Todays buzzword is emotional inteligence but Dr Cynthia Davis has really got to the heart of the matter in her latest mindwise bulletin. Scientifically it has been shown the heart is the largest source of bio electricity found in the body and 40/60 times the electricity found in the brain.
What is even less well known is the heart sends messages back to the brain providing a 2 way communication effecting perception, reaction speeds and decision making ability.
Below is her latest bulletin
It has been some time since my last correspondence but I'm told I have been forgiven because in recent months the following has occurred: I have married; have gained 4 step-children; moved house; had a family re-union and filmed a pilot program for a television program. I am told I should be stressed and I probably am!
The following is some research on ‘emotion’ which I reconsidered in recent months as I experienced a multiplicity of emotions. You may find it relevant to your own life.
First, can we measure emotion and its effect on the body?
In Positive Health, January 1997 Issue, Dr Alan Watkins talks about ways of harnessing the electrical energy generated by the heart. He says, “This may sound unusual, but the energy generated by the heart is the largest source of bio-electricity found in the body and 40 to 60 times greater than the electricity produced by the brain. The energy produced by the power station of the heart reaches every cell in the body and can be measured up to 18 inches away from the body with sophisticated modern electronic instruments called magnetometers. Our light really does shine and it can be measured scientifically!”
Dr Watkins describes the heart rhythm associated with two feelings, frustration and appreciation, and shows two graphs; one where the rhythm is jagged and chaotic and the other smooth and undulating. The quality of the energy produced by the heart of an athlete at peak performance looks very similar to the quality of energy of a person who is experiencing sincere appreciation. He uses a process called ‘Freeze-Frame’ to help people clean up the energy output from their heart.
So, how much frustration or appreciation do you experience in life? Are you seeking confidence or trying to break some obsessive behaviour like overworking or smoking, or perhaps you are in a loveless relationship?
All of these can be affecting your health. Dr Watkins goes on to say, “It is well known that the brain sends messages via the autonomic nervous system and hormonal and immune systems. What is not well known is that the heart sends messages back to the brain, providing a two-way communication system that directly affects perception, reaction speeds and decision making ability.” No wonder that a bullying or sarcastic boss or teacher can so quickly take us to that feeling of being paralysed by fear.
But does a negative emotional experience have a lasting effect?
Candace Pert, in her ground breaking book "The Molecules of Emotion", has made the connection between molecules, chemistry and emotion. Her search started as a graduate student looking for receptor sites, the little keyholes where drugs like morphine, heroin and opium fit. The sites were hypothetical until she found them and initiated an explosive search for the brain’s own morphine. The University of Aberdeen found the clue, a peptide which is a relatively simple chemical. This was the beginning of the peptide revolution, because endorphins (endogenous morphines) are found not just in the brain but throughout the entire body, in the immune system, the digestive system and others.
In an interview with the journal of the Scientific and Medical Network last December, Candace said, “I was interested in studying the brain because I thought that’s where the mind and consciousness was located." So, if our body is our subconscious mind, then do the emotions that we experienced in the past stay in the body and affect our behaviour and our health? You answer the question!
But what of those in the world who do not make the connection between emotional health and physical health. We work in commerce helping people to become leaders, and elsewhere, helping professionals and performers to excel. Many of them have been looking outside themselves for techniques to improve performance. We call this ‘Performance Excellence’. The problem with this is that they can learn to perform excellently as measured by material success, but can cover over insecurities, inner conflict and suppressed emotions, and in this case, perform means to ‘act’ or ‘pretend’.
You may know someone like this in your life.
In a recent edition of the Harvard Business Review, Daniel Goleman explored ‘What Makes a Leader’ and based his article on studies of ‘Emotional Intelligence’ in 188 global companies, including British Airways. These show that for those who rise fast to senior positions in the business, qualities such as empathy, self-awareness, motivation and social skills are 90% more important than hard analytical skills such as financial management or marketing. He goes on to describe people without emotional intelligence who need coaching, constant feedback and guidance in order to access or make habitual the soft skills that lead to feeling empathy or love for others.
So, while my Emotional Intelligence skills have been sorely tested in recent months, I hope yours are intact!
Dr Cynthia DavisB.Ed, Grad. Dip. App. Psych., M.Sc., Dip. Clin. Hyp., M.A.Ps.S., F.C.C.Ps., Ph.D.
Clinical and Corporate PsychologistAccredited Professional Speaker (APS)