Stress is a normal part of life, but when it becomes chronic, it can take a toll on our physical and mental health. One way to measure stress levels is through heart rate variability (HRV), which is the change in time between heartbeats. A low HRV is associated with increased stress and a higher risk of health problems, while a high HRV indicates greater resilience, better health and adaptability to stress.
One way to improve HRV is through breathing exercises. When we're feeling stressed, our breath tends to become shallow and fast, which puts our body in a state of "fight or flight" and raises our heart rate. By taking deep, slow breaths, we can activate the "relaxation response," which lowers our heart rate and calms our nervous system.
One effective way to incorporate breathing exercises into our daily routine is through the use of a habit tracker. A habit tracker is a tool that helps you track your progress and stay motivated as you work on building new habits.
To start, choose a breathing exercise that works for you. There are many different techniques to choose from, such as diaphragmatic breathing, the 4-7-8 technique, and the Box Breathing technique. Next, set a realistic goal for how often you want to practice your chosen breathing exercise, whether it's once a day, three times a day, or even more. Once you have your goal in place, use your Insumo to record your progress. Each time you complete a breathing session, mark it off in your habit tracker. This will give you a visual representation of how well you're doing and help you stay motivated to continue.
As you make breathing exercises a regular part of your routine, you'll likely notice a positive change in your HRV. In addition, you'll be less likely to fall prey to the stress cycle as you learn to manage stress in a more holistic way.
It is important to note, however, that while breathing exercises can improve HRV, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have a history of heart disease or other health problems, it is always best to consult with your doctor before making any changes to your exercise routine.
In conclusion, heart rate variability (HRV) is an important indicator of stress and adaptability to stress, and it is possible to improve HRV by practicing breathing exercises. By using a habit tracker to make breathing exercises a regular part of your routine, you can improve your physical and mental well-being and break the stress cycle.