The heart is not only our tool for empathy but also for lowering stress, health and mental wellbeing, INTELLIGENT DECISION MAKING, team work, long term vision and peace.
So, we have to acknowledge the heart at work. It’s not going to ruin your sensible decisions ! It will help you calm down, keep your feet well on the ground. It is not going to disrupt your data : it will help you look at it with intelligence, seeing the global picture and not just in parts.
How do we call upon our heart ? Just practice the breathing you learn in yoga - short inspiration, apnea, long expiration, apnea - this is called cardiorespiratory coupling and now cardiac coherence.
During Inspiration the sympathetic branch of the autonomous nervous system is activated and the heart rate increases. It is when we have our fight or flight response with the release of adrenaline, cortisol and noradrenaline.
During expiration, the parasympathetic branch of the ANS is activated, controlling all unconscious activities such as body temperature, glycemic hunger, digestion, heart beats. During expiration, heart rate can be lowered.
Slow breathing (down to 6 breaths a minute) has shown to decrease mean blood pressure and to improve asthma conditions such as in the Buteyko method also used for children. After 10 weeks, patients with coronary heart disease find their stress level reduced by 22%, depression time by 34% and physical performance increased by 14%.*
In fact, a 6 session yoga programme was shown to significantly improve working memory and cognitive functioning.** Furthermore, a 2021 study by Giuseppe Forte et al says “An adaptable rapid and flexible decision making requires integration between brain and body. Heart Rate variability (HRV) indexes this brain body connection and appears to be related to cognitive performance”***
In addition, after a five minute heart focused meditation in pairs in a meeting room, their HRV (Heart Rate Variability) shows an overlay of the HRV waveform for each pair thus showing a synchronisation between the partners. **** Starting a meeting, a discussion or a negotiation with a five minute heart focused meditation could lead to very positive outcomes.
So, have you thought about what this Chinese proverb implies ? Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Heart and brain have to become aligned for intelligent decision making.
Contact us for bringing the Heart into your worklife and in your Company.
*The physiological effects of slow breathing in the healthy human - M.A. Russo, Danielle M. Santarelli, Dean O’Rourke
**A yoga programme for cognitive enhancement Brunner D, Abramovitch A, Etherton J (2017)
***Heart Rate variability and decision making : Giuseppe Forte et al, 2021
**** Frederic Luskin, Stanford, 2002