The Benefits of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Training



Heart in a body with HRV waves

Self Regulation Series

What is HRV Training?

HRV is the variation in intervals between consecutive heartbeats averaged over time.  We all want to have a high HRV because it is indicative of our nervous system’s ability to respond and adapt to stress.  For this reason, children who experience anxiety or highly emotional responses in school may benefit from knowing how to manage their HRV with breathing exercises.  

Further, the scientists at HeartMath remind us that the heart sends information to the brain constantly. That means that during times of negative emotions, the brain is dysregulated because the heart is dysregulated. When that occurs, students struggle to “think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions.”  

In addition to a clearer mind that’s ready to focus on school work, students who use HRV training to self regulate can expect the following benefits:

  • Lessened anxiety
  • Increased attention
  • Minimizing headaches
  • Improved blood pressure
  • More balanced stress hormones
  • Healthier immune systems

How Can We Use This at School?

Like many self-regulation strategies, the benefits of HRV are most easily available to students in school after they learn how to access them at home.  Teachers can then give students cues to activate their strategies at planned break times or in response to classroom stimuli.  

HRV biofeedback training in which children – or adults! – use a sensor paired with computer feedback about their HRV data to regulate their HRV is much simpler to do than it is to explain!  A sensor on the earlobe and intuitive software that work on your phone or computer make this a fantastic form of biofeedback to do at home.  HeartMath* makes it easy to get yourself set up, but we’d be happy to help you and to work with your child’s school so that they can get the benefits of self-regulation during their school day.  Let us know that you’re ready to start!  

*Please note that the Learning Link is not affiliated with and does not receive any compensation from HeartMath or any other business

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