What Gets Measured Gets Managed.

Clear Your Head to Get Ahead: Improving Well-Being and Building Resilience 

The secret is out and it’s now well known that today’s fast-paced world is making it all the harder to  maintain our mental and physical well-being. If you know any different, do let me know!  Living with constant, or chronic, stress, anxiety, and constant distractions can take a toll on our health. To combat this, the Clear Your Head to Get Ahead programme offers a unique approach to improving well-being and building resilience, not least as what gets measured gets managed. Central to this programme is the measurement of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and the concept of  Heart Brain Coherence, as defined by the HeartMath Institute. Let’s explore what these terms mean and how they can help us achieve a healthier, more balanced life.

Understanding Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

Heart Rate Variability, or HRV, is a measure of the variation in time between each heartbeat. It might sound complicated, but it’s quite simple: when you breathe in, your heart rate speeds up slightly, and when you breathe out, it slows down. The difference, or variation between each heart beat is your HRV.

HRV is an important indicator of your body’s ability to handle stress. A high HRV generally indicates that your body is more resilient and can adapt to changes and stressors effectively. HRV is now routinely used in sports where coaches determine who will play, in part by assessing the players HRV. The opposite is also true as a low HRV may suggest that your body is under stress and not coping well. At an extreme, and HRV that shows very little or no variation between each beat is truly not desirable!

The Importance of HRV 

Measuring HRV is crucial because it gives us insight into our autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS controls vital bodily functions such as heart rate, digestion, and respiratory rate. It consists of two main branches: the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for the “fight or flight” response) and the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for “rest and digest” functions).

It is now pretty well understood that when we are living gin survival, we are living in stress. When when that happens, our sympathetic nervous system kicks in, increasing our heart rate and preparing us to face a challenge. In the workplace this can be from something quite minor  e.g. a away a colleague looked at us, or it could be something more demanding like an approach deadline for an important project. This prolonged stress can lead to an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which of left unchecked can be harmful to our health. (This is where I come in). In contrast,  a healthy HRV indicates a good balance between these two systems, suggesting that our body can effectively manage stress and return to a state of calm quite quickly after the event. At best and after training we can even prepare ourselves form life’s stressors and manage our emotional state to remain calm and composed even while it’s kicking off all around us. You could call is a super power.  

Heart Brain Coherence

Heart Brain Coherence is a state where our heart and brain are in sync, working harmoniously. It’s a bit like an orchestra all playing in tune and time to create amazing music, or rowers in a longboat rowing in synchronisation to just glide, seemingly effortlessly, through the waters. According to peer reviewed scientific research from the HeartMath Institute, when we experience positive emotions such as love, gratitude, and compassion, our heart rhythms become more ordered and coherent. This coherence improves our overall well-being, making us feel more balanced and builds our resilience.

Incidentally, achieving Heart Brain Coherence is more than just feeling good. The  numerous benefits, including better emotional regulation, improved cognitive function, (hence Clear Your Head to Get Ahead) and enhanced physical health. When our heart and brain are in coherence, we are better equipped to handle life’s challenges, get better quality sleep, think more clearly, and make better decisions.

The Clear Your Head to Get Ahead Programme

The Clear Your Head to Get Ahead programme is designed to help individuals improve their well-being and build resilience through the practice of measuring and managing HRV. By focusing on HRV and Heart Brain Coherence, the programme offers practical tools and techniques to help participants achieve a state of balance and harmony.

How It Works 

1. Measuring HRV: The first step in the programme is to measure HRV, using exclusively the Inner Balance device. It is possible to use a variety of devices, such as wearable fitness trackers or specialised HRV monitors, but these devices are not as accurate or continuous as the Inner Balance. By regularly tracking HRV, for as little as 5 minutes, 3 times a day, participants can gain insight into their stress levels and overall health. The Inner Balance uses your HRV data in the Inner Balance app and converse it into a Coherence score.

2. Practising Coherence Techniques: The programme teaches simple techniques to achieve Heart Brain Coherence. These techniques often involve breathing exercises, mindfulness practices, and focusing on positive emotions. By practising these techniques regularly, for just 5 minutes a time and 3 times a day, participants improve their HRV and overall coherence. I know it works, because I have done just this.

3. Regular Monitoring and Feedback: The programme, which runs for 6 sessions over 6 weeks, emphasises the importance of regular monitoring and feedback. By tracking progress over time, participants can see how their HRV and coherence improve, which can be highly motivating.

4. Building Resilience: As participants practice these techniques and improve their HRV, they build resilience. Resilience is the ability to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of stress, adversity and challenge, and is vital to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and it’s a crucial component of overall well-being. With increased resilience, individuals are better equipped to handle whatever life throws their way, be it at work, at home or in your other endeavours.

Benefits of the Programme

The Clear Your Head to Get Ahead programme offers numerous benefits:

Improved Well-Being: By achieving better Heart Brain Coherence and higher HRV, participants often experience improved mental and physical health.

Reduced Stress: The techniques taught in the programme can help reduce stress and promote a sense of calm and relaxation.

Enhanced Cognitive Function: Better coherence can lead to improved focus, clarity, and decision-making abilities.

Greater Emotional Regulation: Participants often find they can manage their emotions more effectively, leading to more harmonious relationships and interactions.

Better Sleep: Getting to sleep and getting back to sleep if you wake in the early hours all gets better as you become master of your emotions rather than being controlled by them.

Get in touch to find out more about the The Clear Your Head to Get Ahead programme. Through measuring what matters it provides a comprehensive approach to improving well-being and building resilience. By focusing on the measurement and management of HRV and achieving Heart Brain Coherence, participants can experience profound benefits in their mental and physical health. In a world filled with stress and distractions, taking the time to clear your head and get ahead can make all the difference in leading a balanced, healthy life.