A Workout For Your Mind
We train our bodies so we can grow stronger physically. Can we train our minds as well, and grow stronger psychologically?
A heart-rate monitor, like the one in the picture, can help us train more efficiently. Here, heart rate is a measure of the amount of energy, or stress involved a workout.
Likewise, heart rate is a decent measure of the amount of energy, or stress borne by the mind. But as far as the mind is concerned, energy is a two-edged sword. We like the energy, but we hate the stress.
For the mind to be working at its optimum, especially under stressful conditions, we need both energy and control. Now, we can measure both. Heart rate is a decent measure of stress. Research suggests that heart rate variability is a good measure of control.
Click here to learn more about the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, and how those things influence mental energy and control.
The Body-Mind Reader Is Unique
There are a many heart-rate monitors on the market, and many heart-rate variability apps available. The Body-Mind Reader app looks especially at the relationship between the two. In particular, we are looking at the alignment of energy and control in your mind and body. Depending on how you want to look at that data, it can be collapsed into a single composite variable. Which we have color-coded, making it easy to see at a glance where you stand.
Alignment decreasing (red).
No change in alignment from baseline (blue).
Alignment increasing (green).
The device can also be set to display a 3×3 grid, comparing high-medium-low levels of energy with high-medium-low levels of control. Here’s one theory on what each of those categories might represent in terms of emotional states.
The device is amazing. At first I guided the Reader by changing activity, and I noticed the color changed as soon as I formulated the intent to do something. I can see that being “in the green” is a state of mind, not necessarily linked to any particular activity, or even the extent to which that activity is burdensome or enjoyable. That’s the potential of this device: to help us get into the right state of mindfulness no matter what the task.
David M, MD. Neurologist
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