Prolonged stress can leave sufferers numb and frozen. And one of the most damaging consequences of this is that it can...
How to destress and combat anxiety
Written by The Healing Hub
Sadly, from work pressure through to enforced isolation, we are currently faced with what seems like a relentless barrage of potential stressors and anxiety triggers.
With all of this in the background, you’d be forgiven for thinking that sustained, harmful stress and anxiety are both somehow inevitable, or even natural. In fact, this isn’t the case at all.
Severe stress isn’t something that you need to accept or learn to live with. You can do something about it - providing you have the right tools and techniques at your fingertips. To see what we mean, take a closer look at these de-stressing methods…
Changing how you breathe really can change how you feel.
As soon as we enter panic mode, we tend to fall into an irregular, shallow breathing pattern. It’s just one of a cascade of distressing symptoms when our body activates the fight-flight-freeze response. We breathe quicker so our body can take in more oxygen very rapidly.
By actively taking control of your breathing, you can reverse this response and dramatically reduce your stress levels. And even when you are not in a full-on panic situation, taking a minute or so to control your breathing can go a long way in helping deal with unprocessed emotions.
Breathe from your belly, pushing out your stomach each time you inhale. Count to three for each breath in and out. It can be uncomfortable at first. But soon, you should start to notice your body and mind getting more relaxed.
We’ve all experienced a gut feeling. And when someone refers to ‘butterflies in the stomach’, we know what they mean.
In fact, there is an incredibly strong link between the digestive and nervous systems (the gut-brain axis). Of the cranial nerves that link the brain to other parts of the body, the vagus nerve (leading to the gut) is the longest and most complex. The gut and brain are also connected through chemicals called neurotransmitters.
Lots of studies show that looking after gut health can have a strong positive effect on brain health, What you eat almost certainly impacts how you feel, and your ability to handle stress and anxiety. In particular, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables are all really valuable sources of prebiotic fibres. As well as being good for your gut, these can also help reduce stress hormones.
Most of us have our favourite pieces of music that we like to turn to for an emotional lift, or to help get us through a stressful situation.
But alongside this, there’s also a very specific approach to de-stressing through sound. It involves the concept of binaural beats, and works on the premise that your left and right ear receive different frequencies of sound, but are registered by the brain as a single sound. The binaural beat is the difference between these two frequencies: a pulse that your conscious mind is unaware of.
These binaural beats can actually be specifically designed to create shifts in the listener’s brain waves to positively impact mood and reduce stress. To see how it works and to try it out for yourself, listen to our Breathing Space tracks.
Rewiring the brain
Neuroplasticity describes the way in which the brain changes in response to experience. It is possible to take control of this, and effectively reprogram the brain to erase negative thinking. This is precisely the methodology used in Breathing Space: a stressbusting technique that can rapidly be put to work to transform how you feel instantly.
For positive change and to put the power to destress in your hands, access The Healing Hub today.
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