If you’re like me the thought of meditating seems repulsive (like a forced torture!). But there are really easy relaxation techniques to stop that daily mind chatter and over thinking. Techniques that give your mind a little holiday and bring a sense of clarity, peace and calmness into your daily life.
Try gazing into a candle flame (even for a few minutes), relaxing and listening to gentle or uplifting instrumental music through earphones, or sitting still and focusing your energy going into your hands (they may start to tingle) and then into your body.
Walking barefoot on the shoreline is another, sitting or lying down at a beautiful nature spot (one you’re drawn to energetically).
Anyone know of any other easy techniques?
The Need For Peace
I have more suggestions, eat an alkaline diet, practice simple relaxation techniques, accept and avoid toxic people, add healthy people. Find joy daily, walk in nature, dance, create, have fun.
Poor cortisol: It means well but just doesn’t know when to quit. Produced by your adrenal glands, this “stress hormone” helps regulate blood pressure and the immune system during a sudden crisis, whether a physical attack or an emotional setback. This helps you to tap into your energy reserves and increases your ability to fight off infection.
Trouble is, relentless stress can keep this survival mechanism churning in high gear, subverting the hormone’s good intentions. Chronically high cortisol levels can cause sleep problems, a depressed immune response, blood sugar abnormalities, and even abdominal weight gain. “When cortisol spikes, it tells the body to eat something with a lot of calories—a great survival tactic if you need energy to flee a predator but not if you’re fretting over how to pay bills,” says nutritional biochemist Shawn Talbott, PhD, author of The Cortisol Connection.
Fortunately, an antidote to the body’s fight-or-flight mode has evolved: the relaxation response. Here are eight surprising ways to invoke stress management—and in some cases, cut your cortisol levels almost in half.
To Cut Cortisol 20%…Say “Om”
People who practiced Buddhist meditation significantly decreased both cortisol and blood pressure in a 6-week Thai study. Similarly, participants who meditated daily for four months decreased the hormone by an average of 20% in a study at Maharishi University, while levels in the non-meditating control group actually went up slightly. (Try these 8 simple meditations that can change your life.)
To Cut Cortisol Elevation 66%…Make a great iPod mix
Music can have a calming effect on the brain, especially while you’re facing down a major stressor. When doctors at Japan’s Osaka Medical Center played tunes for a group of patients undergoing colonoscopies, the patients’ cortisol levels rose less than those of others who underwent the same procedure in a quiet room. Even if an invasive gastrointestinal exam isn’t in your immediate future, you can forestall cortisol spikes in other stressful situations—when hosting dinner for your in-laws, for instance—by queueing up background music. And to wind down faster at bedtime, listen to something soothing instead of watching TV.
To Cut Cortisol 50%…Hit the sack early—or take a nap
What’s the difference between getting six hours of sleep instead of the suggested eight? “Fifty percent more cortisol in the bloodstream,” Talbott says. When a group of pilots slept six hours or less for seven nights while on duty, their cortisol levels increased significantly and stayed elevated for two days, found a study at Germany’s Institute for Aerospace Medicine. The recommended 8 hours of nightly shut-eye allows your body enough time to recover from the day’s stresses, Talbott says. When you fall short of the mark, take a nap the next day—Pennsylvania State University researchers found that a midday snooze cut cortisol levels in subjects who’d lost sleep the previous night.
To Cut Cortisol 47%…Sip some black tea
The “cup that cheers” has deep associations with comfort and calm—just think of how the English revere their late-afternoon teatime. As it turns out, science confirms the connection: When volunteers at University College London were given a stressful task, the cortisol levels of those who were regular black-tea drinkers fell by 47% within an hour of completing the assignment, while others who drank fake tea experienced only a 27% drop. Study author Andrew Steptoe, PhD, suspects that naturally occurring chemicals such as polyphenols and flavonoids may be responsible for tea’s calming effects.
To Cut Cortisol 39%…Hang out with a funny friend
The pal who keeps you in stitches can do more than distract you from your problems—her very presence may help temper your hormonal stress response. Simply anticipating laughter is enough to reduce cortisol levels by nearly half, according to researchers at Loma Linda University. (If your favorite Tina Fey clone can’t meet for coffee, you may be able to achieve the same stress-melting effect by popping in a DVD of The Office.)
