19 Mar An App for Listening to Your Heart: How Choice Compass Helps You Make Choices Based on Heart Rhythms
Choice Compass is an app that uses the built-in camera on your smartphone to help you choose between two options by analyzing heart rhythms that are related to your feelings about the choices. To understand how it works, it’s necessary to first have a grasp of what the subconscious and conscious minds do.
Rediscovering Your Subconscious Mind
The subconscious mind is often thought of as comprising two parts — the reptilian brain and the mammalian brain.
The reptilian brain stopped evolving 250 million years ago and thus is very basic in nature, functioning solely on programmed responses — its processes being involuntary, compulsive, and impulsive. The reptilian brain regulates the fear that is necessary for survival, and it also regulates other basic functions needed for self-preservation, including fighting, fleeing, breathing, and heart rhythms.
The mammalian brain regulates feelings about what is perceived as important in the present moment and what could become important in the near future. Because the subconscious has a limited vocabulary, feelings are usually communicated through images and hunches that sometimes rise to the conscious mind, rather than through words. The subconscious mind can be thought of as the place from which all feelings, such as anger, fear, joy, excitement, and so on are derived. But it also has a strange property — it can actually make complex choices and accurate predictions by integrating many factors, and it can do this more accurately, in some cases, than the conscious mind can!
Becoming Better Acquainted with Your Conscious Mind
The conscious mind, on the other hand, is the part of the brain that thinks that it is in control. It’s the part of us that thinks, analyzes, criticizes, deliberates, plans, and so forth. It seems to have a will that initiates and directs a thought or an action, but the subconscious mind generally provides the drive for the conscious to do so with accompanying feelings and emotions. When the two are in harmony — making a decision and feeling at peace with that decision — the result can be positive and productive. If the two are in conflict, however, the subconscious mind will often eventually win out, meaning that if you make a decision that doesn’t satisfy what your subconscious wants, the result may very well be self-sabotage.
When you’re faced with a decision that must be made, your conscious mind may spend energy analyzing and deliberating, but at the same time your subconscious may already have done these calculations and more — and be acutely aware of which option will bring it the most joy, as well as which option will yield the most unhappiness. Since the subconscious mind is unable to communicate with the conscious mind in a clear way, it can seem nearly impossible to tell which decision will bring about the most inner joy and peace.
Using Choice Compass as a Mediator Between the Two Minds
This is where Choice Compass comes in. Choice Compass interprets your heart rhythms, one of the physiological communicators of the subconscious mind. Decades of physiology data show that the intervals between heartbeats (which in healthy individuals are not regular but instead form repeated rhythmic patterns) vary in their patterns depending on your emotions (see, for instance, http://www.heartmath.org). When you react negatively to a concept or idea, the intervals between beats create different rhythm patterns than they do when the reaction is positive.
Choice Compass monitors your heart’s rhythmic patterns over two one-minute sessions. In each session, you concentrate on one of two opposing options: for example, “should I backpack Australia or tour Iceland?” After completing both sessions, the application compares your heart rhythm patterns and selects the option your heart has responded to the most joyfully. In other words, it picks which choice produced heart rhythms most similar to joyful rhythms determined by examining data from over 800 testers.
Without the ability to articulate itself clearly, the subconscious can easily work against any conflicting decision the conscious mind makes, potentially creating problems in your life. For this reason, we hope that Choice Compass can prove invaluable in helping you literally listen to your heart to make decisions that bring you inner peace and joy.