How to Master Your Nervous System: HRV, Breathwork, and Virtual Reality

May 11, 2022
How to Master Your Nervous System: HRV, Breathwork, and Virtual Reality

Click below to watch “How to Master Your Nervous System: HRV, Breathwork, and Virtual Reality”, where Flowly’s Founder and CEO Celine Tien shares tools and science you can use to manage stress, anxiety, or even chronic pain.

Feel free to take your own notes during the workshop, or bookmark the key takeaways below.

Nervous System Basics:

  • The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is a key component of your overall nervous system. It controls all the unconscious bodily reactions you experience like heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and even sexual arousal.

          You can typically think of the Autonomic Nervous System in two parts:

          The Sympathetic System —> “fight or flight” mode

          The Parasympathetic System —> “rest and recovery” mode

  • Your body turns on “fight or flight mode” when there is a threat, whether the threat is physical or mental.

Physical threats are like bacteria, parasites, tigers, or even people we think are dangerous.

Mental threats are like memories, negative thoughts, insecurities, or cognitive distortions.

  • You can “escape” both threats by turning on your parasympathetic nervous system (your “rest and digest” mode).

  • The vagus nerve is the key to turning on this parasympathetic nervous system.

  • You can increase the strength of your vagus nerve, known as increasing your vagal tone, in order to become better able to activate your parasympathetic system.

Some of the many ways to increase vagal tone include massage, taking omega-3 supplements, cold or heat therapy, exercise like yoga and tai-chi, intermittent fasting, and even humming.

One of the most effective ways to increase vagal tone is to increase your heart rate variability.

  • Heart rate variability (known as HRV) is the variance in time between your heart beats. When you increase your HRV, you are exercising your cardiac vagal tone which then positively impacts the rest of your parasympathetic system.

          You can increase your HRV by consistently utilizing resonant frequency breathing.

Easy Actions to Try:

  1. Expose your eyes to sunlight within the first 20 minutes of waking up for 1-5 minutes.
  2. Inhale and exhale through your nose- it’s made for it!
  3. Wait 90 minutes after waking up to ingest caffeine in order to balance your cortisol levels.
  4. Begin your day with light stretching or yoga for even five minutes.
  5. Develop a ritual that incorporates resonant frequency breathing, such as Flowly.

Have Any Questions?

Reach out to our team at to connect with our health coach!

This is just the first in a series of workshops we will be hosting. Be sure to check out our other blog posts for science, health tips, and more.

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