The Noise of Our Monkey Mind Causes Anxiety, Stress and Disease. Know the Secret to Avoid Being Overwhelmed by Your Mind Chatter.
Recognizing the Need for Change — From Discordance to Coherence
Perceptive and intuitive people, prone to regular self-reflection and recapitulation, easily identify those aspects and areas of their lives in which problems persist. The truth of the matter is that we all know when we feel less energetic, more irritable, underperform in studies or at work, and fail to cultivate loving relationships with other people. We know when our thoughts, feelings and behavior are discordant and out of focus. We also know, very well, when our dreams and ambitions remain unfulfilled, and we do not live up to our highest potential.
Yet, it is rarely enough to just recognize and accept the need for change. What is really important is to take the next step towards an actual transformation. By doing this, we start taking responsibility and reclaim agency over our lives. Some of the greatest thinkers and scientists of today urge us to take that first step towards living in a state of coherence. Anchoring their claims in the methods of rigorous scientific study, they give evidence that coherence can be indeed established, monitored, and measured in standardized laboratory conditions, and in randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
The results are truly encouraging, and they show that we are all capable of achieving sustained states of coherence. All it takes to get there is clear intention, sincere commitment to personal change, and right guidance. Some of the most articulate and best-known authors, whose work lies at the crossings of neuroscience, epigenetics, and quantum science, urge us to embrace coherence, and to start experiencing tremendously beneficial changes in our lives.
From Coherent Heart and Emotions to Superior Coherent Mind
Through interdisciplinary research, scientists map the complex interconnectedness between the physiological processes in our body, our thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Science has validated that the rhythms of the heart and patterns of the brain activity can be intentionally shifted towards coherence. Once this is done, we begin to function in synchrony, and achieve a highest state of holistic health and wellbeing.
To make that shift towards a state of coherence, it is important to understand this intricate link between our heart and our brain. Through the process of neurogenesis, our brain regenerates throughout life. It also has the ability to change, by developing new neural connections—a process known as neuroplasticity. This means that through learning, repetition, and application, we can strengthen certain cognitive faculties.
And yet, our emotions profoundly affect our cognitive functions. The more stress we experience on a day-to-day base, the weaker our ability to stay alert, to focus, to think clearly and to solve problems becomes. For example, stress leads to higher release of the hormone cortisol which can kill brain cells in the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for long-term memory. The strength of our cognitive functions is thus in direct proportion to our emotional wellbeing.
Our heart has an intrinsic nervous system — a group of 40,000 neurons (called sensory neurites) which function independently of the brain. In 1991, the term “heart-brain” was coined to describe this elaborate neural network in the heart. Through its neurons, transmitters, proteins and support cells, our heart is capable of truly feeling, sensing, learning, and remembering. The heart produces 5,000 times more electromagnetic power than the brain and is the most powerful biological oscillator or signal generator in the human body (1).
90 percent of the neural pathways that connect the heart and the brain carry messages from the heart to the brain. Thus, the heart directly influences the way in which the brain perceives and process information about the world(2). Therefore, one of the simplest and most direct way to generate a coherent state is by focusing on positive and uplifting emotions, instead of fear-based ones. We can choose to be creative with our emotions, and cultivate elevated ones, such as love, acceptance, forgiveness, and empathy. Doing so harmonizes the rhythm of the heart. The neural signals which then travel from the heart to the brain also display a higher degree of order, and all cognitive functions (perception, analysis, problem solving etc.) get enhanced. When our thoughts and feelings are in tune, our actions also become congruent, highly effective, and impactful (3). This is a positive feedback loop which, when properly understood and reinforced, can create miracles in our lives.
Heart-Brain Coherence — a Method for Overcoming Stress and Overwhelm
Dr. Rollin McCraty — Research Director of theHeartMath Institute (HMI), the pioneering scientific center for coherence studies — says that, by creating heart coherence, we are accessing the intelligence of the heart, we begin to “make better choices in the moment, and navigate these stressful times.” Stress and anxiety-caused illnesses are on the rise today, due to the fast-paced, changing and increasingly demanding environment we live in. Dr. McCraty informs us that there are successful methods to deal with this problem:
“One of the most effective ways to reduce stress and anxiety and even feelings of overwhelm, is to learn how to access the intelligence of the heart and shift the rhythms of the heart which then sends different message to the brain. (…) If you can shift the rhythms of the heart, you can quickly improve brain function; reduce feelings of anxiety, stress, overwhelm. (…) When we get our system coherent, and have the alignment between the heart and the brain, that is when we access our deeper intuition, our inner guidance, so that we have a new sense of clarity (4).
The fact that through coherence we can overcome stress and deal with its negative consequences, is a very strong argument in support of choosing coherent living. Chronic stress is the number one reason for severe health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and various mental disorders. It has been estimated that over 75% of all visits to a hospital are due to stress-related ailments (5).
From a State of Personal Coherence to a Realization of the Non-Local Mind
Meditation practices are the simplest and most direct path toward achieving a state of coherence. Meditation brings awareness to the present moment, and elevates one’s state of consciousness. In meditation, one calms the “monkey mind” and elevates the state of consciousness.
Dr. Larry Dossey, a widely known author of many books including the bestseller “One Mind: How Our Individual Mind is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Wy it Matters”, has coined the term “nonlocal mind”. By analyzing incidents and research done by scientists in the fields of physics, biology, medicine and psychology, Dr. Dossey concluded that “individuals mentally can both acquire information and also insert information into the environment, irrespective of spatial separation or distance, and often outside the present (6). The nonlocal mind is not simply an epiphenomenon of the neurophysiological processes in the brain; it is not localized in the brain and the body, not to a specific time — it is infiniteis space-time.
By calming the mind and getting centered in the here and now, meditators get a sense of connectedness and oneness with all that is. They genuinely experience that their individual minds are not isolated and separated from one another — that their minds, in the words of Dr. Dossey, “come together to form a single, unitary mind.” Through their individual, personal state of coherence, they tune in to a larger, all-pervading cosmic consciousness. This universal consciousness is the true intelligence — the source of unlimited potential. Tapping into this source is the key to manifesting a life of health, happiness and abundance.
- Watkins, Alan. “Coherence:The Secret Science of Brilliant Leadership”. Kogan Page Publishers, 2013.
- Rollin McCraty, Deborah Rozman, “HeartMath Brain Program”. WATERSIDEPROD, 2017.
- HeartMath Institute Science. Scientific Foundation of the HeartMath System (https://www.heartmath.org/science/)
- Dossey,L. Nonlocal Mind: A (Fairly)Brief History of the Term. EXPLORE The Journal of Science and Healing 11(2).December, 2014 (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272197879_Nonlocal_Mind_A_Fairly_Brief_History_of_the_Term)