Tips to reduce stressPenelope
Who doesn’t need some effective stress management at times? How about effective de-stressing instead, It’s way more powerful and gives you the bonus of added emotional resiliency, it’s a win-win solution!
Hello and welcome to Doorway To Freedom. My name is Penelope and I’m a hypno-psychotherapist.
So in today’s video I would like to share with you about what you can do to start looking after your mental health. And want to say your mental health. I mean your emotional health. They are the same thing, but I do prefer to call it emotional health.
So there are a few simple activities that you can do to promote effective distressing. And I want you to pay attention here because I’m talking about effective distress. I’m not talking about managing stress. There’s a big difference because managing stress is just about coping more or less well with stress that you are already experiencing, whereas effective distressing means releasing stress from your nervous system. And when you release stress from your nervous system and you do it regularly, what happens is you automatically build on your emotional resiliency.
When you are emotionally resilient, it means that the stress that used to have an effect on you, wouldn’t have the same effect on you today. So the things that you used to upset you, maybe a few months ago would not upset you as much today. Maybe they won’t upset you anymore at all, but it’s more realistic to say they won’t affect you as much anymore.
So before we start going into the list of activities, I want to show you, well, I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of the brain functioning because I’m not a neurologist, I’m no medical staff, so I actually, don’t know much of that, but I do know something basic, that is also useful for you to know, and why it makes sense that the list of activities that I’m going to share with you will actually help you to distress effectively and build on your natural resiliency.
So the brain works by producing electricity and it produces more or less electricity depending on what kind of activities we are doing. So have a nice chart here, which basically represents the four brain wave band-widths that have been recognized as the activity that the brain produces when in function.
So you can see that the top of band-width is the Beta waves band-width and there is a lot of activity; this equals to us being in the awake state and engaging in something that requires our attention of focus. For example, now I’m talking, and so my brain is organizing the information that I want to convey, and I am using the information in a way that I can make my points come across through my language.
So my brain is producing a lot of electricity at this moment. When I finish this video, I can go and relax a little bit and make a cup of tea and take a few minutes off, half an hour off and what happens is that because I’m not engaging in something that I need to focus on my brain activity will slow down, and so my brain enters this alpha waves bandwidth, as you can see there’s about probably half the amount of activity as in the first bandwidth.
And if I were to after the tea decide that I’m going to go for a nap, what happens is that my brain-wave activity slows down even more. And my brain will enter the Theta waves bandwidth. Now, although the Alpha bandwidth is a beneficial state to be in, it’s in the Theta state that the magic happens. It is in this state that because my brain is so relaxed, I’m able to release stress from the nervous system.
So we want to aim at bringing the brain into the two states basically. And, if from a nap I decide I don’t want to get up because I’ m falling asleep and I forgot to put an alarm on, what happens is my brain relaxes even more, slows down even more the activity and my brain ends up in the Delta waves band-width, which is basically when we’re sleeping, well not only when we’re sleeping, but it only reaches this kind of state in very, very few occasions. So we’re mainly concerned with the two middle states.
So let’s have a look now at our activities to help our brain slow down and go into these two states.
So the activities that will send your brain into the Alpha state are very simple and it’s activities that you already to do, you should just aim at doing them more often and possibly daily.
So physical exercise will send you into that state. Now, when I say physical exercise I’m talking about leisurely physical exercise, it shouldn’t be anything where you’re trying to break your record, or you’re trying to build up on muscle and you have goals for yourself. It should be leisurely physical exercise. So even a brisk walk will do. And anything else that you do to distress basically, as we know, doctors say that physical exercise is a very good outlet for stress.
Another thing that you can do is grounding yourself. And the way I’m thinking of grounding is, you could obviously obviously do it with meditation but you want to be already apt at meditation, you don’t want to be at the very beginning because when you’re learning to meditate, it can be really frustrating because it’s not actually that easy to do. So if you’re already meditating and you’re doing it even twice a week, that is great, that is a good way to reach that Alpha state of relaxation.
