Biofeedback: A Modality to Harness Superpower Mindfulness

What Is Biofeedback?

If you could chose to have one superpower what would it be?

You might say, being able to fly, being in more than one place at the same time, reading other people’s minds, etc.  They are all amazing but my response would be more awareness. YES, awareness!!!

Any skill that you would like to learn and master, any change that you would like to implement in your life or any challenge you would like to successfully meet requires that you learn to develop self-awareness.  And, biofeedback can be the agent that can help you with developing that superpower!!!

Biofeedback is the process of becoming awareof your physiological responses such as muscle tension, temperature changes, sweat, respiratory rate and rhythm and heart rate and rhythm.  Biofeedback can be done using instruments that amplify and measure these signals or without the use of instruments.

How Would Developing Awareness Help You?

Without having an awareness of your baseline, you would not be able to make effective and sustainable change in most areas of life.  Biofeedback therapy allows you to understand your baseline and will teach you about the interconnectedness of your mind and body.  Therefore, you can use your awareness of your physiology to change your psychology and state of being.  This process can ultimately help you to sustainably change your responses to life’s stressors.  Self-awareness is a requirement in achieving self-regulation — you will be better in charge of yourself and are able to maintain your inner composure when challenges arise.

What Is Mindfulness?

Many of you might have heard about mindfulness and mindfulness practices.  However, if you haven’t lets take a minute to explain what it is.  Mindfulness approaches invite you to explore your inner landscape and develop self-awareness through having mind disciplineand being present.  Mindfulness is noted by Guy Armstrong as “Knowing what you are experiencing while you are experiencing it.”  Jon Kabat-Zinn expressed that “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-jugmentally.”

Non-judgment refers to self-judgment.  Instead of internally evaluating and judging each and every one of your experiences as good or bad, you can learn to simply be an observer.

Another important aspect of mindfulness practice is the concept of acceptance.  Now, you might be thinking to yourself that if you accept yourself or your current situation that you will not change it.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  Acceptance and inaction are not the same— in fact it’s about accepting what isso you can act to change what will be.

So, let’s connect the dots now!  As part of this process of using biofeedback techniques and mindfulness approaches you will develop self-awareness and then begin to learn to accept so that you can take steps to change what needs to be changed and be more at ease and potentially develop a different perspective around the things that you can not change (yet).  Dr. Inna Khazan stated it beautifully “Mindfulness allows people to become truly aware of the present moment, to tell the difference between what they can and can not change, and then focus their attention on the things they can change.”

It’s totally alright if concepts such as “the nonjudgmental observer” and “acceptance” sound a bit vague and confusing to you.  We will discuss them more in the future.

How Are Biofeedback And Mindfulness Connected?

Biofeedback therapy and mindfulness practices have a very synergistic relationship.  Mindfulness brings about the discipline of being present in life in order to develop inner awareness — and biofeedback modalities can help to deepen and enhance your awareness and give you a basis upon which shifts and improvements can be made.

In the next biofeedback article, you will learn about how biofeedback and mindfulness practices can help with brain fog and enhancing cognition.  Which one of us can claim that we do not want more brain power??  So, STAY TUNED!!!

Khazan, Inna, Z.  The Clinical Handbook of Biofeedback: A Step-by-Step Guide for Training and Practice with Mindfulness.  West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
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