For one month I wore an HRV monitor nearly everyday to identify the stressors in my life. As a holistic wellness coach and meditation teacher, I thought I had my stress all figured out, but it turns out there was so much I didn't know about it. So what's an HRV monitor, you ask? It monitors your HRV - your Heart Rate Variability. We actually want a high HRV, meaning the heart rate varies a lot (meaning it's adaptable). If the heart is beating monotonously (think the classic sound of a heartbeat in a horror movie), the HRV is low. When the HRV is low, we are in stress. The monitor would buzz when my HRV was low so I could become aware of my patterns. Hidden, unidentified stressors galore!
These are the main repeat stressors I found:
1. Social settings with a lot going on
2. About 5 minutes after I eat something sugary
3. When I'm beating myself up about my looks or being nit-picky about them
4. Whenever I'm running out the door to leave the house
5. Overthinking about the wellbeing of my loved ones
Discovering (or confirming) these things were stressful for me was as interesting and insightful as it was helpful. Some things can be avoided or done more mindfully (*#2: sugar consumption*), some things needed a reframe (#5: overthinking abut the wellbeing of my loved ones doesn't help them - their journey is theirs and they get to make their own decisions) and some things are inevitables that are going to take my utmost dedication to my tools (*#1: social settings with a lot going on*) - deep breathing is coming with me before, during and after.
Lief Therapeutics is the company that makes the HRV monitor I used and loved. Simply stick the monitor to your chest, sync it with the app provided and allow it to give you your data. Your Lief sends little buzzing vibrations when you're in stress that you're meant to breathe with. Through this powerful mindful breathing and the information gained, Lief improves your heart rate variability, a scientifically-proven biomarker of mental health. The vibrations help you build awareness of your triggers, then self-regulate in the moments you need it most. If everyone had this awareness, we'd much healthier, more relaxed and equipped humans. I can't speak more highly of my experience with Lief! Use code: KAMA15 for 15% off your Lief.