Stress And High Blood Pressure - Binaural Beats To The Rescue
Tone Up Your Brain
We All Need A Little Stress
Stress is a natural and necessary body response. When we perceive a threat, our hypothalamus located at the base of the brain, sends a signal to the adrenal glands to start kicking out adrenalin and cortisol. These hormones get the body ready for fight or flight by increasing blood pressure by constricting blood vessels, increasing heart and lung rates to get oxygen and nutrients to muscles and generally putting our body on high alert.
Now this was a really necessary response when man first showed up on the scene and was as likely to be eaten as he was to eat. It’s obviously still an important system to keep us ready for today’s physical threats as well. But today, most of our threats are perceived threats. Maybe it’s stress from the job, financial problems or just the commute home; in any case, the body has hormones working that are not needed as we are not facing a physical threat.
What Does Stress Do To Us
Aside from high blood pressure, stress will also cause a reduction in effectiveness of other body functions like digestion and immune system as they are not seen as essential to fight or flight. You can see how a prolonged perceived threat, or stress, can create other problems like digestive disorders and a higher susceptibility to illness.
So how can we manage this stress?
Traditional Stress Relief
Exercise and sleep are the two most effective methods of reducing the stress hormones that linger in the body due to perceived threats. Unfortunately, many of us can’t get sufficient sleep or find the time to exercise.
Avoiding stress generating conditions is another stress management technique but how do you avoid your job or the commute to it, or your kids or any of the other stressors in your life?
The perceived threat is created in our minds and that’s the first place you have to look to find the fix. If you can train your mind to view the threat for what it actually is rather that what is perceived, you can take the “fear” out of stress and stop the fight or flight response. This doesn’t change the cause of the stress, if your commute is slow it’s slow, it simply allows you to understand what it is and what can be done to deal with it ie leave sooner or take a different route. Now you view it as a challenge rather than a threat.
Easier said than done. Particularly if you are already really stressed out.
Binaural Beats Trains Your Brain
There is one school of thought that initially looks a little “new age” but is actually over 100 years old. When the brain perceives fear or anxiety or calm or alertness or any of a number of emotions, it gives off a specific electrical response or “wave” These waves can be measured via EEG and their wave length determined. The trick then is to understand what wave length is associated with relaxation or sleep or whatever condition you desire and get your brain to start humming that tune.
One way of doing this is by introducing frequencies into each ear that will trick the brain into developing the desired wave length. A system called binaural beats is used via stereo headphones to introduce tones into each ear. The idea is the brain will hear the tones and interpret them as the desired wave length. Consequently, if the binaural beats are the same as the brain would give off in a relaxed state, then the brain will be “entrained” to give off that wave length and relax the body.
This certainly isn’t a new concept. Some music can be relaxing as can some natural sounds like rain or waves on a beach. The difference here is that the tones are designed to a specific wave length to stimulate a specific response.
If you have 10 minutes and a set of stereo headphones, have a go at the video below.
Ten Minute Brain Break
More Brain Breaks To Lower Stress
- Brainwave Symphony
You can lower stress, heighten awareness, get your creative juices going all by tuning into the right binaural beat. Check out the stress reducing effects and other opportunities here.