Shrieking Freakback

I am a big believer in real time data and have arrayed my devices so they are feeding me data accordingly. If you have been following my progress I have made Upset reactions my main area of study, so I always try to get a real time ping if I have moved into an Upset state. As I write this Heartmath Pro is reading my coherence and will alert me if I enter an Upset state. Once the Upset is triggered I log what I am thinking. As I go on my run I have the Sweetwater Heart Rate Variability going on my iPod touch and it is reading from the Mio wrist band. When I wait a few minutes for my wife to run into the store I pull out my Breathe Sync to bring my respiration down and at a Poised pace. So I am often seeing all of this in real time.

One thing I have observed is a phenomenon I call “Freakback.” When I see the meter go to red I immediately want to fix it, which is an Upset reaction in and of itself. The longer I am in an Upset state the more Upset I get because the purpose of my studies eventually is to reduce the time of recovery from Upsets. So like a microphone held too close to a speaker that causes a terrible shriek, if my Freakback response is not managed I have the ironic result of the stress measurement device causing me a huge amount of stress. On a couple of occasions I have ended up really angry at a piece of plastic.

What I have done to counter this is create an indirect response to a real time indication that engages my attention immediately. I have a breath pacing app on my Android phone and when I have an Upset indicator I ignore it and turn to the breath pacer, ensuring I go through several cycles. I bring my attention back to the task when I am back to a Poised state. To ensure I do not try and “fix” each Upset I created a measure of total time in upset over the course of an hour (or five). That way like a game of golf one bad hole does not ruin the whole game. This keeps the Freakback’s to a minimum and ends up for more effective mind training.

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