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!
The exact physiological mechanisms to explain how exercise improves stress have not been delineated. Human and animal research indicates that being physically active improves the way the body handles stress because of changes in the hormone responses, and that exercise affects neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin that affect mood and behaviors (9,11). In addition to the possible physiological mechanisms, there also is the possibility that exercise serves as a time-out or break from one’s stressors. A study that tested the time-out hypothesis used a protocol that had participants exercise but did not allow a break from stress during the exercise session (5). Participants were college-aged women who reported that studying was their biggest stressor. Self-report of stress and anxiety symptoms was assessed with a standard questionnaire before and after four conditions over 4 days. The conditions were quiet rest, study, exercise, and studying while exercising. These conditions were counterbalanced across participants, and each condition was 40 minutes in duration. The “exercise only” condition had the greatest calming effect (5). When participants were not given a break from their stressor in the “studying while exercising” condition, exercise did not have the same calming effect.
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.
Start by kneading the muscles at the back of your neck and shoulders. Make a loose fist and drum swiftly up and down the sides and back of your neck. Next, use your thumbs to work tiny circles around the base of your skull. Slowly massage the rest of your scalp with your fingertips. Then tap your fingers against your scalp, moving from the front to the back and then over the sides.
As you close your eyes, this session quickly lulls you down into deep delta sleep, where the body recovers and grows. The session starts at a waking frequency, soon taking you down deep into delta, with stops at sigificant beneficial frequencies such as the de-stressing 10Hz, the grounding 7.83Hz Schumann resonance (SR), and the deeply relaxing 5.5Hz. You’ll soon find yourself in a deep, healing sleep. If you’re particularly stressed, try listening to Power Chill before starting