Emerging research shows that we can all become better at listening to our heartbeat – and if we do so, it can give us a richer emotional world

If you were to guess how many times your heart beats at any given moment, you may be surprised at how accurate – or not – you are.

Emerging evidence shows that how good we are at listening to our heartbeat can shape the way we feel and even affect how fast we are at making decisions.

This ability to 'listen to our bodies' is called interoception. In two films, we explore the science behind interoception – and see how the research is helping those on the autism spectrum, who can struggle to identify emotions.

To start with, Sarah Garfinkel of the University of Sussex explains that we can all learn to tune in to how often our heart beats – and by doing so, become more in tune with our emotions.

How our heart influences our mind

One of the individuals who is already benefiting from this research is Tom. In a collaboration with BBC Stories, he explained how the new therapy is helping him with his daily struggles.

'I wish I could feel happy or excited'

If you have a formal diagnosis of autism and would like to learn more about the research, you can reach out to the University of Sussex.

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