Grasping the intuition of peak mental performance
Understanding 'the end' can often help us master 'the means' much more easily. Getting the big picture of flow - peak mental performance could help us grasp the intuition of biofeedback training.
(Let's briefly skip the part about why flow, as we can easily see how much progress we made and how we are feeling when we hatch flow orbs in the emotion records.)
In a nutshell:
- Getting into flow requires one to be able to balance the sympathetics - parasympathetics - in other words, you need to maintain an delicate balance of your tension level. Too much tension, we get frustrated, and too little, we lose attention and drop out.
- FOCI’s biofeedback training is about acclimatizing to a real time audio feedback that uses a mixture of technology (machine learning, control engineering etc) to help you stay in the optimal tension level (Yerkes-Dodson).
There are a few factors that correlate with flow states, such as having clear goals, immediate feedback and suitable level of challenge. You can easily make the links from your experience and with the abstraction above to form a deeper intuition of flow.
One of the pride our team holds is having the opportunity to bridge science with the industry and having the opportunity to do what many of our friends in academia can't do. (Although we do envy them for publishing groundbreaking works in Nature and Science gosh!) And from the stats we can see at the backend, users using biofeedback have a whopping 7x chance of peaking flow. (Of course, this is not removing for confounding and survival bias etc). However, what we can promise you is this, get to at least mastery of 80% for biofeedback level 4 and you wouldn’t ever look back.
Q. I didn’t get it to work. What to do?
A. It’s AI generated audio plus dynamic breath pacing, based on your physiological profile and current emotion state. Try not to skip to biofeedback training level 4 without mastering the lower levels as the acclimatizing takes deliberate practice. Also please don’t skip the training instruction, as that contains what you need to find the intuition.
Q. What if I find the audio difficult to follow?
A. Acclimatizing takes practice. Maintaining breathing synchrony with the audio is like balancing a bike, with a little practice, it can become intuitive and automatic. Also try not to jump over the training levels. Also please don’t skip the training instruction especially the breathing technique. Many users play around with the setting for different audio themes.
Q. Can I get a more technical explanation of how FOCI's biofeedback works?
A. Down the rabbit hole… we create abstraction layers using machine learning on your physiology. We then interpret the time-series changes on this abstraction layer and use a mixture of classical control theory and optimization techniques to intervene and pace your physiological state, mainly through breathing as it modulates both sympathetics and parasympathetics.
Q. Are there some practical advice?
A. If you have mindfulness training experience, mastery of all biofeedback levels can take as little as a day. If you are totally new to the concept of mindfulness, our data shows that you are likely going to take half a week to get the hang of biofeedback level 1 and then things become easier when you have a solid foundation.