Written by: Claire Elmes, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Have you ever felt extremely stressed or anxious but weren’t sure what was triggering it? Have you started to have physical symptoms that you can’t explain? Do you wish there was a way to monitor your stress so that you can keep performing in everyday activities?
Biofeedback can be a great way to get data on your body’s responses as it goes through different levels of stress and enters ‘fight’ or ‘flight mode.
So how can we use Biofeedback to help improve our physical and mental health?
1. Give us accurate data
Biofeedback is the process of getting data to find out when our body enters ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ mode with stress levels. It monitors when the body moves between the sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system, so that the individual can use this information to aid their recovery from stress and anxiety.
It uses biofeedback to create awareness of physical symptoms of stress and anxiety. These devices look at your heart rate, body temperature and muscle tension to identify when our bodies are at an optimum stress level, and how long it takes us to recover from stress.
2. We can implement a personalised support plan
Do you feel like you do everything right but don’t get the results? People often come to me saying that they do yoga, mindfulness everything we wellness professionals helpfully advise but it doesnt work! Why? because it is highly likely they are in their stress zones too long and their body isn’t able to recover in time. Some people recover within 30 minutes from a stress inducing event some take over 2 hours, some are permanently in a state of fight or flight! By using a bespoke device attached to us for a few days we can obtain data in real time about what is happening in the week. The data collected will show you when you are in your stress and recovery zones and how long it takes you to recover (you will be surprised at the results!). This will enable a qualified practitioner to create a personalised plan for when you become overwhelmed or stressed that is effective in calming your body down. For some individuals, it will identify regular activities in the day that are more stress-provoking, such as a stressful meeting at work so that you can schedule some stress-relieving activities after the event to get you back to your optimum range so that you can continue with work and daily life activities.
For example, for me I know the school run in the mornings can be really stressful and the data shows this so going straight from the school run to work can be a disaster, so instead I might go for a walk or take my dog out so that it gives my body a break to calm down and recover.
This data will allow individuals to understand the factors that affect their sleep such as alcohol and caffeine (I was shocked by how just a few extra cups of coffee made a difference!) and how to enhance the quality of their sleep so that their body can use the time to recover from the stresses of the day, as well as discover if you are getting enough physical activity and learn to exercise according to your fitness level for the optimum impact.
This can be particularly helpful for working professionals who may be struggling to balance the factors in their life, and whose sleep and difficulty recovering from stressful situations may be impact their productivity at work.
3. Helps companies/groups know wellbeing trends for their team.
We can also use biofeedback to help understand the trends within company, such as issues with sleep, stress or recovery. This can be a great tool for teams to use to identify any common causes of stress within the workday and enable the correct support to be put into place for employees within the workplace.
For example, if sleep is a common problem within your employees, it might be useful to get some further resources or support in for the team such as a webinar, or some resources on how to calm your body before bed so that you are in ‘recovery’ mode.
HR and company owners get a GDPR complaint overview so it is easy to spot whether there are issues in specific departments or team culture as a whole.
If you would like to find out more about the biofeedback devices and how they can help you please visit my website and book a discovery call.
Claire Elmes, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Claire Elmes is the founder of Inspire You and is passionate about work-life balance. Having experienced burnout, Claire is dedicated to empowering people to work through stress and anxiety, traumatic life events, shift mindset, regulate emotions, gain clarity, and develop a stable routine. Through coaching and therapeutic techniques, Claire helps people tap into their potential and transform their lives for the better. Since Covid 19, Claire has recognized many companies are changing how they work and is supporting them to develop innovative well-being strategies to prevent staff burnout and help teams thrive, not survive. Claire provides companies with regular well-being support on a wide variety of topics such as: "How to avoid burnout", "How to make time in your week for what matters", "How to stop overthinking", "How to improve sleep", " How to manage imposter syndrome," "How to be the best version of you", to name just a few. Claire's mission is to empower the emotional well-being of staff and bring the fun back into work life.