Last month I wrote about how world events affect us even when we are far removed from them. Today I will explore the concept of coherence as a way to respond to global turmoil. This post defines coherence, describes a way to activate it and lists some of its benefits.
What is Coherence?
According to Wikipedia:
two wave sources are perfectly coherent if they have a constant phase difference and the same frequency, and the same waveform.1
Figure 1, below, shows three coherent sine waves. They have
- a constant phase difference (their crests and troughs occur at the same time)
- the same frequency (the distance between wave repetitions remains constant) and
- the same waveform (an identical shape – in this case, a simple down-to-up or up-to-down shape called a sine wave)
Coherent waves maintain a steady pattern in relationship to each other.
Figure 1. Three Coherent Sine Waves
In humans, coherence occurs when we activate and maintain a consistent, harmonious relationship in the wave patterns produced by the mind (brain waves) and the heart rhythm measured by an Electrocardiogram (EKG). When the mind and heart are in coherence, they work in partnership rather than interfering with each other.
Sound provides an analogy for clarifying the nature of this harmonious relationship. When musical instruments are in-tune with each other, they work together to create beautiful music. If one instrument is out-of-tune, its tone creates discord in the overall sound. When many dissonant sounds happen at the same time, the combination can sound like radio static or white noise.
Similarly, when the mind and heart are out-of-tune or incoherent, their wave patterns interfere with each other. This creates a mild sense of irritation, distractibility, or in the case of severe incoherence, an inability to make decisions or enter relationships because the mind and heart target two different priorities for life.
How Do We Activate and Maintain Heart/Mind Coherence?
The HeartMath Institute has developed a method called the Quick Coherence® Technique that encourages a consistent, harmonious relationship in the wave patterns between mind and heart. To activate heart/mind coherence:
- Heart Focus: Focus on your heart or the area in the center of your chest
- Heart Breathing: Imagine your breath is flowing in and out through the area of your heart. . . . find a nice smooth rhythm.
- Heart Feeling: While maintaining heart focus and heart breathing, try to activate a positive feeling. This could be a feeling of care for a person or animal, a feeling of appreciation for the good things in your life, or an uplifting feeling you had at a special time or place. Without trying too hard, just ease into a positive feeling while maintaining heart focus and heart breathing.2
What Are Some Benefits of Coherence?
Activating a state of coherence has many benefits. It stimulates positive emotions, calms and energizes the mind and body, increases effectiveness, improves relationships and it generates a positive field of energy that uplifts those around us. Maintaining heart/mind coherence is a comforting and effective way to respond to tumultuous and disconcerting world events.
1 Coherence (physics). (2017). In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 11, 2017 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coherence_(physics)
2 Quantum Intech, Inc. (2011). emWave2 Quick Start Guide. p. 11.
Coherent Sine Waves image from Wikipedia