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Classical conditioning plays a pivotal role in shaping our responses to stimuli and can be an extremely useful tool to get the most out of your meditation practice. In this post, we’ll explore the core components of classical conditioning as well as its applications in neurofeedback meditation.


What is Classical Conditioning?

Classical conditioning explores how associations between stimuli can shape behavior by pairing a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus to create a learned response. 


The most widely recognized example of classical conditioning is Pavlov’s experiment with dogs, where the ringing of a bell (neutral stimulus) became associated with food (unconditioned stimulus), eventually causing the dogs to salivate at the sound of the bell alone (learned response). 


This process highlights the power of environmental cues in influencing behavior. Classical conditioning is not only a key element in understanding reflexes and automatic responses but also has broad applications in areas like meditation, education, therapy, and even marketing, where learned associations can be leveraged to modify or predict behavior.


Key Terms to Remember


Unconditioned Response (UCR):

The unconditioned response is the natural reaction to an unconditioned stimulus. It’s an automatic, instinctual response. 


Consider the calming effect of nature sounds or the soothing ambiance of a meditation space – these are unconditioned responses that can be harnessed in classical conditioning.


Conditioned Response (CR):

When the conditioned stimulus consistently precedes the unconditioned stimulus, the neutral stimulus becomes associated with the unconditioned response. This learned response is the conditioned response. 


In the context of meditation, it could be achieving a state of deep relaxation, lower levels of stress and anxiety, or heightened focus in response to a specific cue.


Conditioned Stimulus (CS):

Classical conditioning starts with a neutral stimulus that becomes associated with a meaningful event or stimulus. This neutral stimulus transforms into a conditioned stimulus, capable of triggering a response. 


In the world of meditation and neurofeedback, this could be a visual cue, sound, or even a sensation.


Examples of Classic Conditioning

Classical conditioning occurs whenever you’ve begun to associate a neutral stimulus with a particular response. So, for example:


Taste Aversion:

After eating a specific type of food and later experiencing nausea, an individual may develop an aversion to that particular food due to the association with feeling sick.


Elevator Anxiety:

If someone experiences anxiety during a power outage in an elevator, they may later feel anxious in any elevator, even when the power is functioning normally.


Relaxing Aromas:

Imagine using a specific scent every time you meditate. Initially, the scent might not have any particular effect, but as you consistently pair it with deeply relaxing meditation experiences, eventually, the scent alone could trigger a relaxed meditative state .


Conditioning with Meditation & Neurofeedback

Healium builds upon the foundational principles of conditioning to provide an innovative way to meditate, utilizing operant conditioning rather than classical conditioning.  


By using biofeedback devices that monitor heartrate and brainwaves in real-time, Healium grants users agency over their mental states as they experience a virtual reality meditation.


Whenever your biofeedback data falls out of ideal range, like when your mind drifts or you become anxious, visual cues within the experience alert and guide you back to a relaxed, meditative state. 


Unlock the full potential of your mind through conditioning and the immersive experience of neurofeedback meditation. 



To learn more about how Healium works watch the video below!

About the Author

Sarah Hill, a former interactive TV news journalist at NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates in Missouri, gained recognition for pioneering interactive news broadcasting using Google Hangouts. She is now the CEO of Healium, the world’s first biometrically powered VR/AR channel, helping those with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and other struggles through biofeedback storytelling. With patents, clinical validation, and over seven million views, she has reshaped the landscape of immersive media.

As a concept operant conditioning not only influences our actions but can be a driving force for positive change.


In this blog, we’ll break down the key components of operant conditioning and showcase how it manifests in everyday life, as well as its unique connection to our VR meditation app with biofeedback, Healium.


What is Operant Conditioning? 

The main idea of operant conditioning is to understand how behavior is influenced by consequences. Unlike classical conditioning, operant conditioning focuses on voluntary actions. 


Behaviors are strengthened or weakened through positive and negative reinforcement or punishment. This dynamic process of learning helps individuals associate their actions with specific outcomes, making operant conditioning a key concept in psychology, applicable in various settings like meditation, education, parenting, and therapy.


Key Terms to Remember


Operant Stimulus (OS):

The operant stimulus is the external event or stimulus that follows a behavior. In the context of meditation, this could be a reward within the VR environment, like calming visuals or serene sounds.


Positive Reinforcement:

Positive reinforcement involves adding a pleasant stimulus to encourage a behavior. Consider the example of a user consistently achieving a deep meditative state being rewarded with a visually appealing scene or serene music.


Negative Reinforcement:

Negative reinforcement involves removing an aversive stimulus to encourage a behavior. In a meditation setting, this could be the gradual reduction of background noise as a user maintains focus, reinforcing the habit of sustained concentration.



Punishment involves introducing an aversive stimulus to decrease a behavior. While generally avoided in positive contexts like meditation apps, an example could be the introduction of a distracting element in the VR environment when a user becomes unfocused, aiming to discourage mind-wandering.


Examples of Operant Conditioning

Likely as not, you’ve encountered some form of operant conditioning throughout your life. Some common examples of operant conditioning include:



•  Positive Reinforcement:

A teacher praises a student for completing their homework, increasing the likelihood that the student will continue to complete assignments on time.



•  Negative Reinforcement:

A driver fastens their seatbelt to stop the annoying beeping sound in the car, reinforcing the behavior of wearing a seatbelt.