Otherwise what I mean by grounding is simply going out and take your shoes off, your socks off and walk on the grass. Now, they say that if you walk on tarmac or cement, it does the same thing, the excessive energy that you have built up because of stress would just be discharged into the ground. But if you walk on actual soil, it’s even more beneficial because you’re actually in contact with the ground and therefore it’s even more grounding for you. And it’s especially good if the grass is a little bit wet.
Then the next thing that you can do is simply reading a book that is not challenging, or is not particularly entertaining, that is not sending a rush of adrenaline through your body.
And the same goes for listening to relaxing music. It might not be your favourite type of music, but you listening to heavy metal or dance music is not going to help you discharge stress.
You could also even watch a movie, a movie that is not particularly engaging, something easy peasy, the kind of movie that is even a little bit boring, and therefore you just let yourself go completely and relax, and maybe even nod off, or even fall asleep. That would be an excellent movie to watch. I do realize though, that you won’t know what kind of movie you’re watching until you’re watching it. So probably not an easy choice to make.
And, what else do I have there? Yes, my last thing on the list to help you send your brain into the Alpha state is visualizations. Visualizations are amazing. Why? Because you it’s easy for you to disconnect from the daily living and go into this realm which is a dream-like. So what you can do is just sit back in your chair, in your couch, in your bed, laying in the bed, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, that will help your conscious brain slows down in its thinking, and all you have to do is relax and visualize being on a beautiful beach on a warm day and just start feeling very, very comfortable and paying attention to the details of the scenes will help you relax deeper and deeper. For example, you’re feeling the sunshine on your skin, you’re feeling the heat of the sunshine on your skin, and then you pay attention to the sounds, and you can hear the seagulls in the air, the cries of the seagulls; and then at the same time, you hear the crushing waves on the beach… and also you can feel a light breeze on your skin.
So this kind of paying attention to details will help you disconnect easily from daily living and daily worries, which is why visualizations are extremely beneficial. And the reason why they are, is because visualizations will start sending your brain into the lower bandwidth which is the Theta waves band-width. So if you can just take 10, 15 minutes to do a visualization three times a week, even two times a week, you are going to distress effectively during those 10, 15, 20 minutes. So it is something that I really recommend you start doing.
And if you should find it difficult because you may be over stressed, and therefore your mind is like an engine in the background and going through thoughts and thoughts, and you find it really hard to kind of switch it off, you can help yourself with a guided meditation.
Guided meditations are even better than just simple visualizations because you have a narrator helping you relax and visualizing the story. Guided meditations are great because you will be listening to the voice with your conscious brain, which means you’re are engaging that part of the mind that otherwise is constantly thinking, you’re focusing it on a voice and therefore you give it something to do. And the narrator will speak in a soft voice and will gently guide you into relaxation. If you are interested, I’m leaving down here below a link to a free relaxing meditation that you can start with and effectively distress.
So there are only two other activities that I know of, that will send your brain into that lower state of activity. And one is meditation, but the kind of meditation that takes a long time to get you into that state. So unless you’re already meditating for a long time, and you know what I’m talking about, I would leave meditation aside because it does take a long time with meditation alone to reach that bandwidth it.
And another thing that you can do, and this is my last thing on the list is deep relaxation. What do I mean by deep relaxation? I mean, the kind of relaxation that you get to with a guided meditation, or when you have a nap, you know, power naps? That’s why they call it power naps, because 15, 20 minutes is usually not enough for most of us to fall asleep, unless we are extremely tired and overworked. But what happens is that we do have the feeling of having slept an hour, or even two hours. And it’s because we are releasing stress from the nervous system, that’s why when we wake up, we feel totally refreshed.
So I hope you have enjoyed this video, that you found out interesting information, that’s the aim. If so, please like it and share it. And don’t forget to check out my guided meditation below, and I’d be happy for you to subscribe, to see my future videos. Thank you for watching.