Slumping can be an outward sign of stress—not to mention that bad posture actually puts more physical stress on your body. “People who are overly stressed often display their worries in their body carriage,” Whitaker says. “Those who are weighed down with stress commonly have a poor posture or struggle with aches and pains in their body. They often slouch when sitting or concave their body inwards with rounded shoulders as they go about their business under the weight of the burdens they carry.” Taking a few seconds when you feel stressed to check your posture and sit up straight (like your mother told you) can help you feel better. “Studies show that poor posture is related to anxiety, depression, helplessness, and irritability, so keeping your chin up and shoulders back will help,” Dr. Serani says. Happy and confident people naturally tend to stand a bit taller. Here are the other stressors you didn’t know you had.
There are differences between high (over 18 hertz), mid (15 to 18 hertz), and low range beta states (12 to 15 hertz). Low beta states are more relaxed while still being focused, making this a good range for many daily work related tasks like balancing a checkbook, making a shopping list, or driving to a new place. However, people with attention deficit disorder lack the mental focus for doing these types of activities, and studies have found people with ADD are often low in this range of beta brainwaves.
Thanks to e-mail, cell phones, and BlackBerrys, it seems like your job never ends. The increasingly blurry boundaries between work and home life leave us with less downtime than ever before (and in some cases, no downtime!). Advances in technology are a leading source of chronic stress, putting many of us in a constant state of alert. Not to mention the effect it has on family ties. A recent study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found a link between the use of cell phones and pagers at home and increased stress, which spills over into family life. To make technology work for you, screen calls with caller ID or, better yet, limit your cell phone and e-mail use to working hours only. Can't kick the BlackBerry habit? Set a regular time you'll check it in the evening (say, after dinner), so you're not constantly disrupting home life to keep tabs on work. (The one exception: using your device to breathe with this anxiety-reducing GIF.)
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If brainwave entrainment leaves you with unwanted side-effects (see below) or discomfort, you’re probably encouraging a range of brainwaves that are already excessive in some area of your brain. The way around this is to get a brain map to see what your brain’s strengths and weaknesses are, and see what (if any) brainwaves could use some encouragement.
Meditation enhancement: There are several companies that sell brainwave entrainment sessions specifically designed to enhance meditation. The sounds provide a stimuli to focus on during the meditation, and the brain waves naturally shift towards the frequency provided. Whether meditation is actually enhanced by brainwave entrainment is a subject of debate. However, advanced meditators commonly experience brainwave synchronization – which the right and left hemispheres display the same frequency brain waves. While there are scientific benefits of meditation, it is unclear as to whether they are enhanced, hindered, or unaffected by adjunctive brainwave entrainment.
Another effective way to release energy, frustration, and tension is to learn and practice a martial art. There are many to choose from: Krav Maga, karate, judo, tae kwon do, and more. In addition to keeping you active, martial arts have other benefits; they teach you self-discipline, and the self-defense techniques you learn can make you feel safer.
I also believe that the dangers of brainwave entrainment should be further explored as well. There are relatively vague benefits, but it remains unclear as to whether entraining certain frequencies may be detrimental to performance or induce harm. Despite the fact that brainwave entrainment has existed for a long term, it remains an understudied niche in neuroscience.
In general, we are accustomed to being in the beta brain rhythm. We are in a Beta brainwave pattern when we are consciously alert. It is the default and dominant brainwave for most of us most of the time. We are in Beta when we feel agitated, tense, hurried, pressured, afraid and stressed. The frequencies range from 13 to 60 pulses per second in the Hertz scale.
There appeared to be some evidence that 10 Hz stimulation (alpha waves) improved anxiety, but it wasn’t statistically significant. A study that utilized a ramping format of alpha to theta to delta waves (over the course of 10 minutes) found a significant improvement in anxiety. In terms of long-term stress, there is evidence that alpha and beta stimulation improved measures of “competence” and “emotional exhaustion.”
Anabel first called on Alakazam in Talking a Good Game! to help her and Ash when they were attacked by Team Rocket. Alakazam was able to beat them with its powerful Psychic attacks. Ash then realized that Anabel was a Frontier Brain and that he would have to battle Alakazam. Ash chose Corphish for the match. Anabel had the ability to telepathically communicate with her Pokémon and give commands without saying a word. In the end, Alakazam easily defeated Corphish. Alakazam then went on to defeat Ash's Tauros before finally being defeated by his Pikachu, but not before weakening it.
