I have been using heart rate variability for myself and patients.
What I love about HRV biofeedback is that it allow us to check in with our physiology before we may feel any changes!
A drop in HRV occurs when there is excessive stress or inflammation. These could be due to an early cold or when anxiety levels begin to build and become disruptive.
We can see the improvements in the HRV score when we are working on wellness and engaging in stress-reducing activities. It's encouraging! On days when the HRV is optimal, we know that our body can handle more stress!
Breathing and mindfulness help improve HRV because they regulate the “slow down” phase of the nervous system through the vagus nerve. This calms the thinking areas and anxiety centers of the brain. The more we do these activities the stronger the vagus nerve gets, just like exercising.
Many are finding that this is an effective tool for those managing chronic stress, depression, panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD