Have you ever used music as a tool for stress? Whether we’re feeling happy, sad, anxious or downright stressed, I bet most of us have turned to music to help us process our emotions. Whether we want it loud to drown out our thoughts, soft & mellow, or bright and happy…. The power of music is something most of us have experienced in one way or another.
But there is another way you can experience the power of music. Certain music has been shown to alter our brain waves & therefore our moods during and after our experience.
Binaural beats are claimed to induce the same mental state associated with a meditation practice, but much more quickly. In effect, binaural beats are said to:
increase focus and concentration
foster positive moods
help manage pain
The way binaural beats work, are by playing different frequencies in different ears, our brains then synchronize to the difference between the 2 frequencies. For binaural beats to be effective, you need to listen with earphone so that each ear is hearing the different frequency.
Binaural beats in the delta (1 to 4 Hz) range have been associated with deep sleep and relaxation.
Binaural beats in the theta (4 to 8 Hz) range are linked to REM sleep, reduced anxiety, relaxation, as well as meditative and creative states.
Binaural beats in the alpha frequencies (8 to 13 Hz) are thought to encourage relaxation, promote positivity, and decrease anxiety.
Binaural beats in the lower beta frequencies (14 to 30 Hz) have been linked to increased concentration and alertness, problem solving, and improved memory.
In much the same way, different breath patterns & meditation influence the brain in the same way. Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind.
During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being. A regular meditation practice has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, slow down the rate of brain aging and memory loss, promote emotional health, and lengthen attention span.
When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.
The emotional benefits of meditation can include:
Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
Building skills to manage your stress
Focusing on the present
Reducing negative emotions
Increasing imagination and creativity
Increasing patience and tolerance
Can you imagine the power you could create in your own body if you combined these 2 practices? I have seen & felt first-hand the benefits of this practice – the main thing is to be CONSISTENT. It’s no good trying to only practice when you’re already stressed and feeling anxious. We want to be practicing every single day, even just for 15 minutes. Just like with any exercise, this allows us to strengthen our bodies & brains against stress in everyday situations. You will be better equipped to deal with stress as it arises, and more able to let the emotions keep flowing, like water off a ducks back.
Just like when you are starting with a new exercise schedule, I think it’s important to be held in meditation by a professional. They can help you acknowledge your stress, and provide a breathwork pattern that is going to allow your body to feel safe & start the healing process. It takes practice and dedication to feel the full benefits, so don’t give up!
If you’re not sure how you are feeling, your body will ALWAYS give you the clues. Sit quietly and acknowledge how you are breathing. If they are short and shallow, chances are your body is feeling some sort of stress. Once you acknowledge how you feel, you can start incorporating practices that will help you move through stressful times in your life.