One metaphor every sports fan is familiar with and has used often, is “choking” when referring to a player who is overwhelmed by the stress of the moment and makes an error at a critical point in the game. In more formal circles this is referred to as stress-related performance failure. Because of the unprecedented levels of anxiety and stress of life in this, the digital age, this phenomenon is getting increasing attention in business circles and all other facets of life. The level of stress is at record levels and tragically an increasing number are finding themselves unable to cope without the use of stimulants or other health destroying substances.


My two guests today are Dr. Dianna Purvis-Jaffin and Dr. Jennifer Howland of the esteemed Brain Performance Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr Purvis-Jaffin is Director of Programs and Strategy at the Institute and Dr Howland is Director of Stress Solutions. They are doing groundbreaking work at the institute in a number of areas, and we will explore this particular one in today’s program. They are leading an initiative to study, document and provide practical solutions for those who are struggling to cope with the demands of their jobs and still perform at a high level without resorting to health destroying substances.


In this session we will learn:

–When our bodies, brains, and hearts are functioning in sync with one another, we not only perform at our best, but we have the ability bounce back from stressors that arise.

–About heart rate variability, which is a measurement of how “in sync” our bodily systems are, and is an important indicator of health, fitness, and stress resilience.

–How this marker of physiological resilience and behavioral flexibility reflects our ability to adapt effectively to stress and environmental demands.”
–How HRV (Heart Rate Variability) training has been shown to be beneficial in a wide variety of individuals, including professionals, students, and those looking to manage stress.

–the strong evidence of effectiveness within high-stress group environments, such as military, law enforcement, and corporations.

–how the adoption and continual practice, of the evidence-based techniques provided in HRV training can be utilized to healthfully rewire emotionally-influenced neural patterns that support information processing, decision-making, and general flourishing.

Any business executive, salesperson, public speaker, attorney knows the normal anxiety felt when going into a high stakes meeting or negotiation. It becomes debilitating when it is intense enough to create a “panic attack” type of reaction. Dawn Scott, the Edward R. Murrow and Emmy Award winning CBS lead news anchor in Little Rock, Arkansas was profiled in my newly-released book, Yoga on the Yellow Brick Road, Exiting the A.S.A.P. Lane, Calm Your Mind. She talks about feeling oncoming panic attacks just before going on the air, and finally discovering that a practice of yoga and meditation helped her finally conquer this. The practice of mindfulness has moved more and more into the mainstream and is being used in a number of the highest stress professions, including the elite forces in the military, fire and police along with many championship professional sports teams.

Check out this episode!