What Is Sound Therapy
Sound has been used to heal and calm people for thousands of years.
Himalayan singing bowls used in Asia during prayer and meditation are said to have positive effects on ones health and well-being.
This is just one example of age-old instruments from all over the world being applied as healing instruments.
Sound therapy is based on the premise that we are all made up of energy frequencies, and audio frequencies can interact with our bodys energy to rebalance our systems.
Since music is basically just organised sound, it can be deconstructed to have powerful effects on our physical and psychological well-being.
Muscle Relaxation Exercises To Get Started
There are two main steps in doing progressive muscle relaxation intentionally tensing muscles and then intentionally releasing that tension.
Heres a quick exercise to give you an idea of how progressive muscle relaxation feels.
Clenched Fist Muscle Relaxation Exercise
Clench your right hand to make a fist while flexing it upward at the wrist.
Hold tight for 10 seconds then release, letting your hand go limp.
Do this a few times.
You should notice that your right hand now feels more relaxed than your left.
Most progressive relaxation technique exercises start with the feet and work their way up to the head, but some do the opposite.
Heres an example of a typical full-body progressive muscle relaxation sequence.
Full-Body Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercise
Get comfortable, seated or lying down.
Take a few deep relaxing breaths.
Start by focusing on your right foot.
Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeeze hard and hold for 10 seconds.
Relax your right foot and notice the tension flowing away.
Thinking to yourself relax or letting go can help.
Repeat with your left foot.
Work your way up your body, tightening and releasing groups of muscles, alternating between your right and left sides.
Concentrate on these groups of muscles in this order:
- arms and hands combined
- shoulder, neck, and face combined
You can do this mini-exercise in a minute or two anytime you want to de-stress quickly.
Using PMR as a Relaxation Warm-Up
Avoid Stressful Activities Before Bed
Amber Weiss, licensed psychotherapist and founder of Transformative Mindset, says, Creating some form of a transition from daytime to sleeping is highly recommended. According to Weiss, you cant expect the mind to go to sleep on demand. Instead, you need to allow time for the brain to transition, just like we transition to go outside or when we get home.
The goal is to reduce the nervous thoughts in your head so your mind is clear, calm, and positive before you head off to sleep. This can entail leaving the office, work, news, and social media exchanges for earlier in the day to create buffer time between work and sleep, setting yourself up for better rest.
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How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purposeit enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including:
Pick A Location That Makes You Comfortable
Pick a location that you can be comfortable at, but not too comfortable.
Picking a place where everyone knows you will make your date feel left out. The last thing you want to do is make your date feel uncomfortable. It will just ruin the good buzz youve worked up before the date.
You ought to go to a place youre somewhat familiar and comfortable with. Youre already dealing with the anxiety of meeting someone new. So going to a new restaurant or club that youve never been to before will only heighten your stress and anxiety levels.
Meet on mutually beneficial territory that youll both enjoy. Even if its not some place youve gone often, if its in an area you know, thats enough to help calm you down.
Youll both have the opportunity to fully experience this venue together and even infusing it as a topic of discussion.
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Tip Three Tell Someone
So the next thing I like to do is tell someone Im feeling anxious, but, this is where its difficult
When you tell someone youre really worried about a situation theyll often want to provide you with a solution, natural human instinct, right?
A friend, or your partner or someone youre close to tells you theyre worried about this thing at work and you naturally want to find the solution so they can no longer worry. However, normally, when were worrying about something, its not necessarily that we dont have the solution, its more like maybe weve got so much to do we cant handle it or, actually doing the thing is really difficult.
And so in the majority of cases I find I dont want a solution, and people giving me a solution actually stresses me out more because then I feel like I need to defend my own solution Not ideal and this makes everything even more stressful.
So when you tell someone, make sure you also tell them whether you want a solution or if you want just support!
This is something that my boyfriend and I do now because hes very solution-oriented and so whenever I would to him because I was feeling super stressed about something, while it would really help to get it out, he would then come up with all these solutions that I just didnt need. I already had the solution, I was just stressed because I had to implement it.
Set Aside Time For Winding Down
If youve been struggling with sleep anxiety, Dr. Fran Walfish, family and relationship psychotherapist, suggests creating a routine that winds you down and gets you in the mood for sleep. This can include things like dimming the lights, listening to calming music, or taking a warm bath.
Walfish also suggests opting for activities like light reading in place of a TV or computer, as using a screen can tend to rev up anxiety and excitatory thresholds versus relax and calm you down.
The best nighttime routine allows your mind and body time to slow down before you turn off the lights. Allot at least 30 minutes to take a bath, read a book, listen to a podcast, or play quiet music. These transition rituals can condition your brain to associate certain actions with preparing for sleep.
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Tip : Practice Mindfulness
Worrying is usually focused on the futureon what might happen and what youll do about itor on the past, rehashing the things youve said or done. The centuries-old practice of mindfulness can help you break free of your worries by bringing your attention back to the present. This strategy is based on observing your worries and then letting them go, helping you identify where your thinking is causing problems and getting in touch with your emotions.
Acknowledge and observe your worries. Dont try to ignore, fight, or control them like you usually would. Instead, simply observe them as if from an outsiders perspective, without reacting or judging.
Let your worries go. Notice that when you dont try to control the anxious thoughts that pop up, they soon pass, like clouds moving across the sky. Its only when you engage your worries that you get stuck.
Stay focused on the present. Pay attention to the way your body feels, the rhythm of your breathing, your ever-changing emotions, and the thoughts that drift across your mind. If you find yourself getting stuck on a particular thought, bring your attention back to the present moment.
Basic mindfulness meditation
Click here for a free mindful breathing meditation.
