Inner Calm and Connection

Struggling with racing thoughts, rapid heart rate, and anxiety?  Feeling disconnected from the rest of the world during these strange times?  You are not alone.  Try this meditative practice: Wheel of Awareness. Our clients have found it helpful, historically. For more resources from Dr. Dan Siegel, visit his website at https://drdansiegel.com/. We have no direct affiliation with Dr. Siegel, we simply wanted to share this free resource. If you enjoy the practice and would like to learn other relaxation techniques, we would be happy to teach you other practices.

All of the techniques we know are evidence-based in research.  Research has shown that regular meditative practices can lower heart rate, blood pressure, improve mood, and even retrain the nervous system to be less reactive.  We all have fight, flight, and freeze responses that are hardwired into our brains and bodies.  These responses were originally designed to protect us from threats in our environment, like encountering a bear, for example.  Today’s stressors look more like rush hour traffic or poor interpersonal communication that results in these types of responses.  Taking time to utilize techniques like mindfulness or meditation, will not make these reactions go away.  It will, however, lower the amount of time you spend in the fight, flight, or freeze state and the frequency with which you experience them.  This can be especially beneficial for individuals that are quick to anger or have high stress jobs.  It has been a year now, since we were first told to ‘stay home, stay safe’.  The stress and grief of this year has taken its tole on many.  With springtime just around the corner, we could all benefit from taking time to re-center, refocus, and decrease our stress levels.

Another one of our favorite tools comes from the HeartMath Institute, called the inner balance.  This device hooks up to your phone via Bluetooth and teaches you heart-focused breathing.  This technique is similar to meditation, or deep breathing, but allows you to connect with what’s going on with your heart.  According to the HeartMath Institute’s research, there are more signals going from the brain to the heart, than the heart to the brain.  By utilizing heart focused breathing, you can increase the level of coherence between the two organs and ‘get them both on the same page’, so to speak, increasing one’s ability to alter their emotional states, or accept them better.  Again, we have no affiliation with the institute and do not make any money from their devices or software.  They are a non-profit organization that utilizes the money from purchases to advance their research.  If you are interested in learning more about the institute, their resources, or their technology, visit their website: https://www.heartmath.org/research/research-library/.  If you want to give it a try before buying anything, we can schedule an appointment for you to try it with one of our counselors.  Heart-focused breathing is only one of the many techniques that can be learned with this technology.

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