Reducing mental stress is one of the most common goals of Elite HRV users.
Sometimes the sources of chronic stress are hard to avoid: social and financial stress, emotional trauma, job-related demands, etc.
But it is still possible to improve the body and mind’s resilience to this stress, in these two ways:
- Change how mental stress is perceived – to be less destructive.
- Reduce other sources of stress, like nutrition, sleep, too little or too much exercise, and many other physical sources.
HRV tracking can help with both:
- It will help remove the guesswork from which other stresses in life are impacting you.
- It can also be combined with meditation to change how you perceive mental stress. This is called biofeedback, and is often used together with guided breathing.
This is because HRV is actually not just measuring your heart, but your nervous system (which is closely tied to all of your organs and their functions).
Thousands of clinical research papers have shown HRV to be an accurate and sensitive measure of mental stress.
It only takes a few minutes per week to use HRV to tackle your stress reduction goals.
Then, you can begin to track how your HRV changes each day. This will help you identify sources of stress – both mental and physical.
Or you could start a stress-reduction therapy (like meditation) and measure HRV DURING the session. Typically, effective meditation induces a change in HRV – so you’ll learn it more quickly.. and ideally, use it in all kinds of situations.
(this kind of immediate quantified feedback is great to develop a habit of meditation)
Then, your daily HRV may also change – which could signal an improvement in your overall stress load.