In addition to its calming physical effects, the relaxation response also increases energy and focus, combats illness, relieves aches and pains, heightens problem-solving abilities, and boosts motivation and productivity. Best of all, anyone can reap these benefits with regular practice. And while you may choose to pay for a professional massage or acupuncture session, for example, most relaxation techniques can be done on your own or with the aid of free audio downloads or inexpensive smartphone apps.
A common element in recordings incorporating alpha and theta frequencies is a steady but barely perceptible rhythm of the frequencies themselves. This subtle and calming pulse mixes with sounds of gentle breezes, distant bird songs, and the slow progression of deep synth notes. Underneath this, below the audible sounds at sub 16 hertz levels, other frequencies intermingle, deepening the merging of conscious and unconscious mind.
Summaries from recent reviews on yoga or Tai Chi clinical trial interventions indicate that these mind-body types of exercise can be effective in reducing stress (7,14,17). The authors of these reviews suggest that the results should be viewed with caution because study quality was varied (7,17). However, it should be noted that reductions in stress reported in one review were similar to or greater than reductions from other types of commonly used stress management techniques (7).
That all said, we are all different and have our own different limits. So I generally advise that you just be aware of how you are feeling, and if you feel like you are getting a bit fatigued from it, it’s probably time to stop or at least take a break. When listening over long extended periods, I recommend that you keep yourself well-hydrated. Your brain needs a good supply of water to function well, especially if you are studying hard and increasing your brainwave electrical activity.
As bizarre as it may sound, the bacteria in your gut might be contributing to stress. Research has shown that the brain signals to the gut, which is why stress can inflame gastrointestinal symptoms; communication may flow the other way too, from gut to brain. A 2013 UCLA study among 36 healthy women revealed that consuming probiotics in yogurt reduced brain activity in areas that handle emotion, including stress compared to people who consumed yogurt without probiotics or no yogurt at all. This study was small so more research is needed to confirm the results—but considering yogurt is full of calcium and protein in addition to probiotics, you really can't go wrong by adding more of it to your diet.
ADHD: In 1997, various researchers conducted a study testing whether children with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) would benefit from audio-visual entrainment in a school setting. The researchers entrained a small sample of 34 students from 2 different schools. They were given audio-visual entrainment for a period of 1 month and 3 weeks at various times throughout the school day.
That is a general assumption people make but there isn’t really much science to back it up. What we do know though is that isochronic tones are ineffective below 4hz, and possibly a bit higher. So for theta and delta entrainment you are best off with binaural beats. In my experience binaural beats will be very effective all the way up to around 40hz.
This has been a very inclusive and helpful blog. You have covered all the different means we have to help us get through the whole menopause process. It takes a combination of all the means suggested in your article, not just one. Eating of fresh fruits and vegetables is so important. Taking of the Magnesium supplement has been most helpful, to me, along with time for meditation/prayer. We have soooo many things available to us to help us through this short sometimes difficult period in our lives. Take advantage of the suggestions in this great article.
I’ve been using equisync first thing in the morning after I get up, and listen to all three tracks in a row. I again listen to all three tracks in the late afternoon. If I don’t have that much time available, I will start on Track 2 or 3, as necessary. I have really started to focus on my breathing, and notice the difference – I finish the session in a DEEPLY relaxed state.
The immobilization response. If you’ve experienced some type of trauma and tend to “freeze” or become “stuck” under stress, your challenge is to first rouse your nervous system to a fight or flight response (above) so you can employ the applicable stress relief techniques. To do this, choose physical activity that engages both your arms and legs, such as running, dancing, or tai chi, and perform it mindfully, focusing on the sensations in your limbs as you move.
While people have full control of themselves when they are conscious, it’s a whole different ballgame when it comes to dealing with their subconscious. However, with regular production of Theta brainwaves, you’re able to eliminate any emotional blockages you may have, allowing you to accept suggestions and ideas more, helping you re-program your brain to suit your needs.
This unique session works the opposite to most sessions. It attempts to ‘dis-entrain’ the brain, breaking stuck thinking patterns and allowing a fresh way of thinking. The recording contains random and chaotic isochronic tones spanning 7.83 to 18 Hz, played over a background of gamma-embedded noise. Use this session to sit back and allow fresh ideas and new connections to form. Finishes at the illuminating14Hz sensorimotor rhythm frequency.