Calling all chocoholics: a regular healthy indulgence (just a bite, not a whole bar!) of dark chocolate might have the power to regulate your stress levels. "Research has shown that it can reduce your stress hormones, including cortisol," Sass says. "Also, the antioxidants in cocoa trigger the walls of your blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. And finally, dark chocolate contains unique natural substances that create a sense of euphoria similar to the feeling of being in love!" Go for varieties that contain at least 70% cocoa.
Theta brainwaves are next highest in frequency above delta and are especially important for many people using brainwave entrainment and meditation because theta waves are at a threshold, forming a link between wakefulness and the subconscious mind. Theta waves bridge between our awake self and the creative and insightful understandings from below our conscious awareness, and while they are not common in awake adults, they are normative for children under 13 years old. 

It is easy to see why religion quickly spread through culture once it emerged. When humans gained the cognitive capacity to reason and plan for the future, they became aware of their own mortality. The realization that oneself and all one’s loved ones will someday die is naturally terrifying, and this existential fear perfectly set the stage for anxiety-reducing ideas, like ones that offer a never-ending afterlife. But religions are complex ideas, and the psychological effects they have on minds go beyond just relieving anxiety.
A combination of strokes works well to relieve muscle tension. Try gentle chops with the edge of your hands or tapping with fingers or cupped palms. Put fingertip pressure on muscle knots. Knead across muscles, and try long, light, gliding strokes. You can apply these strokes to any part of the body that falls easily within your reach. For a short session like this, try focusing on your neck and head:
PMS: There is a little research that supports the efficacy of brainwave entrainment for PMS symptom reduction in women. Women with long-standing and severe forms of PMS were administered photic stimulations for a series of 3 menstrual cycles. Following the photic stimulation, it was noted that women reported 64% improvement by the second menstrual cycle and 76% improvement after all three cycles.
8. Painting your nails or doing a face mask. Sometimes, a little pampering can melt the stress away. Painting your nails takes a few minutes and the focus needed to do it can be a great distraction. Grabbing a good face mask to throw in your luggage to have handy for some relaxation doesn’t take much forethought and can go a long way at the end of a rough day. You’ll have a chance to breathe and may enjoy enjoy it.
Most massage therapists recommend getting a weekly massage, as this is the frequency that has shown the most significant benefit for most problems. However, even a monthly massage provides benefits. If you don’t have access to a good massage therapist, getting your muscles rubbed by a loved one works nearly as well. All it takes is a little bit of love to give a home-based massage. This can help connect you with your loved one, can act as a prelude for more intimate activities, and can build better bonds. A 15-minute foot massage from your husband has been reported to be one of the most intimate activities a husband and wife can share without engaging in sex.

Another study found slight improvements in trait anxiety as a result of entrainment. It was noted that the study with the most successful protocol started at 30 Hz beta and ramped the frequency down until the person experienced relaxation for 15 minutes. This was then followed with a session of 8 Hz to 14 Hz for 7 minutes. The results suggested that 75% of individuals improved on their measures of long-term stress.

Years of scientific study combined with the personal testimony of thousands of people establish that using brainwave entrainment techniques positively affects the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being in a majority of users. You can easily take advantage of these powerful methods of personal self-help and self-improvement by downloading a variety of entrainment music right now.

All brainwave frequencies are useful and beneficial at certain times – there is no brainwave that is intrinsically better than another. However, by deliberately choosing to attain a particular brainwave state, a corresponding mental state can be brought about at the same time. For example, a working person who has been in an overly alert beta brainwave pattern for many hours can quickly shift their mind and body into a relaxed state by listening to a few minutes of brainwave entrainment music for inducing alpha or theta brainwaves.
Was wondering if you could give me a little more background on the suggested 2hr usage limit. I’m in LOVE with these CDs. Spent two months 2-3 times per day with ‘Equisync II’, and earlier this week shifted over to ‘Equisync III’. Since moving into Equisync III, I’m naturally drawn in my morning sitting to about 1 1/2 hrs with the tracks looping through my iPod. Then I sit again at night. I feel great. So is the 2hrs suggested for people with little prior meditative experience, is it a precaution for those whose psyche may be more fragile and prone to getting uber spacey and not managing their lives?