•  Positive Punishment:

A dog is scolded for chewing on the furniture, decreasing the likelihood of the dog repeating the behavior.



•  Negative Punishment:

A teenager loses their video game privileges for breaking a household rule, decreasing the likelihood of the teenager breaking the rule again.



•  Extinction:

Ignoring a child’s temper tantrum leads to a decrease in the frequency of tantrums over time.



•  Shaping:

Teaching a parrot to speak by rewarding partial attempts at words until a complete word is formed.



•  Token Economy:

In a classroom, students earn tokens for good behavior, which can later be exchanged for rewards.



•  Workplace Incentives:

Employees who meet or exceed performance targets receive bonuses, increasing the likelihood of continued high performance.



Operant Conditioning with Meditation & Neurofeedback:


Operant conditioning is not just a theoretical concept; it’s a powerful tool for cultivating positive habits and behaviors. At Healium, we’ve brought operant conditioning into the realm of meditation and biofeedback to offer a dynamic approach to shaping our desired behaviors.


Leveraging the advantage of real-time data on brainwaves, Healium dynamically adapts to user behavior, reinforcing positive meditation habits and fostering a sense of achievement.


As users engage in meditation within Healium, the operant stimuli within the virtual environment become catalysts for personal growth and well-being.


Discover the transformative potential of operant conditioning as you navigate the immersive landscapes of your mind. Let the positive reinforcements within Healium guide you on a journey of self-discovery and mental resilience.


To learn more about how to use Healium, watch the video below!



About the Author

Sarah Hill, a former interactive TV news journalist at NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates in Missouri, gained recognition for pioneering interactive news broadcasting using Google Hangouts. She is now the CEO of Healium, the world’s first biometrically powered VR/AR channel, helping those with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and other struggles through biofeedback storytelling. With patents, clinical validation, and over seven million views, she has reshaped the landscape of immersive media.

Experiencing an anxiety spiral is a deeply personal struggle, where negative thoughts can take on a life of their own and build upon each other in a relentless loop. These mental spirals are not uniform; they are shaped by personal experiences, fears, and uncertainties, making each person’s struggle with anxiety unique.


What Does It Mean to Spiral Mentally?

An anxiety spiral is a self-perpetuating cycle of negative thoughts that build upon each other, creating a heightened state of anxiety. This creates a snowball effect, where one anxious thought triggers another, and the cycle continues.


The cyclic nature of ancan make it challenging to disrupt the pattern when caught in an anxiety spiral. xious thoughts However, when you take a moment to identify the root causes of your anxiety, you open the door to addressing them one by one to restore a sense of calm.


Causes of Anxiety Spiraling

Anxiety spirals often find roots in various contributing factors:


• Overthinking: Constant dwelling on negative thoughts fuels the spiral, creating a loop that’s challenging to break free from.


• Uncertainty: Ambiguity about the future or a situation can act as a catalyst, triggering the onset of anxiety spirals. The human mind, wired to seek predictability and control, interprets uncertainty as a threat, initiating a cascade of anxious thoughts.


• Perfectionism: The desire for flawlessness sets the stage for anxiety spirals by establishing unrealistically high standards. The pressure to meet these lofty expectations becomes a continuous source of stress, paving the way for the spiral to unfold.


• Catastrophizing: Envisioning worst-case scenarios adds another layer to the complexity of anxiety spirals. When the mind magnifies potential negative outcomes, it further fuels the loop. Addressing this tendency involves cultivating a more balanced perspective, challenging irrational fears, and adopting a pragmatic outlook on challenging situations.


Understanding and recognizing these factors is crucial for those aiming to break free from the grip of anxiety spirals. By pinpointing these triggers, individuals can develop targeted strategies to foster a more resilient mental state and increase their overall mental fitness


The Science Behind Anxiety Spirals

Achieving a better understanding of anxiety spirals goes beyond recognizing triggers. These spirals have tangible effects on the human physiology.


Impact on the Body

Anxiety spirals trigger the body’s stress response, releasing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These physiological changes are part of the body’s natural “fight or flight” mechanism. 


However, when activated persistently, they can lead to a range of physical symptoms, from increased heart rate and shallow breathing to muscle tension. Luckily, there are lots of strategies for getting out of fight or flight, from physical activity to grounding techniques to even our own meditation app at Healium!


The Role of Neurotransmitters

In the brain, anxiety spirals are closely linked to neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Disruptions in these chemical messengers can contribute to the perpetuation of anxious thoughts and can potentially amplify the intensity and duration of anxiety spirals.


Impact on Cognitive Functions

Anxiety spirals can impair cognitive functions, affecting memory, concentration, and decision-making. The constant barrage of negative thoughts consumes mental energy, leaving individuals fatigued and mentally drained.


How to Stop Spiraling 

Breaking free from an anxiety spiral requires a strategic approach. Here’s 8 effective ways to help you regain control over your thoughts and emotions:



• Recognize the Signs

The first step is self-awareness. Identify the early signs of an anxiety spiral, such as increased heart rate or racing thoughts. Recognizing these signs allows you to intervene before the spiral gains momentum.



• Practice Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation anchors you in the present moment, creating a mental space that counters the suffocating feeling of anxious thoughts.


By focusing your attention on the breath or a chosen focal point, mindfulness meditation facilitates a deeper understanding of one’s mental states but also equips individuals with the tools to interrupt the cycle of anxious thoughts. Consistent practice fosters a mindset that embraces clarity, calmness, and heightened resilience.



