Heart Rate Variability [HRV]: A Brief Guide

by | Jul 3, 2023 | Psychologist


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Heart Rate Variability (HRV) represents the resilience and balance of one’s autonomic nervous system – a window into stress management and well-being. HRV is measured in time domain metrics, such as the time in-between heart beats. It is also measured in frequency domain metrics, which identify ones state of arousal – sympathetic (fight or flight) vs parasympathetic (rest/digest) vs resonance (autonomic balance). These types of variations are inconspicuous and the fluctuations in HRVcannot be detected without special biofeedback equipment at HRV NYC.

Poor, or low, HRV can show the presence of many general health issues, such as depression and anxiety, heart conditions, headaches/migraines and poor stress management.

How Exactly Does HRV Work?

HRV, derived from heart rate measures, fluctuates throughout the day depending on a person’s state of arousal, emotional state, and experiences. Higher stress states lead to elevated sympathetic arousal – the experience of being in a state of fight or flight. When someone becomes stuck in this state of arousal, increased stress and anxiety can be experienced. Fatigue can also occur over the long term and being unable to shift out of sympathetic dominance.

A healthy autonomic nervous system results in HRV shifts, letting go of over arousal and allowing someone to return to their healthy baseline more quickly.

HRV NYC offers insight and training into one’s autonomic arousal and how to improve this dynamic through respiration and cognitive techniques to manage stress, emotions and cognitive performance.

Whether you’re stressed, calm, asleep, or awake, the heart must react to all the changes which occur in your surroundings and life.

One Last Note

Having abnormal HRV does not mean that it will lead to a medical emergency, but it will surely show signs of heart or health-related problems. You can speak to Dr. Leah Lagos to gain information on HRV in NYC.

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