I’ve been using a special tool sometimes when I meditate. It’s a device that measures your Heart Rate Variability. It’s a biofeedback tool. I just think that it’s a very useful tool. Since I’ve been using it, I’ve managed to increase my coherence, achieving up to 89% high coherence during my meditation. You will understand the measurement algorithm better once you read about it and experience it, but it is not necessary to understand it in order to benefit. Heart Math
Here is the gist of it. The brain and the heart are in two-way communication via the nervous system. Studies show that emotions determine heart rhythms. The electromagnetic field generated by the heart changes based on the rhythm pattern of the heart. Regulating stress and transforming it is based on modifying your behavior by modifying your perceptions. What heart rate variability measures is the differences from beat-to-beat in the heart rate. Research has demonstrated that a calmer person exhibits more variability in the HRV wave form, and that certain pathologies correlate with low HRV. Higher coherence indicates synchronization within the autonomic nervous system, since heart rate and rhythm are mostly under the control of the autonomic nervous system. Research also indicates that a person can train and improve there coherence through a biofeedback tool, developed by HeartMath, a tool that measures HRV.
“A number of studies have shown that HRV is an important indicator of both physiological resiliency and behavioral flexibility, reflecting an individual’s capacity to adapt effectively to stress and environmental demands. It has become apparent that while a large degree of instability is detrimental to efficient physiological functioning, too little variation can also be pathological. An optimal level of variability within an organism’s key regulatory systems is critical to the inherent flexibility and adaptability that epitomize healthy function.
The normal variability in heart rate is due to the synergistic action of the two branches of the ANS, which act in concert with mechanical, hormonal and other physiological mechanisms to maintain cardiovascular system parameters in their optimal ranges and to permit appropriate reactions to changing external or internal conditions. Many people are surprised to learn that the heart actually sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart via the ANS, and that the rhythmic patterns produced by the heart directly affect the brain’s ability to process information, including decision-making, problem-solving and creativity.” (Source, n.d.)
Also, if you are interested in this device, or learning about, I encourage you to review the following book:
Childre, D. & Rozman, D. (2005). Transforming Stress: The HeartMath solution for relieving worry, fatigure, and tension.Oakland, CA:New Harbinger Publication, Inc.