• Challenge Negative Thoughts

Actively challenge and reframe negative thoughts. Ask yourself if your fears are based on facts, and try to find a more balanced perspective. 


This practice of cognitive restructuring not only helps break the cycle of anxious thoughts but also fosters resilience by promoting a more realistic and positive outlook. By challenging negative thought patterns, you build a mental framework that is less susceptible to spirals of anxiety and also more adaptive to life’s challenges.



• Set Realistic Goals

Avoid setting unrealistic expectations. Break down tasks into manageable steps, celebrating small victories along the way. 


This approach cultivates a sense of accomplishment with each milestone achieved, reinforcing a positive and motivated mindset. By embracing a realistic goal-setting strategy, individuals minimize the risk of triggering anxiety spirals in the first place.



• Create a Relaxation Routine

Incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily routine. Whether it’s deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or a calming VR meditation session, find what works best for you. 


The regular practice of relaxation techniques is a powerful tool in managing stress and preventing the build-up of tension that can lead to anxiety spirals. It’s about nurturing a self-care practice that becomes an anchor in the midst of challenges.



• Seek Support

Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or a mental health professional. Talking about your feelings can provide valuable insights and emotional support.


Opening up to others fosters a sense of connection and allows for a shared understanding of your experiences. Seeking support is a courageous step towards building a strong support system that can offer guidance, empathy, and a collaborative approach to overcoming anxiety spirals. 



• Limit Stimulants

Reduce intake of caffeine and stimulants, as they can exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Opt for calming herbal teas or water instead. 


Choosing beverages that promote relaxation over stimulation aligns with a holistic approach to managing anxiety and positively impacts your physical well-being and emotional state. 



• Establish a Sleep Routine

Adequate sleep is essential for mental well-being. Establish a consistent sleep routine to promote better sleep quality. 


Creating a calming pre-sleep ritual, such as reading a book or practicing gentle stretching, can signal to your body that it’s time to unwind. This enhances the quantity of your sleep and improves its overall quality, contributing to a more rested and resilient mind the next day.


Try Biofeedback and Meditation for Anxiety

Managing anxiety spirals requires a solid understanding of the connection between mind and body. Mindfulness meditation especially stands out as a practical tool. By grounding you in the present, it disrupts the cycle of anxious thoughts, fostering clarity and heightened resilience.


As you work to manage your anxiety spirals, consider blending traditional techniques with cutting-edge solutions. Healium’s VR meditations, combined with biofeedback, offer a unique, data-driven platform for practicing mindfulness meditation. 


How Healium works

Healium harnesses your body’s electricity, enhancing self-awareness of brain patterns and heart rate for improved calm and focus. Our app offers you valuable insights through a glowing aura tied to your brainwaves, a session specific Healium score, and detailed brain pattern data in your dashboard. 


While not diagnostic, Healium serves as a self-awareness tool, enabling feedback to facilitate self-regulation. With Healium, you can see your feelings and follow a transformative approach to mental well-being.


Healium is validated in 8 peer-reviewed journals and proven to contribute to your mental fitness


To learn more about how Healium works, watch the video below!


About the Author

Sarah Hill, a former interactive TV news journalist at NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates in Missouri, gained recognition for pioneering interactive news broadcasting using Google Hangouts. She is now the CEO of Healium, the world’s first biometrically powered VR/AR channel, helping those with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and other struggles through biofeedback storytelling. With patents, clinical validation, and over seven million views, she has reshaped the landscape of immersive media.

180 Veterans die each day. Most have never visited their memorials in Washington, DC. Everyday, memories of the people who served in World War II, Vietnam, and the Korean War are disappearing from living history. Virtual Reality companies from around the world have teamed up in a program called “Honor Everywhere” to ensure the memorials are still accessible to these aging and terminally ill men and women via immersive stories.


Only 119,500 of the 16.1 million Americans who fought in World War II are alive as of 2023 according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs statistics. These men and women are no longer able to physically travel to see their memorials in Washington, DC. Programs like “Honor Flight” provide these men and woman in person flights to the nation’s capital to visit their memorials but now, some of these aging Veterans are now too frail to make the trip in person.


Honor Everywhere in partnership with Honor Flight and virtual reality (VR) companies from the nation is an open sourced, free video collective that includes immersive virtual reality stories of the World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Arlington Cemetery, USS Nimitz, and Women in Military Service Memorials. The stories are narrated by Veterans most of whom have since passed away, but their memories live on forever in virtual reality.


Technology organizations including Healium have teamed up with ArborXR, BehaVR, Cleanbox Technologies, Healium, ManageXR, Mynd Immersive, Neurorehab VR, Penumbra, Inc., Rendever, USC Institute for Creative Technologies, Waya Health, XRhealth, and 18Loop to share or contribute content to the immersive video collective. From the comfort of their living rooms, VA homes or assisted living centers, Veterans are virtually transported to Washington, DC- just as if they were there in person- where they can tour the war memorials that commemorate their service and honor their fallen comrades. In the virtual tours, Veterans can hear the sounds of the Rainbow Pool, watch the changing on the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, and even tour the USS Nimitz while deployed in the Pacific Ocean.


Anything in virtual reality pales in comparison to seeing the memorials in person alongside your fellow Veterans. But for some of these 80- and 90-year-olds, VR may be their only option left to experience them.


