No sooner did I arrive home from this morning's T'ai Chi Chih class than I was offered the opportunity to practice what I'd taught earlier. Suddenly Frances and I were caught up in a tussle that blew in on us from out of nowhere.
In class I'd talked about HeartMath Institute and its philosophy that your heart has the ability to balance thoughts and emotions. HeartMath offers a Quick Coherence technique that you can use to achieve energy, improve mental clarity, and feel better fast when you take a minute (literally!) to use it. This technique works especially well when you feel a draining emotion such as frustration, irritation, anxiety or anger.
As Frances's and my discussion rapidly escalated, it seemed that the time was right for an intervention. I sat quietly in the bathroom, focused on my heart area, and breathed into and out of my heart. Then I visualized/felt the positive, loving feelings that I have for my dog and cat. As my heart rate slowed and my body relaxed, I realized that just as we can entrain the heart, breath, and body to slow down, we can also entrain it in the opposite direction (per Frances's and my earlier interaction).
Finding a feeling of ease and inner harmony that was reflected in more balanced heart rhythms and a lighter, more relaxed and accepting frame of mine was a great boon to my mental/emotiona/physical health as well as the health of my relationship with Frances. Thank goodness that I'm teaching what I need to learn!
HeartMath Institute suggests that you apply this one-minute technique first thing in the morning, before or during phone calls or meetings, in the middle of a difficult conversation, when you feel overwhelmed or pressed for time, or anytime you simply want to practice increasing your coherence. You can also use Quick Coherence whenever you need more coordination, speed and fluidity in your reactions.
Simply because I'd done a 40 minute TCC practice with my class, led a Quick Coherence Technique and a guided imagery session earlier this morning did not ensure that all was well for the rest of my day. I do believe, though, that because I engaged in these practices earlier it allowed me to recapture my feelings of peace and tranquility more quickly than not.
Any and all of these techniques help the heart and mind learn and remember that they can choose to 'rest and digest' rather than 'fight or flight' (parasympathetic rather than sympathetic nervous system activation). All that's needed: Practice. Practice. Practice.