Our brains evolved millions of years ago to help us survive and avoid danger at all cost. In the past we had to know whether someone or something was a threat (or not), and we had to know immediately.
Despite massive changes in the world around us, our brains haven’t changed. We still need only 3 seconds to decide if we like someone or not. We know on a ‘gut level’ whether a job offer is right, and whether we want to go to that party on Friday night or would rather stay home. Women know on average in 3 minutes (in their hearts) whether their date has a potential to build a family with. We do have the answers to the most important dilemmas at our disposal, but often choose to discount those feelings. Why?
It’s because we’ve been conditioned to use our brains, but rarely to use them in tandem with our hearts. Expressions such as intuition, inner knowing, gut feeling or subconsciousness are coined wishy-washy by many as we favour rational decisions. What few of us know is that there is a strong scientific rationale to including the heart.
Of all the cells in the heart, 67% are nerve cells. It is the only organ that can send information autonomously to the brain based on the organic stimuli it receives. What’s more, our hearts are characterized by a very powerful electromagnetic communication system: 5,000 times more powerful than the brain.
What if the rational part was only 50% of the equation?
In the example of finding a life mate, women often give the potential candidate months or years of their lives to demonstrate what their hearts felt from the beginning. The same happens with friends, business deals, jobs. People who only rely on their brains often experience the same things over and over again, as the decisions they make are based on the same criteria – without the full potential we they have.
That’s why there are so many failed relationships, some of which should never have happened had we listened to our hearts. We make decisions that we often later regret. How often do you hear someone say: I knew from the beginning it wasn’t a good idea. I knew he was trouble. How can we save ourselves months, or even years, of suffering or reliving the same experiences?
I love using the techniques described below it in my coaching practice to help people open to the heart-brain connection. You can try for yourself any time you wish to make conscious decisions, create a different life for yourself, or to help heal from an illness.
The heart and the brain connection
Our hearts and our brains never stop communicating. Day and night they send each other emotion-based signals. We don’t realize this is happening as it takes place in our subconciousness. Scientists now admit that there is a small brain in our hearts. Even though it’s small, it has the power over the main brain.
It’s true that our brains release the information to the body to produce different chemicals and hormones, start rejuvenation or healing,… but they receive the signal from the heart. And we are the ones who, in our hearts, create those signals.
How does it work?
The heart is an emotionally intelligent organ. When you feel joy, appreciation, compassion, gratitude, love, peace – you are in a coherent state. That’s a state when the heart and the brain connect to create the flow – to enhance your intuition, decision making, focus, and even healing powers. This is how you improve your cognitive functions, your heart rate is rhythmic and perfect.
However, when you cultivate negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, and fear you completely disrupt this balance. The waves suddenly start to jump in non-harmonious, even dangerous spikes. The decisions you make when you are in such a state exclude the connection and are way worse than the ones produced when you feel good.
There is a nerve in the spine directly connecting the heart and the brain. What is the most important is that the route leads from the heart to the brain, not the other way around.
You – and only you – can empower yourself to use the potential of having both the brain and the heart serve you. It’s a feeling of a direct knowing that will communicate to you whether something is true or right for you. No one else can decide for you.
The connection happens at a very low frequency of 0.10 Hertz (human ear can detect frequencies starting with 20 Hertz).
However it’s this low frequency that sends the vibes from other people that we unconsciously pick up: when we meet someone with ‘good energy’ or ‘low energy’, we feel it on a subconscious level. The signal is then transmitted into an emotion we feel in our hearts as I want to spend more time with this person or I want to go.
Tapping into your heart’s wisdom
Intuition has many faces. It can be spontaneous (you think about someone and they call you), you have ‘a gut feelings’ (3 seconds rule), or you just know and can’t explain why.
However, we are conditioned not to be judgmental and override the judgment with reason or data. There may be nothing wrong with someone, but the heart has picked up something that may not be a good fit for us, and we will find out why much later if we don’t trust our intuition.
The below technique has been developed (based on the practices of indigenous people and Buddhist monks) by the HeartMath Institute and marries the spirituality and science. You can use it to access deep intuition, gain more clarity, start your day or practice before going to sleep to awaken a state in which the heart and the brain cooperate most efficiently.
When you process the information in the brain it takes into account many different things – the issues of fear, judgement, ego, peer pressure, self-doubt or self-esteem. However when you ask your heart it knows immediately. There is knowing and it often gives us the answer before we finish asking.
Step 1: Focus On Your Heart
Touch the area of your heart however it feels comfortable. This helps to move your awareness from your mind to the area of your heart.
Step 2: Slow Your Breathing
Begin to breathe a little more slowly than usual, allowing five to six seconds for your inhale and exhale. This simple step sends a second signal to your body that you are safe and in a place that supports your process.
Step 3: Feel a Rejuvenating Feeling
To the best of your ability, feel a genuine sense of caring, appreciation, gratitude, or compassion for anything or anyone.
The key to success here is for your feeling to be as sincere and heartfelt as possible. As described previously, it’s the quality of this feeling that fine-tunes and optimizes the coherence and connection between your heart and your brain.
Step 4: Ask The Question
The previous three steps create the harmony and connection between your and brain and your heart that enables you to tap into your heart’s wisdom. As you continue to breathe and hold the focus in your heart, this is the time to ask your question.
Heart intelligence generally works best when the questions are brief and to the point. Remember, your heart doesn’t need a preface or the history of a situation before the question. Ask your question silently as a single concise sentence and then allow your heart’s wisdom to respond in a way that works for you.
Step 5: Listen
Become aware of how your body feels immediately as you are asking your question. Make a note of any sensations such as warmth, tingling, ringing of the ears, and emotions that may arise.
Everyone learns and experiences uniquely. There is no correct or incorrect way of receiving your heart’s wisdom. The key here is to know what works best for you.
For people who are already attuned to their bodies’ and their hearts’ intelligence, this step is the easiest part of the process. For those who may have less experience in listening to their bodies, this is an exercise in awareness.