Know a Veteran who wants a virtual tour of their memorial? Reach out to VAImmersive@va.gov, your local Honor Flight hub, or the VR companies listed above. Honor Everywhere is also available for download as an app on most virtual reality, mobile IOS and Android (2D version) stores by searching “Honor Everywhere”.


Many of us tend to dwell on the past or worry about the future, often overlooking the importance of being present in the moment. However, being mindful and fully engaged in the here and now is crucial for our mental and emotional well-being. Increased mindfulness can reduce stress, boost happiness, and improve our overall quality of life. 


In this article, we’ll explore five practical strategies to help youget out of your head so you can fully experience the present.


1. Embrace Mindful Meditation


Mindful meditation is a potent tool for honing your awareness of the present. This practice centers around observing your breath, bodily sensations, and thoughts without passing judgment.


Through regular mindfulness meditation, you can condition your mind to acknowledge the voice inside your head without getting bogged down with what it has to say.


Begin with brief sessions each day, gradually extending their length as you grow accustomed to the routine. With time, you’ll discover a heightened ability to relinquish distracting thoughts, allowing you to immerse yourself completely in the present.


2. Immerse Yourself in Sensory Experiences


A practical method to tether yourself to the present moment involves fully engaging your senses. It’s a simple yet powerful way to break free from the mental chatter that often keeps us trapped in our thoughts.  


When you’re tempted to dwell on the past or anxious about the future, deliberately shift your focus to your immediate surroundings. Take in the sights, sounds, scents, tastes, and textures that surround you. For instance, while savoring a meal, pay close attention to the intricate flavors and varied textures of your food. When you venture outdoors, tune in to the melodies of nature or relish the warmth of the sun on your skin. 


By immersing yourself in these sensory encounters, you can liberate yourself from the confines of your thoughts and establish a profound connection with the world around you.


3. Set Aside “Worry Time”


For those who frequently grapple with stress and anxiety, introducing a structured practice of “worry time” can be a game-changer. The concept is simple yet immensely effective in reclaiming your mental presence from the grip of stress.


Start by selecting a particular time slot each day, a designated “worry time.” During this dedicated window, grant yourself permission to delve into your concerns without reservation. Take a moment to jot down these worries and, if possible, brainstorm practical solutions or coping strategies.


By confining your worries to this defined timeframe, you free up valuable mental real estate for the rest of your day. This deliberate partitioning of concerns enables you to rekindle your connection with the present moment. It’s akin to releasing a tight grip on a rope – you let go of your worries, allowing your mind to breathe freely, fostering a newfound capacity to be fully present.


4. Unplug from Technology


Technology provides us with an escape into the virtual realm, but it can also ensnare us, pulling us away from the richness of the present moment. To counter this modern-day dilemma, it’s vital to make a conscious effort to unplug from your digital devices regularly.


Consider setting aside designated tech-free intervals throughout your day. These could be during meals, before bedtime, or during other moments of your choosing. The intention here is to break free from the relentless digital distractions and reestablish a genuine connection with your offline life.


Think of it as a deliberate act of disconnecting in order to reconnect—with yourself, your surroundings, and the people around you. By periodically stepping away from your screens, you create an open space to immerse yourself fully in the tangible, unmediated world, rekindling your ability to savor the present moment without the constant buzz of notifications and online engagements.


5. Practice Gratitude


One of the most potent ways to anchor yourself in the present is by nurturing a sense of gratitude. This practice has the transformative power to shift your focus away from what might be lacking or what could potentially go wrong and redirect it toward the positive aspects of your life.


Dedicate a few moments each day to reflect on the things in your life that you are genuinely thankful for. By acknowledging and appreciating the present moment through a lens of gratitude, you’ll find yourself enveloped in a deeper sense of contentment and joy. It’s like flipping a mental switch, replacing worry and apprehension with a warm glow of appreciation.


How Healium Helps Get You Out of Your Head



Escaping the clutches of overthinking and embracing the present moment is a skill that demands practice and patience. Nevertheless, the rewards are immeasurable. By integrating these strategies into your daily routine – mindfulness meditation, sensory immersion, designated worry time, digital detox, and the practice of gratitude – you will gradually cultivate the ability to be fully present in your everyday life.


Healium is here to help people quiet that internal voice in their head too! Our VR mindfulness meditation experiences are supplemented with biofeedback, which grants you agency over the voice inside your head. Whenever your focus drifts the experience itself changes, which in turn trains your brain to navigate the thoughts distracting you from the present moment.


To learn more about how Healium works, watch the video below.



Armed with a clear and focused mind, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the complexities and challenges of the modern world, savoring each moment as it unfolds with genuine presence and purpose.


About the Author

Sarah Hill, a former interactive TV news journalist at NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates in Missouri, gained recognition for pioneering interactive news broadcasting using Google Hangouts. She is now the CEO of Healium, the world’s first biometrically powered VR/AR channel, helping those with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and other struggles through biofeedback storytelling. With patents, clinical validation, and over seven million views, she has reshaped the landscape of immersive media.

Feeling constantly, “on” or like you can’t stay ahead? Maybe you’ve tried meditation before but you didn’t really feel like you could get into it. Traditional meditation practices have been revered for centuries for their ability to calm the mind and reduce stress. However, an innovative solution has emerged to complement and enhance the meditation experience: virtual reality (VR). Let’s dive into VR meditation to help you answer this question for yourself: should I use virtual reality to meditate? 


