One of the perks of working at Mind Alive Inc. is that there is technology all over the place that I can use while doing my job. Most days as soon as I get to work, I run a 100 Hz CES session. I have been working here for 8 years now so I’ve been able to test out every technology and session. This one helps me feel Zen and calm, so I obviously like it. I find that after I complete the session, I can prioritize what I want or need to do that day instead of having twenty thoughts bombarding me all at once. This photo taken of me quite a few years ago has the yellow and blue earclips instead of the current black and red ones we use now.
Today, though, it is cold here in Edmonton today at -14 C (6.8 F) and it is rather icy outside, and I am missing my frequent summer habit of taking a walk outside to enjoy the sun during lunch. So, I decided to run an Audio-Visual Entrainment (otherwise known as AVE) session with a Spectrum eyeset along with the DAVID Breathe PC app and visualize sunny beaches from trips I’ve taken to Mexico and Costa Rica.
I simply plugged the USB cord into my computer monitor and plugged the other end into the Spectrum eyeset. I already have the DAVID Breathe app in the corner of my monitor screen. If you don’t have it, you can download it free from the Microsoft Store. http://mindalive.com/index.cfm/store/david-breathe/ I dragged and dropped a photo I took once of the ocean and chose the circle shape to use with it to aid my visualization.
You can choose either a circle, heart or happy face shape and put a photo in the centre. I like looking at flowers, so I dropped in a photo of a sunflower stepping stone I made once on a different day. You can keep the app open in the corner of your desktop screen and use it to slow your breathing down whenever you find the need. To change your photo, you just click on the trash can symbol on the bottom right hand corner of the app and then drag and drop a new one over the shape. You can also just close the app and open it whenever you like. I have mine set to run at start-up, so it reminds me that it is there for me to use.
I chose a 4.25 second “breathe in” length and a 5.75 second “breathe” out length. I am working towards Dave’s recommended HRV target of a 10-second breathing cycle with 4 seconds breathing in and 6 seconds breathing out.
I decided to choose a Healthy Alpha AVE session and decided that 15 minutes seemed about right. I wanted the colors to be different, so it would be really obvious to me when I was supposed to change from breathing in to breathing out. I chose a bright hot pink for my “breathe in” colors and then teal and lime green for my “breathe out” colors. With my eyes closed, these are very noticeable to me. The colors start out quite faint and intensify as the end of the "breathe in" time comes and then the "breathe out" colors are quite intense and then fade as one moves toward the end of the "breathe out" time.
I plugged in my headphones and noticed that the pulsing tones increase and fade along with the breathe in and out colors. I also put on an ocean waves video to play in the background to get me in the mood for visualizing fun days spent on beaches.
The DAVID Breathe PC app places a counter in the middle of the shape when the AVE session is going to start and then counts down. I knew the session was over when the lights stopped flashing.
I have to say I do feel refreshed and feel as though I spent those 15 minutes well. Definitely nailed mindfulness today.