Episode 36 - Mastering Mind-Body Coherence for Optimal Performance with Jeff Benton

podcast Nov 04, 2021


Leaders are oftentimes overwhelmed with information, resulting in increased stress levels and compromised performance. Today’s guest is Jeff Benton, the Founder and CEO of Paragon and a Certified HeartMath Trainer. HeartMath is a tool and human technology that improves our overall emotional wellbeing, teaching us how to shift our heart rhythm patterns and create something known as physical coherence. Jeff explains that this physical coherence is a scientifically measurable state, characterized by increased order and harmony in our mind, emotions, and body. Jeff has always had a keen interest in human performance and the profound connection between our mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical health and, in today’s episode, he leads us through a live HeartMath session, sharing some of the techniques that will allow you to self-regulate your emotions and shift into a more optimal state on the path to self-mastery. We hope you will join us!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The teachings, tools, and techniques that HeartMath offers on the path to self-mastery.
  • How Jeff trains special forces in HeartMath techniques for life or death situations.
  • Jeff leads us through a live 10-minute HeartMath session; starting with finding a connection to something that brings you joy.
  • Participate in a simple breathing exercise that connects you with your heartbeat.
  • How alignment allows you to show up and be more powerful, successful and fulfilled.
  • Tracy recommends using this recording to do a HeartMath session for the next seven days.
  • Why Jeff believes the path to self-mastery is being able to self-regulate our emotions.
  • The hormones associated with what Jeff calls depleting emotions and renewing emotions.


“On this path to self-mastery, once we start to identify the emotions, we really need teachings, tools, and techniques to be able to shift into a more optimal state. That is why HeartMath is so effective.” — Jeff Benton [0:02:38]

“When we’re experiencing a depleting emotion, we have 1,400 chemicals that kick in. Cortisol [kicks] in and other stress hormones, and we’re not able to operate at our most optimal function.” — Jeff Benton [0:21:13]

Jeff Benton on LinkedIn
Jeff Benton on Facebook
Jeff Benton Email
Paragon Performance Evolution
Link Strategy Group
HeartMath Institute
Potential to Powerhouse
Tracy Holland on Instagram



[00:00:05] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to from Potential to Powerhouse, success secrets for female leaders, where female trailblazers share their journeys and the aha moments that made all the difference. With your host, serial entrepreneur, and trailblazer herself, Tracy Holland.

[00:00:23] TH: I’m excited to welcome Jeff Benton, and we’re going to kick this off. Hi!

[00:00:36] JB: Thank you. We sit or stand?

[00:00:38] TH: Let’s take a seat. I think we should sit. Is this best? Is everyone here? Okay, good. I think what would be interesting, because as someone who runs businesses as an entrepreneur, pretty factual, I look at the world in a way that’s finance driven, and protocols, and SOPs, and all those things. When you first told me about this practice that you teach, I was a little bit skeptical, to be candid. You said, just try it and so I did. I started doing it on a daily basis, because of COVID, I didn’t have anywhere to go. I was a captive audience, right? But what I appreciate so much about this practice is that, through COVID, and the fact that I had nowhere to go, I used this every single day. Now, I use it sometimes two or three times a day

It’s literally changed the physiological makeup of who I am. I’d love for you to share with those listening who may be skeptical, or may say, “Oh! I don’t do this or that,” or “I don’t believe this.” Talk to them about why it works.

[00:01:53] JB: Yeah. You and I always talk about self-mastery, right?

[00:01:56] TH: Yeah.

[00:01:56] JB: And we love that. Really, the first piece of self-mastery is understanding how to regulate our emotions, right? In order to be able to self-regulate, we first must have an awareness of our emotions, right? Awareness precedes experience. Awareness precedes change. It seems so simple, but in our society today, we’re living in the past or the future, which is creating fight or flight. It’s upsetting our nervous system and so forth. Basically, what’s happening is the unconscious is driving us. We have no awareness from the neck down. On this path to self-mastery, once we start to identify the emotions, we really need teachings, tools, and techniques to be able to shift into a more optimal state. That is why HeartMath is so effective. We work with special forces, CEOs, fortune 500, professional athletes, Olympic athletes. HeartMath has proven to be the best real time tool that you can use in the moment

To give you a little bit about the science, because I know you like the science, right? The HeartMath Institute has been around for about 30 years and they have been working with Stanford, and Harvard, and Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic and they’ve done a lot of peer reviewed research. Really, to simplify, they’re really focused on how the heart and brain communicate. A lot of people don’t know this, but the heart actually sends more information to the brain than the other way around. The reason this is important is, the quality of the signal sent from the heart to the brain has a profound effect on our mental clarity, our emotional wellbeing and a bunch of other things

Through HeartMath, one of the things we teach is really to change the rhythms of the heart that then sends a different neural signal to the brain. It really allows for us to get into flow state or in the zone. You probably heard that from sports, when things slow down. HeartMath is one of the few modalities that actually allows for us to be proactive and getting into a flow state.

