Stress is a leading cause of chronic diseases and menstrual disharmonies such as PMS, irregular or painful periods. Knowing this fact, I’ve made an effort to monitor my stress level on a daily basis. And one of my goals has been to reduce stress and be more calm and relaxed throughout the day.
In the process I accidently uncovered a simple and instant way to gauge my stress level at any given moment…
One day, I felt a rush of heat rising up in my body, my heart pounding, muscles tensing up – typical signs of stress for me. I was curious how fast my heart was actually beating, so I took out a timer and began to count the beats. Over 100 per minute! I was shocked by this discovery.
So I began an experiment to check my heart rate at various time of the day, from the moment I wake up, through the busy productive working hours, to the relaxing time in the evening. My heart rate can range anywhere between 62 to over 80 per minute.
A pattern began to emerge. My stress level is directly related to my heart rate. My resting heart rate is 62 per minute. But when I’m under stress, my heart rate can go up to 80-100 per minute.
This little discovery was very enlightening for me. When I notice stress beginning to build up inside me, I now know that my heart is racing and that I’m putting undue stress on my already hardworking and precious heart.
This awareness reminds me to slow down, take a few deep breaths, have a cup of tea, or get up and stretch for a few minutes. And these simple things have helped me release stress and bring my heart rate back to the normal level.
This is an instant biofeedback mechanism anyone can do to manage stress more effectively – and help insure stress doesn’t build up and cause negative consequences on your mental and physical wellbeing.
Check it out for yourself. What’s your resting heart rate? And what is your heart rate when you experience various degrees of stress? You can use a timer or a heart rate monitor to observe your heart rates at various times of the day.
I hope you find this simple technique helpful in helping you reduce stress and maintain a calmer mood, day in and day out, as it does for me.