How to Hack Your Brain so You Can Relax and Heal

Shifting Your Brainwave State

Your brainwaves are closely related to your breathing. By mindfully changing your breath, you can shift your brainwaves to a more relaxed state.

There are 5 brainwave states that you shift between in life.

Beta is the normal waking state of consciousness. It’s active when we’re focused on the external world. It helps you with problem solving, being attentive, thinking, and making decisions.

However, Beta brainwaves can also make you stressed out, anxious, agitated, tense, fearful, and hyper-alert if left unchecked.

That’s why it’s important to have a healthy practice to go to when you’re feeling stressed, so you can shift your brainwaves before you explode and take it out on yourself or a loved one.

By just closing your eyes, you can begin to shift your brainwaves to an Alpha state. Deepening and slowing down the breath further assists this process.

Alpha waves are commonly associated with daydreaming and meditation. They become stronger and more common through mindful breathing and closing your eyes. They help you become more relaxed, reflective, and present in the moment

Have you ever intuitively noticed how a few deep breaths with your eyes closed can shift your state of mind?

Well, now you know why.

Lastly, let’s talk about the Theta brainwaves. These states of consciousness can be found through deep meditation, sleep, shamanic practices, and healing work. They can produce intuitive insights that are far beyond that of the conscious mind.

Changing Your Nervous System

Now that we’ve covered the brainwaves, let’s briefly talk about your Nervous System.

The Autonomic Nervous System is responsible for the unconscious actions of the body, and it’s made up of two parts.

  • Sympathetic Nervous System
    • Commonly known as “Fight or Flight” response.
    • It’s primary role is to prepare the body for immediate danger and survival.
    • Accelerates heart rate, increases blood pressure, shortens breath, tenses muscles, and releases stress hormones in the body.
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System
    • Commonly known as “Rest and Digest” response.
    • It’s in charge of relaxation, healing, digestion, sexual drive,
    • Lowers heart rate, decreases blood pressure, relaxed breathing, increased digestion.

In essence, the job of the parasympathetic nervous system is to reverse and balance the changes of the sympathetic nervous system after a stressful situation occurs.

Here’s where a big problem arises….

The sympathetic nervous system response was only intended for short periods of time. For example when our ancestors were in physical danger, it would provide them with a better opportunity to survive.

In today’s society, many are constantly stressed out from over-stimulation, work, and the media constantly invoking fear in the news.

When the sympathetic nervous system is allowed to run rampant, it can create disease because the body isn’t supposed to remain in a stressed out state of fight or flight forever.

It’s never been more important to actively turn on the parasympathetic nervous system so your body can enable it’s natural healing mechanism. Without it, your body is unable to heal itself efficiently.

Sources:
How Breath-Control Can Change Your Life: A Systematic Review on Psycho-Physiological Correlates of Slow Breathing, US National Library of Medicine
The Yogi masters were right — meditation and breathing exercises can sharpen your mind, Science Daily
Coupling of respiration and attention via the locus coeruleus: Effects of meditation and pranayama, Psychophysiology Journal
Respiratory regulation & interactions with neuro-cognitive circuitry, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
Hypothesis: Pulmonary Afferent Activity Patterns During Slow, Deep Breathing Contribute to the Neural Induction of Physiological Relaxation,  Frontiers in Physiology

Relieving Anxiety Guided Meditation

Relax your mind and relieve your anxiety with this guided meditation.
You’ll feel more centered, balanced, and present after this practice.

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