Record your “true” resting heart rate. First thing in the morning, before rising from bed, take it for 15 seconds and multiply by four. Take it 3 or 4 times a week and note the lowest recording. It varies depending on how rested and calm we are, how hydrated we are and generally how healthy we are, or not. Track how it changes, both with life variables, and over time. Happily watch your “true” resting heart rate go down as your fitness level improves. This tells you your consistency is paying off! This gives you proof that you are getting in shape.
Next, practice taking your heart rate in various situations. For example, take your HR while sitting and relaxed; following a bit of typical daily walking, such as from one room to the next or through a parking lot; after a meal with various beverages; following a “heated” discussion; following a hectic commute, etc. You get the idea. Then practice bringing it down. In my experience, focusing on breathing is the simplest method of bringing it down. Practice, practice, practice! “Are you breathing?” We’ll talk more about breathing in another session.