Avoiding Burnout with Heart Rate Variability Training

By Werner Absenger Chef de Cuisine, Cygnus 27 at Amway Grand Plaza | June 29, 2014

If you read any of my previous articles, you already know that job stress negatively affects just about any division and department of your operation. So in order to tackle the problem of burnout, employee turnover, and increasing health care costs it make sense to teach your employees how to manage stress more effectively, and thus become more resilient to stress.

Today we will explore a little of the science behind Heart Rate Variability (HRV). You will learn how to train your heart to respond better to stress, allowing you to become more resilient to stress.

The Heart

Ever since the dawn of humans, the heart is regarded as a source of emotion, courage, and wisdom. We now have very good evidence that negative emotions bring increased disorder to the heart's rhythm and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). This wreaks havoc in the rest of the body if left unchecked (McCraty, Atkinson, & Tomasino, 2001).

Positive emotions have been shown to increase harmony and coherence in heart rhythms, balancing the nervous systems. The bottom line for health: Disharmony in the nervous system taxes the entire body because it creates inefficiencies, stressing the heart and other organ systems. Creating harmonious rhythms, on the other hand, leads to efficiency, allowing the body's systems run optimally (McCraty et al., 2001).

Heart-Rate Variability (HRV)

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