What is Heart Coherence and how can you improve it?

January 26th, 2022,

4 min read

What is Heart Coherence and how can you improve it?featured image

When you are stressed and tense, your heart rate shoots up. Both your physical and mental health suffer, especially if the stress becomes chronic. Did you know that you can influence your own heart rate? And that a healthy rhythm of your heart can be trained? Slow breathing is key.

The importance of a healthy heart

A healthy and resilient heart is essential for good physical and mental health. The way your heart beats affects all other processes in your body. That sounds logical, yet we generally pay little attention to it. Or we simply do not know that we can influence a healthy beating heart ourselves.

What is heart coherence?

Heart coherence says something about the relationship between your heartbeat and other rhythms in your body, such as your breathing rhythm. The higher your 'heart coherence', the healthier and more coherent your heart is beating, and the more balanced you are emotionally and mentally.

Look at your body as a synergistic system in which all functions work in optimal coherence with each other. Our autonomous nervous system is self-regulating, you don't have to think about anything. Your hormone balance, digestion, body temperature, blood pressure, immune system and heart rate are in fact systems that work automatically and remain in balance on their own.

Stress lowers your coherence

Unfortunately, our system is not always in balance. Psychological challenges such as stress and anxiety have a major impact on our heart coherence and therefore on our physical and mental health.

Stress causes an imbalance in your bodily system. You will notice this imbalance through for example fatigue, hyperventilation, headaches, hypertension, bowel pain, anxiety, insecurity or burnout symptoms. Your heart is an essential link in all these processes, over which you have more influence than you might think.

How can you improve your coherence?

‘Lowering stress’ seems to be the logical answer. But it's not that easy, you can't always control what goes on around you. One thing that you can control is your breathing. And there is a direct link between your breathing and the functioning of your heart.

With every inhale your heart rate speeds up a little and with every exhale it slows down again. This variety in your heart rate - also called heart rate variability (HRV) - is in fact very healthy. It says something about how flexibly your nervous system responds to the circumstances. When you experience a lot of stress, you will see that the variation decreases. Your heart rate remains in ‘stress mode’ and no longer changes in a healthy way with each inhalation and exhalation, as it should.

The good news is that the heart rate variability and therefore also your heart coherence can be trained. It’s actually not that complicated if you know how, and if you practice regularly. How? By doing calming breathing exercises, combined with a focus on positive emotions as you breathe. It is precisely this combination that works like a miracle cure for your heart.

Slow-paced breathing exercises

Research shows that the ideal breathing rate to maximize your heart rate variability lies between 5 and 7 breaths per minute. This is probably a lot slower than you normally breathe, therefore doing slow-paced breathing exercises is a must if you want to work towards good physical and mental health.

Moonbird is specifically designed to guide you through slow breathing exercises. If you want, you’ll let yourself be guided by audio journeys and breathing meditations which you can find in the app. In addition, moonbird measures your heart rate, HRV and coherence. This way you can immediately see the effect of the breathing exercise on your body, and you can also measure your progress over time.

Experience for yourself how it works. You can always try moonbird for 14 days, with a 100% money-back guarantee. Read how breathing with moonbird works.

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