To Cut Cortisol 31%…Schedule a massage
A little pampering can rub your stress levels the right way. After several weeks of massage therapy, subjects’ cortisol levels decreased by nearly one-third, on average, according to studies at the University of Miami School of Medicine and elsewhere. In addition to keeping cortisol under control, massage sessions reduce stress by promoting production of dopamine and serotonin, the same “feel good” hormones released when we socialize with pals or do something fun.
To Cut Cortisol 25%…Do Something Spiritual
Religious ritual fortifies many people against everyday pressures, and it can also lower cortisol secretion, report University of Mississippi researchers. Churchgoing study subjects had lower levels of the stress hormone, on average, than those who did not attend services at all. If organized religion isn’t of interest to you, try developing your spiritual side by taking a walk in nature’s “cathedral”—in the woods or along a beach—or volunteering for a charity.
Brain Waves & Dissociation
5 Categories of Brain Waves
1. Gamma State: (30 — 100Hz) This is the state of hyperactivity and active learning. Gamma state is the most opportune time to retain information. This is why educators often have audiences jumping up and down or dancing around — to increase the likelihood of permanent assimilation of information. If over stimulated, it can lead to anxiety.
2. Beta State: (13 — 30Hz) Where we function for most of the day, Beta State is associated with the alert mind state of the prefrontal cortex. This is a state of the “working” or “thinking mind”: analytical, planning, assessing and categorizing.
3. Alpha State: (9 — 13Hz) Brain waves start to slow down out of thinking mind. We feel more calm, peaceful and grounded. We often find ourselves in an “alpha state” after a yoga class, a walk in the woods, a pleasurable sexual encounter or during any activity that helps relax the body and mind. We are lucid, reflective, have a slightly diffused awareness. The hemispheres of the brain are more balanced (neural integration).
4. Theta State: (4 — 8Hz) This is the point where the verbal/thinking mind transitions to the meditative/visual mind. We begin to move from the planning mind to a deeper state of awareness (often felt as drowsy), with stronger intuition, more capacity for wholeness and complicated problem solving. The Theta state is associated with visualization.
5. Delta State: (1—3 Hz) Tibetan monks who have been meditating for decades can reach this in an alert, wakened phase, but most of us reach this final state during deep, dreamless sleep.
Normal waking consciousness, is characterized by dominant beta activity, along with a lot of alpha activity in the rear part of the cortex. This back-of-the-head alpha is called “resting-state alpha.” It seems to be an “anchor,” serving as a stabilizing force, linking us with our “normal” and familiar modes of mental processing. It’s like the alpha observed in the early stages of Zen meditation.
The Dissociate State
When subjects enter expanded states of consciousness, they lose awareness of the physical world and reach a point, when non-physical phenomena constitute the whole field of perception; when there is no impression of being ‘normally’ in the physical body; when the physical body is asleep or fully entranced.” This is the dissociative state.
In the dissociative state, resting-state alpha disappears and is replaced by high-amplitude theta and delta activity, centered at the top of the head (the median of the central cortex). Interestingly, this high-amplitude theta and delta activity is synchronous. This dissociative state seems to be essentially what earlier researchers, have been describing as the theta state and is equivalent to the state reached by experienced Zen meditators as they sink downward past alpha. It also seems to offer access to what has been called the unconscious mind or the personal unconscious.
The Transcendent State
Beyond theta, the personal unconscious, beyond the dissociative state, is the state transcendence. In this state, individuals move beyond their own ego, beyond the personal unconscious mind, into a peak state of universal awareness. Experiences in this state are many times ineffable and cannot be explained or described in words. Experiences in this realm are more than passive diversions. Their creative power can change the very nature of the participants’ reality.”
More on Brainwaves
The more you activate a particular brainwave the easier it becomes to slip into that vibration or state of consciousness. Whether you are mentally active, resting or asleep, the brain always has some level of electrical activity going on. People talk and think like we are producing only one type of brain wave at a time, but brain waves do not separate out that neatly they are more soup like.
