In our day-to-day lives, stress is a common constant. Whether it is work, family, finances, relationships, or friendships, stress throws you off balance. While stress is unavoidable, there are ways you can better manage stress so you can move past it and thrive. A stress relief technique that is not talked about much but is very effective in stress management is biofeedback.
If you are unfamiliar with the concept, this article will discuss biofeedback techniques for stress. Is stress ruining your life? Are you in recovery and stress is making you vulnerable to relapse? The Berman Center is a renowned outpatient rehab center with a proven track record of success. Our evidence-based outpatient treatment programs are specifically designed for teens and adults alike. Our dedicated team of professionals will work with you to develop the tools you need to conquer whatever life throws at you.
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What Is Biofeedback?
In a discussion about biofeedback techniques for stress, you may be asking what biofeedback is exactly. You may have heard the term before, but you may not know what it entails. In simple terms, biofeedback is a mind-body technique that you can use to control important body functions such as breathing, heart rate, and muscle responses.
Whether you realize it or not, your body changes when you encounter stress. When encountering a stressful situation, your heart rate increases, your breathing becomes shallower, and your muscles tense. With biofeedback techniques, you are better able to make changes to your body to deal with your stress.
The most common biofeedback technique involves the use of electrical sensors that are placed on the skin. Under the supervision of a licensed medical practitioner, these electrodes are sent to a monitoring box. The data is then analyzed to determine why the body involuntarily responds to stressors in your environment. Once the root causes are discovered, therapists can help you find healthy ways to reduce stress and feel better.
Different Types of Biofeedback
There are different types of biofeedback protocols that practitioners can utilize. Mayo Clinic has outlined the most common found below:
- Breathing-During breathing biofeedback, bands are placed around your stomach and chest. Sensors on the bands check your breathing rate and patterns. You can control your breathing and feel better.
- Brain Waves-During this type of biofeedback, an electroencephalograph (EEG) uses scalp pads to monitor your brain waves. With biofeedback training, you can see a change in the brain waves that improve your health.
- Heart Rate-In this type of biofeedback, pads are placed on your chest, lower trunk or wrists. These pads are connected to an electrocardiogram (ECG) that measures your heart rate and how your heart rate changes. A sensor also can be placed on your finger to measure your heart rate. When you are relaxed, your heart rate may decrease.
- Muscle Activity-A machine called an electromyograph (EMG) uses sensors to measure muscle tightening. This helps make you aware of muscle tension so you can take steps to control it.
What Biofeedback Techniques For Stress Management Can You Do At Home?
Once you learn about biofeedback and work with licensed practitioners, there are ways you can incorporate stress-reduction biofeedback techniques at home. There is an increasing number of biofeedback machines and programs that are being marketed for use in the home. These include interactive programs and mobile devices.
Besides machines, there are simple techniques you can use at home to better understand your body’s reaction to stress and calm down to relieve stress. These include mindful breathing where you find a quiet spot, sit upright, and focus on the inhalation and exhalation of your breath. As thoughts enter your mind, simply accept those thoughts for what they are and let them pass.
You can also utilize relaxation techniques such as guided imagery where you visualize calm serene scenes and objects when stress responses arise. You can also perform mindful meditation as well as yoga. Additionally, you can use progressive muscle tension exercises for all parts of your body. To perform this technique, you start with the feet and place tension on your toes and the balls of your foot. You then move to the legs, buttocks, hands, arms, and neck apply tension then release.
Conquer Stress With Help From The Berman Center
Unresolved stress has devastating impacts on your physical and mental health. If stress is starting to take over your life, The Berman Center can help. We offer evidence-based outpatient programs that are tailored to meet your specific needs. Our Partial Hospitalization Program in Atlanta will help you learn the healthy coping skills and techniques needed to look and feel your best. Become strong and confident with the help of The Berman Center. Call us today to learn more about our outpatient mental health center in Atlanta.