The Power of the Heart
Understanding Stress, the Story behind HeartMath
Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. When we enter into a stressed state our body automatically switches to ‘fight or flight‘ mode, releasing a chemical cocktail of hormones into the body designed to provide a short-term boost of mental focus and stamina to get us through the stress moment.
Once the moment has passed the body then needs to recover from this injection of hormones and normalise itself into a state of calm. These stress hormones were designed at an evolutionary level as a survival mechanism, picture this: You’re walking through the forest and are confronted by a Bear – “BOOM! instant injection of stress hormones” – Fighting the Bear, probably not the best option, so you run like hell… Once you get to a safe distance from the Bear, you begin to calm and normalise.
The problem is, that long term or sustained periods of stress flood us with stress hormones, which are as harmful to our bodies as rivers of acid – In short our own survival response mechanism starts to poison us. The more stress we have, the more difficult it is for our cardiovascular system, our immune system and even our brains to function well. Chronic stress ages us long before our time, and if left unchecked, can kill us.
In a modern context we may not be facing a real wild Bear, but we may be living with one, or working with one. It is not just life threatening situations that evokes the stress response – it can be any situation where we feel under strain or tension, the demands of family, work, finances, friends or society can easily have us living under constant stress…
The good news is that we don’t have to live or die that way… just as the human body has all the resources to create a survival response, it also has all the resources to recover, normalise and flush these toxic hormones from the body.
We also have the unique ability of being able to change our response to situations we face, it’s simply a question of building awareness and learning how to work with your heart, mind and body.
Researcher, author and consultant Doc Childre has devoted more than 30 years to understanding stress and developing ways that we—unable to escape from stress in our modern world—can learn to transform its effects. During those decades of research, he discovered something remarkable, and remarkably simple. He found that a positive attitude creates stress relief, but only temporarily. However, by also engaging the heart, positive feelings create stress relief that not only lasts but also actually reverses the physical damage of stress.
When we consciously shift to appreciation, compassion or another positive, loving emotion, our heart rhythms immediately shift. This electrical shift in the heart creates a favorable cascade of neural, hormonal and biochemical events that benefit the entire body. Blood pressure drops. Stress hormones plummet. The immune system pumps up. Anti-aging hormones increase. We gain clarity, calmness, control. The effects are both immediate and long lasting.
Based on years of validated results, Doc Childre developed HeartMath. HeartMath is a system of powerful, easy-to-learn, easy-to-use tools and technology to prevent, manage and reverse the effects of stress. As a result, we can meet life’s inevitable challenges with poise and resiliency. Our bodies and minds are nourished for optimal health and performance. Also we can convert “stress lockdown” into free-flowing energy for fueling creativity, productivity and personal fulfillment.