Sam is the lovely lady leading our very first HeartMath Workshop taking place on May the 7th. She’s mom to two busy boys, so knows exactly what a roller-coaster being a parent can be. We managed to grab a few moments of this mammas’ precious time so sh can tell us a little bit more about HeartMath, and what we can expect from the Workshop.
Tell us about you? Who is Sam?
I am an old Wynberg girl who has an innate interest and care for child development and emotional intelligence. I’m passionate about individual wellness and linked performance in general. After studying Clinical & Organisational Psychology at UCT, I took off to the UK to further my studies and work. I ended up meeting my husband there and moving back to Cape Town with him.
On my return I completed my Honours in Organisational Psychology whilst working, and little Liam (now almost 5) came along! Never a dull moment.
After a very busy 2 years working full time, and falling pregnant with the my second baby boy, Jake (2), I decided that I wanted to be there for my boys for more than an hour a day, so I resigned.
I’m now a stay at home mom running around after 2 busy boys, working for 2 different companies and also doing HeartMath coaching and training.
How did you first get into HeartMath?
I was included in an introductory meeting while still working at Achievement Awards Group. All I could think was: “Where on earth was this when I was doing my honours!” After attending a few more workshops and practicing the techniques, my self awareness and the understanding of the power of the tools and our hearts (as simple as they are) grew.
About 1 week after I made the decision to hand in my resignation, I was contacted by the Chairperson of HeartMath SA. They wanted to know if I would be interested in working with their SA team. I didn’t have to think twice. How’s that for synchronicity, or otherwise put more accurately – the power of energetics?
Why did you want to become a HeartMath coach?
After learning more about the history, the science and power of HeartMath and recognising how it had helped me, I became adamant that I wanted to share what I had learnt. I’ve seen, first hand, the positive impact it’s had on people’s lives, from 2 year olds and moms, to grannies and grandpas, teachers, politicians, Olympic athletes, emergency response teams, even hardcore military and NASA people. Their lives have been changed by understanding the power their emotions have on their physiology, and learning to be more in control of their emotions to improve performance.
I want to be able to help others feel more in control and be more resilient and coherent, to help combat feelings of anxiety, get through overwhelming or sad situations, and learn how to harness and enjoy the benefits of positive emotions. Although HeartMath really can benefit anyone, my passion really lies in helping parents, soon to be parents, children and teachers – as we all know, these three jobs can be the hardest jobs in the world!
Tell us in your own words what HeartMath is?
In summary, it teaches skills and techniques to self regulate in the moment, to prepare for big events, recover from emotionally difficult events, and manage your stress more effectively. The overall result is resilience and coherence. These skills and techniques are very simple and easy to use, and will make a very big difference in your life if practiced regularly.
HeartMath uses biofeedback technology to give information on your Heart Rhythm Patterns (Heart Rate Variability / HRV) – which tells us what is happening in your physiology. Each emotion show a particular pattern – which is then linked to how well your brain is able to function, and thus how this is presented in your performance as well as your physiology.
Why do you feel HeartMath is beneficial to parents and soon-to-be parents?
The pressures of parenthood are never truly understood until you are a parent, and no one can ever really prepare you. The worries, concerns and anxieties only really start when baby is born, and then it seems to never stop.
Making the decision to have children and trying to fall pregnant can also be stressful. The catch 22 with trying to fall pregnant, is that the more one stresses about it, the less chance they have of falling pregnant. This is a direct result of the hormonal imbalances in the body due to the emotions felt.
During pregnancy, the development of the baby is greatly impacted by the quality of the environment the foetus is growing in. Not only are nutrition and hydration important, but the presence of hormones are too. If the mother “stresses” too much during the pregnancy, there is an excess release of cortisol which puts the foetus in to “defence mode” instead of “growth mode”.
As a parent, there are so many different stages: brand new parents wondering where the manual is for looking after a new born baby. Second-time parents forgetting about how they did it the first time and wondering how on earth they are going to look after two. Parents of toddlers still looking for the manual on how to manage the terrible 2s, and every other life stage that comes after that, especially the teens. Not to mention going through learner’s licenses, Matric exams, entrance in to university and then the empty nest!
Whatever the stage may be, there is always going to be something new thrown at us as a parent and we need to have the skills to be able to respond to our environment in a suitable way to ensure that we have the best outcome possible. Not only do we need to find ways to self-care and be able to perform, we also need to be the best role models we can be for our little ones.
The added benefit, is being able to teach these skills to our kids. And if we do, they will be more resilient, be able to manage their emotions more effectively and be able to make better decisions.
What will the mornings course with MMP entail?
- We will cover the basic background and science to HeartMath
- We will look at resilience and coherence – what they mean and feel like
- Learn about how our emotions impact our physiology (nervous and hormonal systems)
- How to develop our resilience, enhance our coherence and be the best version of ourselves
- We will look at the importance of self-care and the impact we have on our kids (and foetus) and partner – mentally, emotionally, physically
- Learn techniques to help you: in the moment and in difficult situations, improve relationships and communication, make decisions, balance a hectic lifestyle and deal with acute pain
- Learn how to help your children deal with challenging situations
Can you give us practical examples of how HeartMath has benefitted parents?
I have many stories of how the HeartMath lessons have helped parents, below are some examples where the techniques have helped have a better outcome:
- Using one of the breathing techniques with their children at bed time to help them go to sleep.
- Using the techniques themselves at bedtime to help fall asleep and have better quality sleep – therefore feeling more energised and refreshed in the morning.
- Using the techniques to help avoid unnecessary fights with partners – especially in front of the children.
- Helping their children deal with pain and injury.
- Using the technique while having a procedure done without any anaesthetics – to help stay coherent and manage the pain more effectively (for child and parent).
- Using the techniques on their way home from work – to help keep work at work, and to have better quality time with the children.
- Using a technique to help make difficult decisions, such as school choices, where to live, job opportunities etc.
- Helping children to have less anxiety during exams.
To book your place on the HeartMath morning email firstname.lastname@example.org
The course is on Saturday 7th May. 9.30am – 12.30pm and the cost is R500.
If you enjoyed this post, why not take a look at Let HeartMath Help you Manage Your Stress?