Expect The Best But Prepare For The Worst
Plan multiple contingency plans to deal with the outcome of your date. Most people make this the get a fake emergency phone call part.
Depending on how well or how terrible your date will be, you need a plan. Not all dates need a follow up and neither do all of them need to be disregarded.
In case your date goes wonderfully and you feel like spending more time together, be ready. Be prepared with an invite for drinks or an after date movie.
If the date didnt go too well and you feel like you shouldnt do a repeat act, have an escape plan. The fake emergency call is too obvious and unnecessarily hurtful.
Be honest and cut the date off immediately after. Bid your date farewell and leave. If the date went well but you just feel you arent compatible, no need to be rude or hurtful. Heres an article from eHarmony on how to end a date gracefully.
Most importantly, always have a plan.
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Why Is It So Hard To Stop Worrying
Constant worrying can take a heavy toll. It can keep you up at night and make you tense and edgy during the day. And even though you hate feeling like a nervous wreck, it can still be so difficult to stop. For most chronic worriers, the anxious thoughts are fueled by the beliefsboth negative and positivethat you hold about worrying:
Negative beliefs about worry. You may believe that your constant worrying is harmful, that its going to drive you crazy or affect your physical health. Or you may worry that youre going to lose all control over your worryingthat it will take over and never stop. While negative beliefs, or worrying about worrying, adds to your anxiety and keeps worry going, positive beliefs about worrying can be just as damaging.
Positive beliefs about worry. You may believe that your worrying helps you avoid bad things, prevents problems, prepares you for the worst, or leads to solutions. Maybe you tell yourself that if you keep worrying about a problem long enough, youll eventually be able to figure it out? Or perhaps youre convinced that worrying is a responsible thing to do or the only way to ensure you dont overlook something? Its tough to break the worry habit if you believe that your worrying serves a positive purpose. Once you realize that worrying is the problem, not the solution, you can regain control of your worried mind.
Chillax With Some Chocolate
When you need a quick break, break off a square of dark chocolate to boost your brain health and reduce stress Berk L, et al. . Dark chocolate increases acute and chronic EEG power spectral density response of gamma frequency for brain health: enhancement of neuroplasticity, neural synchrony, cognitive processing, learning, memory, recall, and mindfulness meditation. DOI: 10.1096/fasebj.2018.32.1_supplement.878.10 . As an added bonus, dark chocolate is lower in sugar than milk chocolate, but it hits the sweet tooth sweet spot.
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Coping With Stress And Anxiety
Coping strategies and personal assessment tools to help you manage your stress and anxiety as we adapt the next normal.
- Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Coping with stress and anxiety
As COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen in Canada and around the world, many are grappling to adjust to new norms for return to work and day-to-day life. At the same time, communities are coping with tremendous loss, grief, and trauma, while facing an uncertain future. to explore our section on grief, loss and healing.
Its normal to feel concerned about whats next and its important to continue using the strategies and tools youve relied on to support yourself and your family in this challenging time.
Here are some ideas that might be helpful. Some might apply to you and some might not or they may need to be adapted to suit you personally, your personality, where and with whom you live, or your culture. Please be creative and experiment with these ideas and strategies.
COVID-19 is a new virus and we are still learning about it. The uncertainty about the virus and the changes that are unfolding can make most people feel a bit anxious. This is normal, and it actually can help motivate us to take action to protect ourselves and others, and to learn more about the pandemic.
Stay informed by checking information provided by experts and credible sources. A lot of information is disseminated about COVID-19 every day, but not all of it is accurate. Some reliable sources include:
Ways To Deal With Anxiety
Everyone has feelings of anxiety, nervousness, tension, and stress from time to time. Here are 5 ways to help manage them:
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Is There A Cure For Throat Muscle Anxiety
Well, the only cure for throat muscle tension due to anxiety is by reducing your anxiety because there is really no specific cure for throat muscle anxiety or limb. After all, your own mind and body cause them. Although there are a few actions that may help you reduce your throat muscle anxiety:
Drinking water drinking water when you feel a lump in your throat can help in two different ways firstly, your throat might feel inflamed with the lump there because you may be dehydrated, so hydrating will help reduce the burning sensation you feel.
Secondly, when you feel you can swallow or get worried, you can drink some water, and maybe the feel of the water going down your throat will help you relax.
Going jogging when anxious When you get anxious, you might not want to stay in a certain area, so going jogging will be a good idea if you feel you have a panic attack or you feel stress or cant breathe properly.
Most people seem to feel jogging is only to keep in shape or keep your health good, but when jogging, your body releases chemical substances that will help relax your throat muscle and relieve stress and anxiety.
Herbal drinks Some herbs can help with throat muscle anxiety, such as passionflower, valerian, and kava. Although these herbs have proven to reduce stress and anxiety when boiled and taken, please do not take them hot to avoid burning your throat and making things worse.
Try Dog Appeasing Pheromones
Dog appeasing pheromones are synthetic pheromones similar to the calming pheromones that female dogs give off while nursing puppies.
These pheromones can help reduce anxiety in some dogs and are available in a few different forms. There are collars, sprays, and diffusers, so you can choose the best option for your dog.
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Release Your Tension And Relax With These Grounding Practices
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Its the start of November, which means its also the start of the holiday season. And while its true that this can be the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be a lot. If youre experiencing increased stress or anxiety during this time, these practices will allow you to calm down and relax in a matter of minutes. So, sneak away from your family and your to-do list for a few minutes, and try one of these soothing practices. You deserve it.
Outside+ members get access to the full library of all of Yoga Journals practicesincluding the ones belowto help you find your flow. Members also get access to our complete archive, from inspirational stories to practices by best-in-class teachers. Not a member? Theres never been a better time to sign up.