It’s hard to trace the exact way positive words and overall positive mental attitude affect our health, but, undoubtedly, the influence exists – and a positive one, at that. In explanation, the scientists tend to refer to the neurobiology concept, in which positive thinking in itself is some kind of placebo medication. The antinociceptive system quite real mediates the placebo effect. It releases endorphins that induce endogenous opiates, catecholamines, and corticosteroids. So, no metaphysics here, though the discussion is yet to conclude.
Still, the positive mentality intertwines deeply and aims to achieve a healthy lifestyle. As such, as the spearhead of your attempt at a healthy, positive no-nonsense lifestyle, you may try to use the novel health metric – Heart Rate Variability (HRV). It is relatively unknown so far, so let’s explore it.
The explanation of heart rate variability
The specialists at Welltory wrote an extensive comprehensive article regarding the topic, so, if you have sufficient spare time and enthusiasm, I strongly advise you to give it a read. Otherwise, I’ll try to answer the main questions briefly and concisely, perhaps with excerpts from the main article.
So, what is heart rate variability?
Heart rate variability means the phenomenon of the difference in time between heartbeats. That is, the heart is not perfectly rhythmic as a metronome but has a sometimes insensible variation of in-between intervals, measured in milliseconds.
How to measure heart rate variability? How to measure stress levels?
Vital stress levels information is obtained from the processed data of heart rate variability. To set up a chain of HRV measurements, we need only two chain links: hardware and software.
Gathering the data
The first one – hardware – means the need to collect the exact readings. Your best option will be to use one of a thousand specialized devices. There is a massive assortment of them in the market, being either standalone or integrated into fitness trackers, ranging from, for example, electrical chest-on straps to optical on-hand appliances. As always, the most rational way is to do one’s research and select what is most reasonable for you depending on the needs, availability, and cost.
Assessing the numbers
Then, some kind of HRV biofeedback app is required to comb through the data with sophisticated mathematical algorithms and present the user with results that are sometimes accompanied by conclusions and advice.
As with the hardware, the software is presented abundantly on numerous app marketplaces. Consequently, the threat of stepping into such an industry can feel like a sword of Damocles. It is rationally correct to suggest checking out Welltory as your first heart rate variability app in these circumstances.
The reason is as follows – Welltory is widely recognized as one of the most user-friendly apps on the market that also features a sleep analysis app and meditation tracker for its users. As the icing on the cake, with Welltory, the readings can be taken even with your smartphone’s camera (though the quality of readings is objectively worse than those of specialized devices), and Welltory follows a Freemium business model – its beginners’ functionality is free.
Anyway, bear in mind – once you feel yourself confident enough, it is prudent to explore the market, finding the ideal fit for you – though there is quite a chance that you will remain by Welltory, enamored by its quality, style, and usefulness.
What is good heart rate variability?
Unfortunately, HRV does not conform to the “one size fits all” science. There is not an ideal standard. For example, the normal value of the SDNN measure is considered to be 141±39 ms – and note the sheer extent of standard deviation. Additionally, the rule of thumb – “higher is better” – exists.
Indeed, high readings of HRV generally indicate the prevalence of the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system over the sympathetic. Yet, the ideal is unique for each human being and can be assessed during times of peace and stresslessness. The app’s algorithms will take care of that.
How to improve Heart Rate Variability?
Since good heart rate variability is a direct outcome of a healthy lifestyle devoid of stress, the tips for HRV improvement are relatively trivial and obvious. In a nutshell, HRV is increased by leading a more healthy life. It includes, for example, getting more quality sleep time. Besides, “Sleep” is undoubtedly among the positive words that start with S. It is a physiological need, but valuable leisure time has a maximum positive effect on your well-being. Other preferred elements of a healthy routine are:
- always staying well-nourished and hydrated;
- regular exercise;
- avoiding bad habits, especially those associated with nasty substances.
Moreover, it is wise to empirically avoid the situations and encounters that are stressful for you since the primary function of stress is to tone up the sympathetic branch of the nervous system, decreasing HRV.
The related positive words
Among those positive words that start with H, “Heart” obviously makes a decent stand, being the integral part of the body that traditionally symbolizes life and love – both extremely positive words as well. This article also showed how intrinsically essential heart readings are to your health and well-being. “Harmony”, “Happiness”, “Health” are no less positive and cannot exist without a healthy heart, mind, and body.
Heart rate variability is a handy tool and an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, especially in contemporary cities. It provides a great insight into the health status of a person and suggests improvements.
However, HRV measurements and apps cannot replace an actual physician’s consultation, his sheer weight of experience, and knowledge about your body. Thus, should you feel unwell, even if any app shows you are fine, you should not hesitate to contact your doctor and let him solve it for you?