Sometimes it's really hard to be a therapist, because we take on a lot of people's problems. And why that's a issue sometimes is our brains are made of our prefrontal cortex, which is the logical rational part of our mind. And our limbic system, our brain stem where our amygdala is. And the that part of the brain is where trauma is held, and it's, also the fight flight freeze response.
Now, that's a lot to say, but really why it makes being a therapist difficult. And why we are trained so much is because. We have to learn how to control our limbic system at the moment when we're being told some very traumatic things, our brains, poor little amygdala are very primitive. They don't understand that that thing is not happening to me. They think that that is happening to me and therefore, bam it's going to put me into a fight flight freeze response and shoot adrenaline and cortisol to my body as I'm listening to my client, tell me something very traumatic and upsetting.
So it is my job as a therapist to. Know when I'm in my amygdala and a really quick way to do that is to know your heart rate. I wear a Fitbit every time I'm with a client. I look down at my Fitbit all the time because I want to make sure that I'm above 85 or sorry, below 85 beats per minute.
If I'm at or above 85 beats per minute, just sitting here, listening I'm in my amygdala, I'm in fight flight, freeze your heart rate increases to give you more blood to fight or flee, a situation, that's. Dr, that's threatening. So when I'm with my. Clients if my heart rate starts going up really quick in my own way, I do my skills or my things that I do to get my heart rate back down. And one thing that really works are slow nose breaths. And in fact, I call it an optimal breath, it's, five in hold for five and out for six. And I do that for three rounds you'll, literally, see your heart rate drop ten, or maybe even twenty.
I've seen even 30 beats per minute by doing just three rounds of five, six, no nose, breathing. It tells your brain that. You're no longer in danger, because when you're in danger, you're, not nose, breathing, you're mouth, breathing, breathing you're, either running away or you're fighting. But when your nose breathing, it tells your brain very, very fast, hey, I'm, not in danger. Everything is okay, calm down get back to my prefrontal cortex here.
So I just think that that is so cool and so awesome. I wish they would teach that in like first grade for kids to know when they're in their amygdala, when they're in that fight flight. Freeze state of mind so that they can quickly de-escalate the situation and get back to rational, calm state of mind that's, the tip for today.