Symptoms. Heart palpitations are described in a number of ways. The basic symptom is a rapid heartbeat that can be felt in the chest. Some people with this condition describe the feeling as the heart pounding or flip-flopping. Palpitations are normally felt in the chest, but if the heartbeat is strong enough, they can be felt in arteries of the neck. Episodes of heart palpitations typically last only a few minutes, with the heart returning to a natural rhythm on its own. Patients should seek medical attention if heart palpitations are accompanied by other symptoms of cardiac problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath and dizziness.