Heart Coherence


It is a breathing method that is claimed to facilitate circulation and autonomic nervous system balance. It involves breathing at the nominal rate of x (find out exact number in instructions below!) breaths per minute with equal inhalation and exhalation. It also increases heart rate variability and brings it into coherence, but here we are more interested in the calming effect. Your autonomic nervous system has 2 branches: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. The sympathetic is also considered the ‘fight or flight’ system. It’s the one that ‘prepares’ your body to deal with ‘danger’. The parasympathetic nervous system is ‘rest and digest’. It calms the body down, after it has ‘dealt with the danger’.

Why here?

As mentioned above: it can calm you down. Besides, when used on a regular basis, it can have a lasting effect on your stress resistance.

Use in stress management: when you are very stressed, breathing like this can calm you down. It is even said that, if you can start breathing like this at the very beginning of noticing the ‘fight or flight’ reaction, you can actually stop it. And, as mentioned above: when done on a regular basis (eg. 10 minutes twice a day), it can make you more stress resistant.

Use in assertiveness: to keep calm in difficult situations, when dealing with aggressive and manipulative behaviour, to enable you to keep the win/win, OK/OK attitude, to stay calm when somebody pushes your button.


The instructions below are based on those explained by David O’Hare in the book below. His full programme is 9 weeks:

  • Week 1 – 3: From chaos to heart coherence
  • Week 4 – 6: From heart coherence to emotional coherence
  • Week 7 – 9: From emotional coherence to food coherence

The info I share here is linked to the first part. If you are also interested in the rest, I definitely recommend checking out his book.

Since it’s important to only move to the next level, when you’ve really mastered the previous one (and since people are curious by nature), I’ve separated the instructions for the 3 weeks in 3 different documents. These are the instructions:

Heart coherence week 1

Heart coherence week 2

Heart coherence week 3

More info?


Dr David O’Hare: Slanker met je hartritme (NL) or Maigrir par la cohérence cardiaque (FR). It doesn’t exist in EN

Dr David Servan-Schreiber: Healing without Freud or Prozac (EN). The book exists in many languages.


www.coherencecardiaque.org (FR)

www.heartmath.com (EN)


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What do you really really want?

What do you really really want? Do you know? Do you really?

Sometimes we are a bit confused. We started in a certain direction (by choice or… by coincidence) and then we just moved on. Upwards and onwards, without ever questioning the initial direction.

We start a job to find ourselves in another one 15 years later, and it kind of went … automatically… The jobs just presented themselves and therefore we felt we had to move on.

Sometimes what we ‘think’ we really really want is what ‘society’ thinks we ‘should’ really really want. Because it’s the ‘right thing’ to want for a woman at the age of…

Maybe you feel guilty for working (and loving your job) while you think you should spend more time with your children and ideally, not work at all.

Sometimes we know what we don’t want… But we still don’t take the time to figure out what we do want? It’s a bit like: I don’t like black. Does that automatically mean I like white? No! There are lot of other colours to choose from…

What am I saying? That you’re doing it all wrong? No! I am just challenging you to every once in a while take some time to ask yourself “What do you really really want?” And to listen to the voice that comes from within… Don’t listen to the voices in your head, chances are they are not yours…

Let’s hear it from you: do YOU know what you really really want?

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You always have a choice

You always have a choice.

Quite a bold statement, isn’t it? But I really think so. Really. And believing this has helped me a lot over the past years.

Often, when you feel stressed, you feel like you’re a victim. And this is exactly how you enter the vicious circle: when you feel you are a victim, you feel even more stressed… But if you believe that you always have a choice, you step out of that circle. You no longer react, but you respond (another one of my favourites, I’ll definitely come back to it….). You consciously choose how to behave, you choose not to ‘undergo’… And that’s a big difference…

This can be applied to many situations but let’s start with an easy one.
When you hear yourself complain about something, again and again, ask yourself: what are my options?
When you do that, and you come up with one, the first ‘BUT’ will probably pop up in your head. Examine it, check if it’s not just an excuse…
Make a list of all the options and explore the pros and the cons of every option. Mind you: it is possible that none of the options has only positive consequences. But that’s ok. You can still decide to go for that option, accepting the consequences.
And when you do, you can be proud of yourself. You took some action, you were not a victim.

And don’t forget two things.
First of all: sometimes choosing not to do anything yet, can be an option. There might be too much on your plate already.
And secondly: should the choice turn out to be very different from what you hoped, you always have a choice to make another one…

So what about you? Where are you stuck and what are your options?


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