[00:04:13] TH: For those who are maybe non-believers, because I get it, I think sometimes what’s a flow state? I don’t know about you, but I feel a flow state when I’m running. I feel a flow state when I’m at the spa. I feel a flow state when I’m on tabletops in Las Vegas dancing. [Inaudible 00:04:34]. I mean, there have been times. No, but I think what Jeff is saying is really powerful in that, the thing that I didn’t realize is actually my superpower is my ability to take information in here first, allow it to filter, and then process it here. What you’ve taught me is a physical expression, seeking information in here first. That feeling that we all have when we walk into a situation and we get [inaudible 00:05:09] back of our neck and we’re like, “Oh! Something’s not right here” or “I don’t feel good about the situation.”

We read [inaudible 00:05:17] that feeling where you’re scanning the room and you realize something’s off. That is what we’re about to teach you how to hone in on. This is our sixth sense. This is our primal, most basic, instinctive sixth sense, which is the gift of our ability to be even more present, even more powerful, even more focused, as well as having better performance outcome, then we could do if we just use our head.

[00:05:58] JB: Absolutely.

[00:05:59] TH: That’s why Special Forces – I think one thing you should share is, for people who are killers for a living, people who have to walk into a highly contentious situation in which they have a target and there could be a hostage situation, there could be a situation in which their lives at stake. Literally, one second, two seconds, three seconds can make the difference between life and death, you’re teaching these people how to be more reactive, more thoughtful, and more in their body, so that they’re not trigger happy. But that they’re able to process that incoming information and then react in a way. I mean, that’s what you’re doing.

[00:06:48] JB: Absolutely. Tracy knows, a good friend of mine, Ed, who runs a SWAT team and he trains Special Forces in self-defense. With his SWAT team, he always talks about how he maxed out his team from a mental, emotional, physical and even spiritual standpoint. Once he taught them HeartMath, they measured their reflexes a half a second faster. Half a second when you’re going into a dangerous situation could mean life or death. Also, when they are in that state of coherence, they’re thinking clear, right? You think about the stress they’re under. They’re not in fight or flight, where we make bad decisions, where we’ve seen a lot of bad things over the last few years. That’s why it’s crucial to be teaching HeartMath to the police officers and these first responders who live under this fight or flight all the time.

I think the other thing that’s interesting when you call it a superpower is, science is showing when we get into this state of coherence in this flow state, others start to match that state. They’ve done a ton of studies around this. We think about the power that we can actually get into a state of calm and flow through the heart, and others start to match that. So, I mean, it’s

powerful. We’ve even worked with autistic communities, where the parents and practitioners learn HeartMath. They told us after, it’s the first time their children were affectionate and spoke. It just shows you we’re all so interconnected, right? We feel each other’s nervous system and it’s a really magical thing.

[00:08:34] TH: This is interesting too, what’s going to happen today at 12 is we’re going to meet with John Amaral, who is a world expert around energetics. You will watch – if you don’t know who John Amaral is, you can go Google him and look at all of the Netflix coverage on him and what he can do. The energetics is, our bodies are projecting our energy about six feet in front of our actual physical body, and it’s actually measurable. He will be talking about that. What you’re talking about is the ability for us to change the way we interface [inaudible 00:09:11] in which we walk into a situation and someone can read that before we even step into it.

[00:09:16] JB: Absolutely

[00:09:17] TH: It’s incredible, isn’t it?

[00:09:19] JB: It’s unbelievable. I’ll tell you about one study in the corporate world, which I know a lot of your audience is a part of. It was a technology company, and they broke out 10 groups of four. In each group of four, three of the four were trained in HeartMath, and the fourth wasn’t. What they found is, when the three actively started doing HeartMath, the fourth who had monitors hooked up but had no idea what was going on, that person ended up getting into coherence.

[00:09:48] TH: Wow!

[00:09:49] JB: I mean, I could go on and on, but it’s really fascinating.

[00:09:52] TH: Yeah. There is actually a device for those who may not know if this really works. You can go on and buy the HeartMath device. It attaches to your ear, and then it goes into your phone and it connects to an app. It allows you to read your coherence and measure your coherence so that you can see when your brain and heart go into coherence, which is [inaudible 00:10:16]. If you’re a non-believer, this is a data tracker for those who may say, “I don’t know this works for me.” You’ll find that it does, because you can track it right there in your phone.

[00:10:30] JB: Literally.

[00:10:31] TH: All right

[00:10:32] JB: Can we do it? Barbara? I want you focused, Barbara. Nice to see you.

[00:10:40] TH: We’re going to teach this technique now. What I want you to realize is once you do this, you’re going to say to yourself, “I don’t really believe it’s working for me because it’s so easy.” Right?

[00:10:53] JB: Yes.

[00:10:54] TH: And you’re like, “Wait a sec. I don’t know if I’m doing it right.” You can let go of all that “I’m not doing it right.” I promise you, you’re doing it right. So let’s do this.

