living longer. So go ahead, let your heart decide.

The Stress of Making Decisions

In today’s fast-paced, rapidly changing world, we’re expected to make countless decisions – quickly. The pressure to think and act quickly never seems to let up and the consequences of not keeping up are always hanging over our heads. No wonder stress levels are at all-time highs among Americans.

“An estimated 75% to 90% of visits to primary-care physicians are for stress-related problems.”

–American Institute of Stress

What do we get for all the stress… confusion, irritability, anxiety, anger, illness and more severely impacting effective decision-making. You can, however, control negative emotional responses – the primary causes of stress – thereby reducing your stress to manageable levels. The knowledge HeartMath has gained and the scientifically validated tools we have developed has aided thousands of people in many walks of life to master their emotions and begin making the kinds of decisions that improve the quality of their own and other people’s lives.

Life’s Big Decisions

Not all decisions are equal, and not all take the same toll on us. The big decisions take much more intellectual thought, clarity and focus. Weighty decisions are stressful enough, but if we put them off until later, we’re bargaining for the stress that comes with indecision and we don’t need any more stress.

HeartMath’s Freeze-Frame® Technique is so uniquely suited to managing the nagging of lesser day-to-day decisions and the “stress emergencies” of life’s big decisions that it’s taught in most HeartMath training programs for Fortune 100 companies, health-care organizations and school systems. Freeze-Frame is a multipurpose technique for reducing stress and emotional chaos and improving decision-making.

Organizational Decision-Making

“The results of HeartMath interventions) speak for themselves. Our airline, Cathay Pacific, now prides itself on delivering an individual style of service, straight from the heart. This has resulted in consistently being rated as having the best in-flight service in the world.”

–Peter Buecking, Sales/Marketing Director, Cathay Pacific Airways

Buecking and many others with public- and private-sector organizations have learned coherent alignment of the heart and mind through HeartMath training. Employees at all levels gain greater ability to manage emotions, igniting the higher centers of the brain, sparking greater insight and better decision-making skills.

Researchers investigated the impact of HeartMath’s Inner Quality Management program on managers and staff within the California Personnel Retirement System’s Information Technology Services Division, which had recently initiated profound changes to meet the changing information services marketplace. Learning new technology skills proved to be challenging. The results suggested that by facilitating increased self-management of the participants’ mental and emotional turmoil, the program enhanced employees’ ability to defuse personal and organizational stress. Check out the HeartMath book From Chaos to Coherence for further details on the Inner Quality Management program.

A HeartMath TIP:

For most decisions, try the following to rapidly shift your emotional state by sending positive emotions through your system and opening up the pathways of communication between your heart and brain. With practice you can routinely achieve the clarity and “heart coherence” necessary for optimal heart-brain decision-making.

  • Heart focus: Shift your attention to the area of your heart and breathe slowly and deeply.
  • Heart breathing: Keep your focus in the heart by gently breathing – 5 seconds in and five seconds out – through the area of your heart – and do this two or three times.
  • Heart feeling: Activate and sustain a genuine feeling of appreciation or care for someone or something in your life. Focus on the good heart feeling as you continue breathing through the area of your heart.

(Adapted from HeartMath’s acclaimed Quick Coherence™ technique which is included in the book, Transforming Stress.)
For more complex, life-changing decisions, we recommend the Freeze-Frame technique.

Benefits of Successful Decision-Making

  • Less stress
  • Emotional balance
  • Time and resources used more efficiently
  • Better communication and success at home, school, work and socially
  • Fewer regrets

Tools For Effective Decision-Making

Inner Balance™ & emWave®: Regular use of these scientifically validated, stress-relief technologies has proven to be a vital tool in reducing anxiety, stress, anger, emotional chaos and boosting energy and vitality. The Inner Balance & emWave products are easy to use and noninvasive. They will help you achieve heart coherence – synchronization between the heart and brain – and reach your optimal physical, mental and emotional balance. When your emotions are in balance, you stop the energy drain and start the energy gain. Then, by practicing the easy-to-learn techniques you’ll receive with your HeartMath technologies only minutes a day will help you revitalize and re-energize your mind, body and spirit anytime, anywhere.
» Learn More

Transforming Stress: The HeartMath Solution for Relieving Worry, Fatigue and Tension – Childre, Rozman, 2004. Learn more about the warning signs of chronic stress and what you should know about your “intelligent heart” and how it can help you immediately begin reducing the stress in your life. You’ll learn several key HeartMath tools and techniques, including the complete details of the Attitude Breathing® tool and step-by-step instructions on how and when to use it.
» Learn more