“Stress” is a commonly used term, and it is often used with different meanings. The standard definition for stress that will be used in this article is the disruption of the body’s homeostasis or a state of disharmony in response to a real or perceived threat or challenge (8). The threatening or challenging situation is referred to as a “stressor.” When a person encounters a stressor, the body prepares to respond to the challenge or threat. The autonomic nervous and endocrine systems respond by producing the hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. The result of this hormone production is a cascade of physiological reactions that make up the stress response. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are involved in the initial changes that take place to prepare the body to react and to prepare for a challenge. These responses include increases in heart and respiration rates, blood pressure, perspiration, and energy production (8). There also is a suppression of immune function, production of β-endorphin (the body’s natural pain killer), and increased acuity of the senses. These changes make up the fight-or-flight response, which prepares the body to cope with the stressor. If the stressor is perceived as negative or more as a threat than as a challenge, cortisol production is increased. Cortisol is involved in energy production but also suppresses immune function.

Heart rate variability: A new study suggests that among those with low HRV (heart-rate variability), brainwave entrainment can increase HRV. Researchers studied individuals ages 20 to 70 and administered alpha brain stimulation. The alpha wave stimulation resulted in greater heart-rate variability. Since a low HRV is associated with early mortality and poor psychological and physical health, efforts made to increase it should be regarded as beneficial.
It is important to note that not all stress is bad. Everyone experiences a certain amount of stress on an almost daily basis, and it cannot be completely eliminated. Stress becomes a problem when too much is experienced, and it has a negative impact on behaviors, relationships, and health. The term “eustress” refers to positive stress that is associated with improved performance and productivity. “Distress” is negative stress that is associated with performance decrement and negative health consequences. The individual’s perception of the stressor and coping resources determine whether a situation is eustress or distress. College graduation is a stressor for most. The student who has a job or who has been accepted to a graduate program likely perceives the stress of graduation as eustress, whereas the student who has student loans and no immediate plans of a job or further education perceives distress.
In much the same way, Christian fundamentalism is a parasitic ideology that inserts itself into brains, commanding individuals to act and think in a certain way — a rigid way that is intolerant to competing ideas. We know that religious fundamentalism is strongly correlated with what psychologists and neuroscientists call “magical thinking,” which refers to making connections between actions and events when no such connections exist in reality. Without magical thinking, the religion can’t survive, nor can it replicate itself. Another cognitive impairment we see in those with extreme religious views is a greater reliance on intuitive rather than reflective or analytic thought, which frequently leads to incorrect assumptions since intuition is often deceiving or overly simplistic.

I personally have been experimenting with binaural beats – both in and out of the float tank – for the past year or so and they have quickly and easily become one of my favourite go-to “hacks” for helping me achieve a desired state of being. From listening to a specific track right before going to sleep which helps put my mind and body in a state of relaxation and recovery to, on the flip-side, listening to a track that helps prime my brain-state for creativity and focus right before I sit down to do some work – like writing this blog! They are also an enjoyable and effective asset to try out and experiment with while in the float tank. For the reasons mentioned above, as well as the sound frequencies can resonate a subtle but noticeable vibration in the tank, water and your body making for quite the unique floating experience!
Another uncontrolled study asked eight adults to listen to a binaural beat CD with delta (1 to 4 Hz) beat frequencies for 60 days straight. The participants filled out surveys before and after the 60-day period that asked questions about their mood and quality of life. The results of the study found that listening to binaural beats for 60 days significantly reduced anxiety and increased the overall quality of life of these participants. Since the study was small, uncontrolled, and relied on patient surveys to collect data, larger studies will be needed to confirm these effects.
Our everyday, waking brain used for active intelligence operates at approximately 13 hertz, which is in the range of high alpha or low beta frequencies. People who have certain learning disabilities and problems with attention often have low levels of 13 hertz frequency brainwaves in crucial areas of the brain used for sequencing tasks and doing simple math calculations. This is one concrete example of how brainwaves are associated with thinking and behavior. Each identified brainwave frequency has a different effect on a person’s ability to think, act, and feel.
In moderation, religious and spiritual practices can be great for a person’s life and mental well-being. But religious fundamentalism — which refers to the belief in the absolute authority of a religious text or leaders — is almost never good for an individual. This is primarily because fundamentalism discourages any logical reasoning or scientific evidence that challenges its scripture, making it inherently maladaptive.
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