BETA brainwaves are aligned with the third dimension physical thinking and perceptions. Generally resulting in a CALL to DUTY. Frequently resulting in stress, anxiety or depression. Fear and anger WILLL instantly lower your awareness into the Beta brainwaves of your immediate tasks, duties, dangers, and responsibilities. Beta brainwaves are quick, low amplitude waves at 12hz – 38hz per second and means you are wide-awake and in an alert state of consciousness.
Those people that lack sufficient beta activity may have mental or emotional issues such as depression, insomnia or ADD Attention Deficit Disorder, ADHD Attention Deficit with HYPERACTIVITY Disorder, unable to stay focused and are easily distracted. Stimulating beta activity can improve their emotional stability, energy levels, attentiveness and concentration.
ALPHA brainwaves are aligned with fourth dimension, creative thought, fun, intellectual relaxation and a receptive mental state, sense of well-being and improved immune functioning. Close your eyes and your brain starts producing more alpha waves and happiness. The significant dream you have may actually be one of your alternate realities. Fourth dimension dreams and creative ventures may also give you guidance. Alpha brainwaves are at 8hz – 12hz per second and are relaxed wakefulness not processing much information. When you get up in the morning and just before sleep, you are naturally in the alpha state.
Our waking state is characterized by alpha and beta brainwaves and calibrated to 3rd and lower 4th dimension. Reality is perceived, as “outside” of you and happening to you. You want to please your environment to get the best result for yourself.
The Alpha/Theta brainwave border of 7 to 8 Hz per second is associated insights and personal transforming awareness. Anger, resentment or painful memories are seen from the point of perception of the detached observer. Moving from upper 4th to 5th dimension or vibration is changing your thoughts or point of perception.
In 4th dimension you look for something to enjoy and someone to love.
In 5th dimension you ENJOY YOU, what you have, what you are doing and whom you are with. You own your creations and experiences and do not blame or judge. When you are unsatisfied with your creations, you re-create again and again, rewrite and change.
THETA brainwaves are at 3hz – 8hz and are aligned with high fourth and lower fifth dimension, light sleep or extreme relaxation. Joy, compassion and surrender expands your awareness into theta fifth-dimension, you have released your reactive or negative emotions. You are a detached observer without emotion or drama. You released attachment to conflict, fear and emotion.
You KNOW you are ALWAYS guided, instructed, comforted and protected. You become aware that you can put in a call for assistance in any area of your life. On the sub-atomic, quantum level reality organizes itself according to the expectations of the observer or creator. We can’t imagine a reality that exists without us because our act of observing our self; creates us as we go. What we expect to be present WILL be there because we created it by expecting it. Consciousness comes through us and emanates from us.
DELTA Brainwave is at 0.2hz – 3hz and is deep sleep OR wakefulness functioning in compassion and fifth dimension LIGHTBODY the thoughts and perceptions are “other worldly.” In delta, your body may be HEALING or RESETTING itself and its cycles. Fifth and sixth dimension is usually delta wave experiencing ONLY your inside world or spiritual awareness with little connection to the biology. 6th dimension holds the blueprint or design that is projected into lower illusions. You are pure consciousness and choose to have a body or not to have one.
The relatively high vibration and slow brainwave activity of DELTA and THETA brainwaves is a dissociative state. Dissociation is a process of thinking, feeling and physical sensations drifting from your awareness. Dissociation can occur during meditation, exercise, while driving or immersed in a good book or movie.
GAMMA BRAINWAVES at 27 Hz and up are found in virtually every part of the brain and serve as a binding mechanism between all parts of the brain. Different pieces of information like size, color, texture and function get integrated synthesized or harmonized to improve memory and perception. Gamma brainwaves are associated with formation of ideas, language and memory processing. Combining information for greater understanding. Epsilon, Hyper-gamma and Lambda brainwaves have a circular link and work together. The three brainwaves are said to be present while meditating, creative problem solving and having awareness of the self. Our expanded, psychic senses are embedded or piggybacked on our five senses.
The slow Epsilon brainwaves have fast Lambda brainwaves embedded in them. Lambda brainwaves at 100hz – 200hz are associated with integrated wholeness and out of body experiences. Your consciousness can be reduced down to the size of a photon and can travel where you thought takes you.
EPSILON BRAINWAVES are extremely low at 0.5 cycles per second and considered to be the state yogis go into when they achieve suspended animation and total control of their biological functions.