The Modern Meditation Dilemma

Meditation has proven benefits, including stress reduction, improved focus, and increased emotional resilience. Many people, of course, have discovered its advantages, but they might find it challenging to commit to a consistent practice. Distractions, restlessness, and the inability to find a serene environment are common roadblocks. This is where VR meditation, with Healium at the forefront, offers an intriguing alternative.


Healium: A Glimpse into the Future of Meditation

Healium is a groundbreaking VR platform designed to address these challenges. It offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a range of serene and tranquil virtual environments, each carefully crafted to promote relaxation and mindfulness. As you put on VR goggles, you can find yourself transported to a calming beach, a peaceful forest, or a tranquil garden, providing instant access to the soothing benefits of nature without leaving the comfort of your own space.


The Immersive Advantage

The immersive quality of VR is what sets Healium apart from traditional meditation. In a VR environment, you’re not just visualizing a serene setting; you’re stepping into it. The sound, visuals, and even the sensations can be incredibly lifelike, enhancing your overall meditation experience. This immersion helps to whisk you away from the stresses of the real world, making it easier to focus and unwind. What we like to say around here–the brain believes what it sees.


Imagine feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin as you stroll along a virtual beach or hearing the gentle rustle of leaves in a forest while sitting on your living room couch. This level of immersion can make meditation more engaging and enjoyable, which can be especially helpful for those who struggle with traditional methods.


Variety and Personalization

Virtual reality offers a variety of experiences, allowing you to choose the setting that resonates most with you. Whether you prefer the sound of ocean waves or the quiet ambiance of a peaceful garden, you can tailor your meditation environment to suit your preferences. This variety can help keep your meditation practice fresh and prevent monotony, ensuring that you stay engaged and committed to your mental health goals.


The VR headset is a physical barrier between you and your distracting environment. It’s much easier to tune your focus on the content in front of you, rather than trying to ignore multiple devices. 


Clinically-Validated Healing

One of the most compelling aspects of Healium is that it’s clinically validated. Scientific studies have shown that using this VR meditation platform can lead to better self-management of stress and anxiety. The incorporation of biofeedback, such as tracking heart rate and brainwave activity, allows Healium to adjust the virtual environment in real-time to give you feedback on your practice. 


This means that, while you’re meditating in VR, the environment responds to your physiological responses. As your stress levels decrease, the virtual world around you becomes even more peaceful, reinforcing your sense of calm.


Meditation is a powerful tool for maintaining mental well-being, and in our technologically driven age, VR meditation offers a fresh and engaging alternative. Healium’s clinically validated solution, with its immersive quality, variety of experiences, and real-time feedback, can provide a highly effective and enjoyable way to reduce stress and anxiety.


If you’ve been curious about alternative methods of meditation or have found traditional approaches challenging, consider giving Healium VR a try. It’s a glimpse into the future of meditation, where the benefits of nature and mindfulness can be experienced like never before, all with the ease and convenience of a VR headset.

High-functioning depression, often referred to as “smiling depression,” can be a challenging condition to manage. Those who experience it may appear fine on the surface but grapple with persistent feelings of sadness and emptiness. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for depression, there are innovative approaches that empower individuals to take control of their mental well-being. 


In this blog post, we’ll explore the potential benefits of combining neurofeedback with meditation to self-manage high-functioning depression as part of a healthy lifestyle.


Understanding High-Functioning Depression:


High-functioning depression is characterized by individuals who maintain their daily responsibilities and put on a brave face, concealing their inner turmoil. Beneath the façade, they often battle feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, and worthlessness. 


Traditional treatments like therapy and medication can be effective, but some individuals seek alternative methods to augment their mental wellness journey.


The Power of Neurofeedback:


Neurofeedback, also known as EEG neurofeedback, is a non-invasive technique that measures and provides real-time data on an individual’s brainwave activity. While it’s important to note that neurofeedback is not a cure or treatment for depression, it offers a unique insight into brain functioning, allowing users to self-guide their path toward positive change.


Meditation and Depression:


Meditation has long been recognized for its potential to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. The practice encourages mindfulness, self-reflection, and relaxation, all of which can be beneficial for those dealing with high-functioning depression. 


When paired with neurofeedback, meditation takes on a whole new dimension.


How Neurofeedback and Meditation Work Together:


Meditation has long been celebrated for its calming effects on the mind, and when seamlessly integrated with neurofeedback technology, it reaches new heights. Immersing yourself in a virtual reality meditation experience that syncs with a biofeedback device sheds light on the nuances of your mental landscape.


As you engage in the virtual reality meditation, your brain’s response to the stimuli on your screen affects the virtual experience itself. Users are then granted agency over their brainwaves by utilizing the tools present within the experience to guide their brainwaves back to balance.


Benefits of Neurofeedback Meditation for Depression:


1. Enhanced Self-Awareness: Neurofeedback helps users become more in tune with their brain activity, fostering a heightened sense of self-awareness. This self-awareness can be a powerful tool for individuals with high-functioning depression as they work to understand their emotions and triggers better.


2. Empowerment: Instead of relying solely on external interventions, users are given the tools to actively participate in their mental health journey. This sense of empowerment can be particularly valuable for individuals dealing with high-functioning depression.


