Thinking with your Heart

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Neurosummit Lisa Garr the Aware Show

Howard Martin HeartMath

Most of our Neurosummit has been focused on the brain, but there is another major thinking organ in the body: the heart.

“The heart is more than just a blood pump,” says today’s guest, Howard Martin. “It is a powerful information processing system inside the body,”

Watch The Interview Replay Here

Next to the brain, the heart is the most complicated part of the nervous system. When scientists map out the neurological traffic in the body, the heart actually sends many more signals to the brain than it receives.

This discovery was a major accomplishment of the HeartMath team. Doc Childre, Howard Martin, and other founders of HeartMath pioneered the research that showed how the brain and heart are integrated intelligence centers. They proved that the heart seemed to be functioning, scientifically, as if it had a mind of its own.

heart-quote-rumiUsing this heart-mind intentionally becomes very important in certain emotional states. The overpowering state we discussed on the interview was: overwhelm.

When you are feeling overwhelmed, the higher perceptual centers of your brain shut down, due to corticol inhibition. Your emotional and instinctual intelligences take over whenever your rational thought is suspended. If your heart-brain connection is strong, you can learn to shift to corticorol facilitation, and re-activate your higher perceptual centers during times of emotional stress.

The HeartMath Cut-Thru® Technique

I asked Howard to walk me through the Cut-Thru® technique, a HeartMath 6-step process for handling negative emotions. Lately I have been feeling really affected by negative things happening in the world. The process we went through together on the interview was exactly what I needed to let go of all that negativity, and feel the heart’s strongest emotion instead: love. Ahhh, what a feeling!


The HeartMath Cut-Thru® process works like this:

  1. Slow down and ask yourself, “what am I really feeling?”
  2. Breathe love in through the heart, and out through the solar plexus
  3. Assume objectivity relating to the problem, to disassociate your identity with it (This problem is not you, remember that.)
  4. Rest in neutral, and return to your natural and pure heart
  5. Soak and relax any disturbed or perplexing feelings in the compassion of the heart
  6. After taking out as much significance as you can, ask for guidance from within.

This was such a powerful process! What I loved about this was the realization that it’s not the problem that causes the energy drain, it’s the significance you give to the problem. The amount of significance we give to something is entirely within our control.

The Power of the Neutral Heart


A state of neutrality is incredibly powerful. As long as we “know” something, we are blocking out a tremendous amount of awareness and intelligence.

A state of mindfulness is not a mindset that has an opinion – it is observing. That’s where compassion exists. It’s a higher state of thinking and being, apart from opinion, apart from conflict, free from strife.

Measuring your Heart’s Coherence

Based on their groundbreaking research, HeartMath has created a device to measure the variability of your heart rate. The emWave can help you bring your heart rate into symmetrical coherence, which has a whole host of beneficial effects.

Coherence is a state where your heart, brain, and  nervous system are synchronized. It is a state that combines relaxation, revitalization, and readiness, and it improves your health, your emotional well-being, and your performance. Athletes refer to coherence as “the zone.”

(Imagine if the whole world lived in coherence!)

Howard is making the emWave technology available to the Aware Show audience for an unprecedented low price, much lower than it is offered for anywhere else.

Watch the interview replay, below, and pay special attention to the 6 steps of the Cut-Through technique at the 34:00 mark.