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  • The Heart Lock-In Technique

    Welcome to Mental Fitness Fridays. I’m Hans Skulstad.

    In past episodes, I’ve talked about the Inner BalanceTM app, which trains you to improve your heart rate variability. The app gives you live feedback about the consistency of your HRV. 

    I have found both the app and sensor to be really helpful for me and the athletes I train. But you actually don’t need the app for it to help you. Instead, you can use the breathing techniques they developed.

    A few of my favorites are the Heart-Focused Breathing and Heart Lock-In Technique. 

    Before you start, I want you to make two lists:

    1. 10 times you have felt grateful, love or appreciation for someone or something
    2. 20-30 people who love or care for you

    You may want to use the breath app from your Apple Watch, if you have one. 

    Now, let’s practice. 

    Settle back quietly and comfortably. Take a really deep breath. Fill your lungs and then hold it for a moment — breathing in calm and breathing out tension. 

    When you’re ready, I want you to focus your breathing on the area of your heart or your chest. Visualize your breath going in and out of your heart or chest area. Visualize yourself breathing through the area of your heart. Breathe a little deeper than normal. 

    Then, get yourself into a slow, comfortable rhythm. You may want to try taking just six breaths in a minute.

    When you’re ready, I want you to make an emotional shift using mental imagery. Think about something that you love, appreciate, or are grateful for. You may want to use those 10 moments.

    After 30 to 60 seconds, think about your 20 people. Direct your focus to sharing those feelings with them. 

    If you closed your eyes, you can open them and return to your day. 

    Feel free to adapt this for yourself. You can use it however you want. 

    Let’s change the conversation. Talk and learn about mental fitness.

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