3. Stress Reduction and Relaxation: Meditation, renowned for its stress-relieving benefits, synergizes with neurofeedback to create a profound sense of relaxation. As your brainwaves harmonize with the guided meditation sessions, stress levels can decrease. This relaxation response is invaluable for individuals dealing with the challenges of high-functioning depression, offering a reprieve from the constant undercurrent of emotional strain.

4. Improved Focus and Cognitive Function: Neurofeedback meditation is not just about the emotional aspects; it also influences cognitive function. By training the mind to achieve a state of focused relaxation, individuals often report improved concentration and mental clarity. This cognitive awareness can be particularly beneficial for those facing the cognitive fog often associated with depression.


How Healium Helps


We believe Healium has the potential to be a valuable tool for individuals seeking to self-guide positive changes in their lives. High-functioning depression is a complex condition, and no single approach works for everyone. However, by combining the benefits of neurofeedback and meditation, users can gain a deeper understanding of their mental state and take meaningful steps towards improved well-being.


If you’re interested in exploring the potential of neurofeedback for depression, we invite you to try Healium. It’s a step toward empowerment and self-discovery on your mental health journey.


To learn more about how Healium works, watch the video below!

About the Author

Sarah Hill, a former interactive TV news journalist at NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates in Missouri, gained recognition for pioneering interactive news broadcasting using Google Hangouts. She is now the CEO of Healium, the world’s first biometrically powered VR/AR channel, helping those with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and other struggles through biofeedback storytelling. With patents, clinical validation, and over seven million views, she has reshaped the landscape of immersive media.


Living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), also known in some circles as PTS without the “D”, can be an overwhelming and often isolating experience. For many, including veterans, the search for effective ways to manage the symptoms of PTSD is ongoing. 


While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, recent developments in technology and mindfulness have brought forth innovative tools that empower individuals to take control of their journey towards healing. 


In this blog post, we’ll explore the potential benefits of using VR meditation in combination with biofeedback as a means to support those living with PTSD.


The Role of Meditation in PTSD Management

Meditation can be a valuable tool for individuals living with PTSD by providing the following benefits:


1. Stress Reduction: One of the hallmark symptoms of PTSD is hyperarousal, where the body and mind are constantly on high alert. Meditation techniques can help users calm their nervous system, promoting a sense of relaxation and ease.


2. Emotional Regulation: PTSD often brings intense and unpredictable emotions. Meditation fosters emotional regulation by teaching individuals to observe their thoughts and feelings without judgment, helping them regain control over their reactions.


3. Improved Sleep: Sleep disturbances are common in PTSD. Meditation can promote better sleep patterns, which in turn can help with overall well-being and mood stability.


The Neuroscience of Meditation


Meditation is not a new practice; it has been cultivated for thousands of years for its profound impact on the mind and body. Modern neuroscience has begun to unlock the secrets behind why meditation can be particularly valuable for individuals living with PTSD.


1. Neuroplasticity: The brain’s ability to rewire itself, known as neuroplasticity, is at the core of how meditation can be beneficial. Studies have shown that regular meditation can lead to changes in the structure and function of the brain. This means that with dedicated practice, individuals can potentially retrain their brains to respond differently to traumatic triggers.


2.Stress Reduction: Meditation activates the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the “rest and digest” system. This activation counteracts the hyperarousal often experienced in PTSD, leading to reduced stress and anxiety levels.


3. Emotional Regulation: MRI studies have revealed that meditation can impact the amygdala, a part of the brain responsible for processing emotions, particularly fear and anger. Through meditation, individuals can learn to manage and modulate these intense emotions, a crucial skill for those with PTSD.


4. Changes in Brainwave Patterns: Meditation has been associated with changes in brainwave patterns, such as an increase in theta waves, which are linked to deep relaxation and creative thinking. Healium offers users the ability to influence these patterns in real-time, which may hold promise for PTSD sufferers.


Combining VR Meditation with Neurofeedback


Healium is designed to provide real-time data on users’ brainwaves, allowing them to gain agency over their mental state like never before.


How It Works:


•  Biofeedback Devices: Users wear biofeedback devices that monitor their brain activity while they engage in VR meditation sessions.


•  Real-time Data: As users meditate in the virtual environment, they receive real-time data on their brainwaves, allowing them to visualize their mental state.


•  Self-Guided Change: Armed with this knowledge, users can learn to influence their brainwave patterns over time, potentially leading to a more balanced and resilient mental state.


Tailoring Meditation for PTSD Sufferers


It’s important to recognize that not all individuals with PTSD experience the same symptoms or respond to the same treatments. This is where the versatility of VR meditation shines. Access to a wide range of meditative experiences means a more customizable tool to drive self-guided change for our users, including those with complex PTSD.


Whether someone is dealing with flashbacks, hypervigilance, or other PTSD-related challenges, our experiences blend the following elements of meditation to help:


1. Mindfulness

Why it helps: Mindfulness meditation encourages individuals to observe their thoughts, emotions, and sensations without judgment. For PTSD sufferers, this practice can help in the following ways:


•  Emotional Regulation: Mindfulness meditation allows users to become more aware of their emotional responses, making it easier to identify triggers and manage intense emotions.


•  Grounding: By focusing on the present moment, mindfulness meditation can help individuals feel more anchored and less disconnected, reducing dissociation.


•  Stress Reduction: The practice of mindfulness is associated with a decrease in stress and anxiety levels, which are often heightened in those with PTSD.


