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Optimal Breathing for Stress Management and Improved Performance for University Students UUCCC Conference Park City, UT October 28, 2011 Barbara Morrell,

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Presentation on theme: "Optimal Breathing for Stress Management and Improved Performance for University Students UUCCC Conference Park City, UT October 28, 2011 Barbara Morrell,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Optimal Breathing for Stress Management and Improved Performance for University Students UUCCC Conference Park City, UT October 28, 2011 Barbara Morrell, PhD, Maureen Rice, PhD, Dianne Nielsen, PhD, Loren Brown Brigham Young University {

2 Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Cutting edge of biofeedback – Interactive Programs: Need less guidance to use – Less training of counselors to use effectively HRV Interactive BiofeedbackPrograms: – emWave Destop: Heart Math--Optimal Breathing – Dual Drive: runs on emWave or Relaxing Rhythms – Relaxing Rhythms: Wild Divine

3 Our Stress Response and Relaxation Response Stress Management is like learning to drive. Our Stress Response, the Sympathetic branch (SNS) of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), is like a gas pedal revving up our mind & body in reaction to physical danger or stress Our Relaxation Response, the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS), is like a brake which calms us down when we’re speeding out of control from stress

4 Activating our Relaxation Response Our gas pedal is automatic, often going from 0 to 60 in an instant in response to stress. Stress Management involves – Training ourselves to put on the brake (PSNS), as needed, just as in driving a car – Deep relaxation/meditation: Bringing the car to a stop – “Tapping” the brake proactively or in response to stress throughout the day

5 Breathing as a Brake For each of us there is an optimal number of breaths per minute (BPM) between 4.5 and 7 BPM which creates Autonomic Balance by synchronizing our Sympathetic Nervous System (gas pedal) and Parasympathetic Nervous System (brake) Autonomic Balance helps us calm down, achieve optimal performance, and health We can use the emWave Desktop biofeedback program to estimate our individual Optimal BPM Practicing Optimal Breathing can – Help us learn to brake on demand (activate the relaxation response) – Over time increase Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

6 Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Beat to beat changes in Heart Rate (HR) – HR should speed up on inhalation and slow down on exhalation HRV is decreased by shallow, fast breathing and negative thoughts and emotions (disordered and irregular rhythm) HRV training increases Vagal tone and the Baroreflex, which are involved in the ability of the heart to respond to stress

7 Why Emphasize Heart Rate Variability and Optimal Breathing? Greater impact on heart health and wellness than relaxation alone HRV and Health – High HRV= heart health – Low HRV = greatest predictor of mortality – Also associated with SIDS in infants

8 emWave Desktop Can be used with EZ-Air Breath Pacer to determine Optimal BPM Techniques to help create an optimal state in which the heart, mind and emotions are operating in-sync and balanced. Games (quite juvenile)

9 Dual Drive: Versions to run with emWave or Relaxing Rhythms Challenging racing or simple non-game graph training. Fun off-road racing. Drive 7cars through 9 detailed racetracks. Power your engine, clear the dark fog and win by relaxing and feeling good.

10 Relaxing Rhythms: Formerly Wild Divine Uses HRV and GSR biofeedback A multi-dimensional approach that includes o Guided breathing and meditation exercises o Games you win by being in meditative state

11 EZ-Air Breath Pacer Free for 30 Days $20 for two computers

12 Optimal Breathing Resources Optimal BPM Breath-Sync music cd: – Inhale as notes go higher and exhale as they go (or vice versa). – You can add pauses by stopping before it reaches the highest or lowest note. EZ-air computer breath pacer: Free for 30 days (no payment information up front) – – Set the exhalation longer than the inhalation, for optimum benefit Smart phone apps: – Android Free app download html – iPhone Free app Breathe to the clock or metronome: – 6.0 BPM: inhale on even numbers, exhale on odd numbers

13 Handout Designs Easy to read tabs and text boxes help students learn more about relaxation techniques. Links to other websites, podcasts, and YouTube videos offer additional information. Coming Soon to our Website:

14 8 Relaxation Techniques

15 Additional Stress Management Skills / Tips


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