This page provides a short practical instruction on how to conduct a quick coherence / QUICK CALMING/POSITIVITY PRACTICE:
The optimal times for doing this practice are:
- first thing in the morning whilst still in bed (before getting up)
- First thing when you get to work or school etc.
- every 90 mins once you are active and the day has begun
- when you get back in bed to settle for a sleep.
It is perfect when combined with other people (especially smaller groups) just before a meeting/lesson/meal. It may even be used by a family group or a group of friends or work/school/college friends – perhaps in conjunction with an agreed ‘positive statement/affirmation’.
Whilst it helps to reduce stress; with the ‘the more advanced breathing progression’ it is most beneficial in promoting a feeling of wellbeing and positivity; and in activating your parasympathetic nervous system (your feel good system). Once activated this may lead to positive stimulation that facilitates exceptional mental and physical performance, or, if you are relaxing, it will lower your heart rate, lower your brain frequency and promote better rest and natural sleep patterns. When a calm and positive state is maintained for longer and longer periods (with monitoring and practice) then it leads to ‘flow’ and extends the ‘optimal arousal zone’.
Quick Coherence only takes 1 – 2 minutes (it is best done with your eyes closed):
Welcome – By following this short process you will feel calm, positive and energised. The process will work even better when you smile during the process and continue smiling after it has finished – let us begin – you may keep your eyes open or close them – do whatever helps you focus . . .
- Focus your attention on your heart just to the left of centre in your chest. If it helps, place the fingers of your right hand over the heart so you can physically feel your heart beat – then relax.
- As you breathe in, visualise the air going into your heart. As you visualise breathing in, count to between 4 and 7 and with each count visualise your heart expanding your belly. Continue doing this until you find your own natural timing. Once you have established your natural breathing in cycle move to step 3.
- As you breath out and feel your belly go down, visualise either:
- a special place that makes you feel good; or
- visualise what you are doing that makes you feel so good;
- and /or visualise a person or group of people that makes your love come out.
- as you become more familiar with this, and as it becomes easier to do – focus on giving appreciation or gratitude to someone and allow your love to come out.
- More advanced breathing progression – once you have become familiar with all of the above – then as you continue with the heart felt focus – PROLONG the breathing out stage, so it is between 3 and 5 seconds longer than your breathing in stage. Then continue this staggered breathing cycle for between 1 and 3 mins. This will physiologically activate your parasympathetic nervous system and stimulate creative and happy hormones.
Adopt quick coherence as a pattern of positive performance:
The quick coherence practice, including the more advanced breathing progression, may also be used in the build up to a high performance related activity – especially as a precursor for being in the flow zone. This is perfect for activities such as climbing or skill related performance or even high intense muscular activities such as arm wrestling, powerlifting, strongman event and surprisingly combat sports – because the more you can perceive stress as a positive opportunity, the greater you will maximise your optimal flow zone perform to your maximum potential. When stress is perceived as being negative, it increases anxiety, increases muscle tension, reduces reaction times and speed and reduces power. Negative stress leads to a quicker loss of energy and reduces mental clarity and sharpness.
Smile and be positive.
Group / team coherence:
Imagine the benefits to a team if you all acknowledged gratitude for one another prior to starting a more physical warm up or at the end of a warm just before you went out to compete. This would minimise stress and allow you to perform at even higher levels of intensity for much longer.
When Phil Jackson began coaching the Chicago Bulls – and later the Los Angeles Lakers – he says he used the Zen philosophy of mindfulness to help build both teams.
Coherence practice is used by the NHS in Derbyshire:
Quick coherence may be used to overcome feelings of anxiety, stress and help calm you or someone else down when they are feeling their behaviour is becoming more challenging to others.
More scientific research on this is available at – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4179616/
Monitoring and measuring coherence can be done using new technology and with the correct insights.