Have you ever wondered how you can measure how well you manage the periods of stress and recovery? I am not talking subjectively based on a tiny sample of what you can remember but with biofeedback tools. Heart Rate Variability is a biomarker of your Autonomic Nervous System how easy it is for your body to restore into a state of homeostasis after a stress trigger. High HRV translates into a softer transition between the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight stress response) to the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest response). On the other hand, low HRV means substantial fluctuations compared to your baseline homeostasis, or internal balance. More often than not, it is produced by trauma or chronic stress.
The advantage of using a device such as the Corsense HRV Bluetooth monitor by EliteHRV is that it informs you what your baseline HRV is when taking a reading after waking up before any acute stressor. Second, it will be helpful to create awareness about how your lifestyle decisions change your internal balance.
Besides the changes in hormonal shifts and circadian rhythm, other factors of influence in your HRV are sleep, eating, exercise, drinking alcohol or coffee, stressful deadlines, etc. Furthermore, you can label the days in the app of EliteHRV so that you can make sense of the changes in your HRV within the context of your lifestyle decisions.
For example, you would label the day before your morning reading if you drank alcohol, if you did an exhaustive workout, or if you had any contact with nature and see over time if there are patterns reflected in your HRV. Because we are all different, it is worth checking in with an external device how much correlation there is between some of these indicators and your nervous system’s fluctuations.
If a priority of yours is to develop resilience, I would also recommend checking out Dr. Leah Lagos’s book Heart, Breath, Mind, and the extraordinary method of Wim Hoff. Both introduce breathing techniques that can induce “Resonance Frequency” or “Coherence”, which is the specific breathing rate that your organism needs to maximize HRV. In other words, if you are looking to learn to restore your state by regulating your blood pressure and cardiovascular activity, then this approach could be precious to you.
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