2. Guided Imagery

Why it helps: Guided imagery meditation involves vividly imagining calming and positive scenes. This type of meditation can be beneficial for PTSD sufferers due to the following reasons:


•  Relaxation: The visualization of peaceful scenes can induce relaxation, making it helpful for those with hyperarousal symptoms.


•  Creating a Safe Space: Guided imagery allows users to create and visit their own mental safe spaces, which can serve as a refuge during moments of distress.


3. Body Scans

Why they help: Body scan meditation involves systematically focusing attention on different parts of the body. For PTSD sufferers, this practice can be beneficial for the following reasons:


•  Tension Release: Many individuals with PTSD experience physical tension and somatic symptoms. Body scan meditation can help them become more attuned to bodily sensations and release tension.


•  Increased Body Awareness: This meditation type promotes a greater connection between the mind and body, which can be especially valuable for those who have experienced trauma-related disconnection.


•  Self-Care: The practice of checking in with one’s body can foster self-care and self-compassion, vital aspects of healing from PTSD.


The Path Forward


VR meditation combined with neurofeedback empowers users with the tools they need to embark on their own healing journey. By learning to understand and influence their brainwave patterns, individuals with PTSD, including veterans, may find relief, resilience, and a renewed sense of agency over their mental well-being.


If you or a loved one is living with PTSD, we invite you to explore the potential benefits of using Healium meditation for PTSD. While not a cure or treatment for PTSD, Healium can help you become more self-aware that your thoughts have power. It’s a step toward a more balanced and empowered life, one meditation session at a time.


To learn more about how Healium works, watch the video below!


About the Author

Sarah Hill, a former interactive TV news journalist at NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates in Missouri, gained recognition for pioneering interactive news broadcasting using Google Hangouts. She is now the CEO of Healium, the world’s first biometrically powered VR/AR channel, helping those with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and other struggles through biofeedback storytelling. With patents, clinical validation, and over seven million views, she has reshaped the landscape of immersive media.


During hard times, it’s not uncommon to grapple with the overwhelming question, “What should I do with my life?” Feeling stuck can make it seem as if discovering life’s purpose is impossible. During these moments of uncertainty and self-doubt, it’s important to remember that such feelings are a natural part of the human experience. Many of us encounter periods when we question our direction or struggle to find meaning. At Healium, we believe this is the perfect time for self-reflection.


If you’re currently feeling lost, ask yourself these self-reflective questions to help guide yourself toward a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life.


1) Am I in tune with my body?

Uncertainty can often stem from a disconnection between our minds and bodies. You’re at the most risk of losing touch with the present moment when the stressors of everyday life flood your brain with cortisol and leave you in a permanent state of fight or flight


Taking three to five deep breaths of at least four seconds long has been proven to help calm our bodies down long enough to start thinking with clarity again.


Scanning your body and breathing helps you stop thinking about life and calms yourself down.  This allows you to think with greater vision. If you need help, Healium’s virtual reality stories are helpful places to learn how to grow your awareness of your body sensations and thoughts.


2) What matters most in my life?

Think of times that gave you greatest joy and use them as guideposts to show you the path forward. Mindful thinking can help us feel unstuck by changing the way our brains think.


Grant yourself the gift of patience and compassion as you immerse yourself in these joyful memories. These moments are not mere reminiscences but rather the subtle clues and whispers from your inner self, guiding you away from stagnation and toward a life rich in purpose and fulfillment.


3) What’s something I’ve done lately that’s worth remembering?

Every day offers opportunities to create meaningful memories. When you’re feeling stuck, it’s crucial to mine your recent experiences for gems worth cherishing.

Write about your thoughts and feelings around recent positive memories. Try your best not to judge what sensations, thoughts, or feelings come up, and instead allow the pen to write as if it has a mind of its own.


In a study, college students who journaled for three weeks felt more positive about, grateful for, and satisfied with their lives than those that did not. Getting unstuck starts with getting our thoughts and feelings out on the paper. Once you do, you’ll have something to look at to help you start thinking about what gives your life meaning and purpose. 


4) What do I need to change about myself?

Answering this question can be challenging, as it requires brutal honesty. Consider areas in your life where you feel dissatisfied or unhappy, and brainstorm specific actions you can take to address those issues. 


It can also be helpful to ask for feedback from trusted friends, family, or a therapist, as they may have insights into areas where you can improve. Ultimately, the key is to be open to change and to approach the process with self-compassion and a willingness to learn and grow.


If you’re at a loss for how to to make a plan, a goal-making template can be useful to create a plan to improve your life. Writing a plan down helps, because doing so makes the ideas in your head real and concrete. All that’s left to do is to share that idea.


5) Who has the greatest impact on my life?

Identify the people who impact your happiness the most and share your plans with them.


It’s no surprise that when we act on our life plans with others, we tend to feel our lives have greater meaning and purpose. That’s because sharing a plan forces us to create a story of our life, one that is meaningful and fulfilling for ourselves and those around us. When we share our ideas with others, we feel a sense of belonging, which is key to living life to the fullest.


In short, talk about a plan with someone else helps us focus on others, which ironically is one of the first steps to helping us get unstuck and feel a greater sense of purpose in our lives.


6) Am I letting things out of my control cause me stress?

