Here's my week in numbers.
With Cracking The Wellness Code event now behind me, and a funeral approaching this coming week. My strategy was ensuring that my mental wellbeing was duly taken care of. Now for the uninitiated the link between managing your emotional state and tracking your heart rate variability may seem a jump too far, but there is some fascinating research available that has shown a connection between maladaptive emotion regulation and a dysregulation of the ANS (automatic nervous system).
Now while the mechanisms behind this phenomena is complex, tracking your HRV as a non invasive bio marker has been shown to be extremely effective. In a study conducted at the University Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford UK, it was found that there was reduced HRV during cognitive reappraisal of negative stimuli. The test subjects were asked to passively view negative images or attempt to down regulate the effect on their emotions elicited by the powerful images (thus looking at their ability to manage their emotional state and biological impact of the external stimuli).
The reduced HRV readings indicated a link between the loss of flexibility in the parasympathetic system and emotion regulation (consistent with other studies). In a study on depression and decreased heart rate variability post cardiac surgery, Patron, Favretto et al found that compared to the non-depressed patients, the depressed group showed a lower standard deviation of the normal-to-normal (NN) deviations, confirming previous findings that depression is associated with a reduced HRV (especially after cardiac surgery).
These are just two examples, the amount of literature available regarding is beyond the scope of this post, but ineffective emotion regulation has also been associated with ANS functioning. So what were my strategies for this week?
Reconnecting with family and friends who presence I felt "uplifted" in was a key strategy. Some of these friends I hadn't spoken too in 3 years! I allocated more "quiet time" where I could be alone with a good book, or study a subject that interests me.
I restructured my training to give me more focus and a sense of empowerment, plus I also began writing in my journal more frequently. First doing a brain dump, then reframing situations and thoughts that were draining my energy. This was a powerful step in and or itself, but I also took action to take it one step further. Revisiting DrJohn De Martini's book The Break Through Experience was crucial for me and free'd me up massively. I highly recommend it.
Nutrition was pretty good, there were a few more refined sugars this week, but I didn't beat myself up about it, just put the steps in place to minimise it's effects. I also downloaded "The Rock Clock" app. If you don't know about this, you really need to check it out. It was created by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson an is basically an alarm with his various phrases/ motivational abuse - call it what you will, but it never failed to wake me with a smile, elevate my mood and feel like a certified badass (It's the little things that can make a difference).
Below is a clip of my training this week, where I returned back to PMT (Partial Movement Training) and on that note I think it's only proper I'll leave you with a quote from The Rock.
It's never about how you start., It's always about how you finish.
p.s Excited to announce that this week the podcast episode with Gregg Elliot, Sports Scientist over at Elite HRV, will go live!
Decreased Heart Rate Variability During Emotion Regulation in Subjects At Risk For Psychopathology : Di SImplicio,M. Costolini,G. Western, D et al: 2012
Depression and Reduced Heart Rate Variability After Cardiac Surgery: The Mediating Role of Emotion Regulation: Patron,E. Favretto, G. Gasparotto, R et al : 2014