[00:11:03] JB: All right. Even for you yogis that can’t focus, all right. All right. Before we start, I want everybody to connect with a memory that provides a positive renewing feeling. For me, right now, it’s 150-pound Ridgeback, Rocky, who you know, and I think about him and I literally feel joy and gratitude. Then also, there’s this amazing creature named Peaches. Where is Peaches by the way?

[00:11:35] TH: She’s at home with Greg.

[00:11:36] JB: Oh my God! I can’t believe she have friends that are here. Okay.

[00:11:40] TH: I have a chocolate brown poodle named Peaches.

[00:11:43] JB: All right! What is your –before we go into it, what are you connecting to?

[00:11:48] TH: You just brought up Peaches, so I’m going to go with Peaches. She’s a year old. She’s chocolate brown. She has Tina Turner hair. like this beautiful, big hair and then I shaved the rest of her down, so she’s so gorgeous. She’s always smiling.

[00:12:08] JB: All right. The key is not to just think about the emotion but to actually feel it, right? That’s when science, quantum physics, there’s real energy in that. All right. Does everybody have their memory? All right. You can do this, eyes closed or eyes open. Just start to take some smooth, easy inhales. Smooth, easy exhales. Just start to feel your body relax, a little bit more with each exhale. If your mind wanders, just keep going back to the breath. Notice the subtlety of your heartbeat. At times it takes a little bit to connect with the pulsating of the heart. I can feel some pulsating, bottoms of your feet. Five on your inhale. Count to five on your exhale. Count that’s comfortable with you. Into your heart and chest area. From the heart and chest area and come from. Allow yourself to connect with that positive, renewing emotion. Provide you attitude or joy – every cell of your body. Counting to five on your inhale to the heart. Five on your exhale.

[00:18:22] TH: Awesome. She’s ready for a nap. Hi, ladies. HeartMath session. What an
amazing way to kick off our second day. I hope that you’re starting to feel a little bit more aligned. What I would say to you is this, one of the things that I think bring us the most joy and make us most successful is our ability to bring alignment – does allow us to show up in a way that makes us more powerful, more successful, more fulfilled. I just think that if whoever watches this, if they want to replay it, here’s what I did. I listened to Jeff do this once on a Zoom, and then I kept renewing – I kept using your voice as my guide every single morning, because I couldn’t just like tap in and call you every morning and say, “Jeff, let’s do a live HeartMath session. What are you doing right now?” on call, although that would be amazing.

Just listening to the recording and doing it, for me has really worked as well almost as well as if you were doing it with me live. The best part of doing it live is, at this point, it does bring the coherence of all the participants in together. There is this thing that can take place and when my kids are acting up and they’re misfiring, or they’re arguing with each other, or whatever, I can sit in that space and do HeartMath. Then, just start within the 10 to 15 minutes to feel good about having to tell them what to do. It’s pretty cool. So, I would just say that for those of you who thinks that it could work for you, could not work for you, not sure you’re not necessarily a total believer yet, I would take this recording and then do it daily for the next five to seven days. How long was that? Ten minutes? It’s no big deal. If you do that every day, and then see how you feel.

[00:20:41] JB: Yeah. I love it.

[00:20:42] TH: Be your own and then you can – reach you how, like if they want to know more, find you.

[00:20:49] JB: They can reach me at [email protected]. Then we should set up a few sessions for the P2P community.

[00:20:59] TH: Let’s do it.

[00:20:59] JB: I mean, again, as Tracy talked about her shifts, again, the path to self-mastery is being able to self-regulate our emotion. We talked about, you know, we’ve got depleting emotions and we have renewing emotion. When we’re experiencing a depleting emotion, we have 1,400 chemicals that kick in. Cortisol is being kicked in and other stress hormones, and we’re not able to operate at our most optimal function. When we have the ability to shift into more renewing feelings, it literally is like a bath of these positive chemicals, including DHEA. When we’re working with clients, we give them the simple task or awareness of what do you guys feeling right now? Right? As you start to have that awareness, then you have this new tool called HeartMath, and there’s other great techniques to actually be able to shift into a more optimal state. Then a lot of good things happen.

[00:22:05] TH: Yeah. Well, I mean, I don’t know about you, but I know what those 1,400
chemicals feel like that are the depleting ones. I do not want those for any of you. Right?

[00:22:15] JB: Yeah.

[00:22:16] TH: Like it’s not good.

[00:22:17] JB: Are we able to get feedback, our crew? Is there a feedback yet? No. Did you guys feel good? Good.

[00:22:28] TH: Thumbs. We like thumbs.

[00:22:28] JB: Thumbs up.

[00:22:33] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for tuning into from Potential to Powerhouse, success secrets from female leaders, with your host, Tracy Holland. We invite you to tune in every week. Subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a single episode. While you’re at it, please leave a rating and review it and share it with your friends. Visit our website and follow us on social media using the links in the show notes. Until next time, high five. You’ve got this.


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