It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed when circumstances seem beyond your control. In such moments, one effective strategy is to shift your focus towards the things you can influence. This involves setting clear goals, prioritizing tasks, and crafting a well-defined plan of action to steer you in the direction you desire.


Another valuable tool in your arsenal for stress management is meditation. Through meditation, you can harness the power of your mind to quiet your mind and be fully present in the moment. This practice instills a sense of centeredness and grounding, allowing you to navigate life’s uncertainties with greater poise.


For those seeking to break free from the grip of stress and cultivate mindfulness as a daily habit, consider exploring Healium. Our virtual and augmented reality stories offer a unique pathway to establish and nurture a mindfulness practice, helping you find inner peace and resilience in the face of life’s uncertainties.

About the Author

Sarah Hill, a former interactive TV news journalist at NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates in Missouri, gained recognition for pioneering interactive news broadcasting using Google Hangouts. She is now the CEO of Healium, the world’s first biometrically powered VR/AR channel, helping those with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and other struggles through biofeedback storytelling. With patents, clinical validation, and over seven million views, she has reshaped the landscape of immersive media.

Many individuals are turning to meditation as a holistic solution to combat stress and improve their overall well-being, but could meditation also have an impact on something as fundamental as testosterone production? 


In this blog post, we will delve into the science behind meditation’s potential effects on testosterone levels.


Understanding Testosterone: The Hormone of Vitality


Testosterone, often referred to as the “male hormone,” is a potent hormone that plays a pivotal role in human biology. While it is more abundant in males, females also produce testosterone, albeit in smaller quantities. This hormone is produced primarily in the testes in men and in the ovaries and adrenal glands in women.


Testosterone contributes to:


• Muscle Development: One of the most well-known functions of testosterone is its role in muscle development. It promotes protein synthesis, the process by which the body builds and repairs muscle tissues. Adequate testosterone levels contribute to the maintenance of lean muscle mass and strength.


• Bone Density: Testosterone plays a crucial part in maintaining bone density. It stimulates the production of bone tissue and helps prevent conditions like osteoporosis. Healthy testosterone levels are associated with optimal bone mineralization, reducing the risk of fractures and bone-related ailments.


• Mood Regulation: Low testosterone levels have been linked to mood swings, irritability, and even symptoms of depression. Maintaining a balance of hormones, including testosterone, is essential for emotional well-being.


• Libido and Sexual Function: Testosterone influences libido, or sexual desire, in both men and women. Additionally, testosterone contributes to the maintenance of erectile function in men and supports overall sexual well-being.


• Metabolism: Testosterone influences metabolism by affecting the body’s ability to burn fat and build muscle. This hormonal regulation plays a role in maintaining a healthy body composition and preventing obesity-related complications.


• Energy Levels: Testosterone contributes to overall vitality by influencing energy levels and combating fatigue. Adequate testosterone levels are associated with increased energy and stamina.


Does Meditation Increase Testosterone? Answered


Yes, scientific studies suggest that meditation can have a positive impact on testosterone levels. The stress-reducing effects of meditation play a pivotal role in this connection. Chronic stress, a prevalent issue, is known to elevate cortisol levels, which, in turn, can suppress testosterone production. By practicing meditation, individuals may experience a significant reduction in stress, creating a more favorable environment for testosterone synthesis.


How Does Meditation Increase Testosterone Production?


While the exact mechanisms remain a subject of ongoing research, several theories provide insights into how meditation may positively impact testosterone:


1. Stress Reduction: Meditation techniques are known to reduce stress and lower cortisol levels. This, in turn, may create a more conducive environment for testosterone synthesis.


2. Improved Sleep: Many meditation practitioners report better sleep quality. Adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining hormonal balance, including testosterone.


3. Enhanced Well-Being: Meditation can boost mood and emotional well-being. A positive mental state can positively influence hormonal regulation.


Scientific Evidence: Meditation’s Impact on Testosterone


1. Harvard Study on Mindfulness Meditation: A study conducted by Harvard-affiliated researchers found that practicing mindfulness meditation for just eight weeks resulted in significant reductions in perceived stress. This decrease in stress was correlated with an increase in testosterone levels in male participants.


2. University of California, Davis Research: Another study from the University of California, Davis, explored the effects of yoga and meditation on hormone levels. The findings suggested that regular meditation practice may enhance testosterone levels and promote overall hormonal balance.


3. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): Research on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program has consistently shown its ability to reduce cortisol levels. As cortisol decreases, the body may allocate more resources to testosterone production, potentially leading to an increase in testosterone levels.


The Meditative Path to Hormonal Balance


While more research is needed to fully understand the intricate relationship between meditation and testosterone production, the existing scientific evidence suggests a promising connection. By reducing stress, improving sleep quality, and promoting overall well-being, meditation may contribute to a healthier hormonal profile, including increased testosterone levels.


Incorporating meditation into your daily routine through Healium can provide a unique and immersive experience to self-guided stress reduction. With real-time data on brainwaves and biofeedback devices, users can truly harness the power of meditation to influence their lives positively.


To learn more about how Healium works, watch the video below!


About the Author

Sarah Hill, a former interactive TV news journalist at NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates in Missouri, gained recognition for pioneering interactive news broadcasting using Google Hangouts. She is now the CEO of Healium, the world’s first biometrically powered VR/AR channel, helping those with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and other struggles through biofeedback storytelling. With patents, clinical validation, and over seven million views, she has reshaped the landscape of immersive media.

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