An Hour of Sound Healing Can Help You Get Rid of Stress

Global urbanization and the spread of technology have created a world in which people are now held accountable for their actions and whereabouts 24/7 and they are losing both their privacy and down time. If you have ever felt so stressed that working out, yoga or a good night sleep just doesn’t seem to give you any relief you may try a new form of transformational relief called sound healing—a mental submersion into sound that takes us into a lucid, dream-like state of being.

Sound healing therapy uses aspects of music to improve your physical and emotional health and well-being. The person being treated partakes in the experience with a trained sound healing practitioner. Sound healing may involve listening to music, singing along to music, meditating, moving to the beat of the music, playing an instrument.

A sound therapy practitioner employs the meditation technique called sound bath that uses improvised noises to help participants release stress. The sounds are created by a variety of instruments, including tuning forks, gongs, shruti box, Himalayan and crystal singing bowls, chimes, and voice.

The concept of “sound bath” has nothing to do with water or tubs. Instead, the participants are submerged in sound. Sound Baths have a simple requirement, sitting still. Like other meditation techniques, sound baths are meant to mentally and physically calm you. In place of repeating a mantra or focusing on a single object, you lay down with your eyes closed and allow the various, unexpected sounds to help you relax and reach a state of awareness.

Practitioners recommend bathing once a week for about an hour, to experience its true benefits, i.e., reduction in anxiety and stress. The time of the day when sound healing should be practiced depends upon an individual’s requirement. While the daytime session targets physical and emotional stress, and aims to clear the energy for the day ahead, night-time tends to gear towards a spiritual level, and is a chance to unwind.

Sound healing can aid in body regulation, function and self-repair. Group sound baths are a great way to communally connect to those around you. However, if you prefer to go at it solo, a private session allows for the instruments to be placed closer or directly on the body for a deeper impact.

Source link

The Psychology behind Addiction

Psychology, in simple words, is a science devoted to understanding human behavior. The main concern of psychologists is to improve the quality of people’s lives and their life satisfaction. Those behaviors that promote people’s well-being and life satisfaction are termed adaptive behaviors by psychologists while behaviors that serve to limit people’s functioning and diminish life satisfaction are termed maladaptive behaviors. Addiction is one such harmful maladaptive behavior that adversely affects one’s quality of life. To understand why people engage in this unhealthy behavior, it is essential to explore the psychological models that elucidate the possible causes of addiction.

According to psychologists, the first cause of addiction may be “psychopathology.” An individual may engage in harmful behaviors like addiction because of an abnormality, or “psychopathology” that manifests itself as mental illness. Secondly, the environment of an individual might be instrumental in fostering an individual’s unhealthy habit. Thirdly, an individual’s thoughts and beliefs create feelings that in turn determine his or her behavior. The more someone’s thoughts and feelings are unrealistic or dysfunctional, the more his or her behavior will be affected in that way.

The psychopathological model considers mental disorders as the cause of addiction. These disorders might comprise mood disturbances, cognitive difficulties, and other mental illnesses. In fact, addiction and other mental health disorders commonly occur together (called co-morbidity).

Addictive personality is another concept related to psychopathology. Certain personality traits might be the underlying factors in all addictive disorders. These may include the denial of apparent problems and problems with impulse and emotion regulation. Although there is a dearth of sufficient evidence suggesting an “addictive personality” per se, addiction does most frequently co-occur with a class of disorders called ‘personality disorders.’

Psychotherapy, which might include restructuring the personality and/or improving a person’s cognitive and emotional functioning, can, however, help identify and resolve underlying psychological disorders which play a significant role in causing addiction.

Source link

Sleeping Problems and, Anxiety and Stress—A Two-way Street

Sleep plays a vital role in an individual’s physical and mental well-being. It acts as a reset button that triggers body’s restorative processes and gives mind the time to process emotions in order to recognize and react appropriately. Regular good quality sleep is essential for proper brain functioning, repair of heart and blood vessels, and overall physical and emotional healing.

Sleep provides the nerve cells an opportunity to shut down and repair themselves meanwhile, without which they might get exhausted and start malfunctioning. In today’s fast paced world however, we often neglect our sleep just to meet the worldly demands and get things done. According to a 2014 survey, less than 50% of survey participants across the world claimed to be sleeping well at night.

Most healthy adults require seven to nine hours of sleep for healthy functioning, though the sleep requirement may vary from person to person slightly. Absence of adequate sleep often leads to impaired judgment, slower reaction times, and brain fog.

During the past few decades neuroscience has advanced a great deal but unfortunately sleep still continues to remain largely a riddle. However, what’s a known fact is that sleep like air, water, and food is indispensible for us. Sleep deprivation creates a sleep debt that our body is going to demand to have squared up with at some point.

Sleep Deprivation, Anxiety, Stress: Causes and Interrelation

Sleep deprivation may be caused due to various medical (painful ailments), environmental (light, noise, or extreme temperatures), or psychiatric (depression and anxiety disorders) conditions. The causes may be different, but sleep deprivation, indiscriminately, results in disruption of body’s natural slumber cycle in all cases.

Life stresses like job loss or change, passing away of a kith or kin, a temporary illness, or environmental factors usually trigger acute or short-term insomnia or sleeplessness. On the other hand, factors such as chronic stress, anxiety disorders (GAD, PTSD, etc.), depression, and chronic pain or discomfort at night, usually result in chronic or long-term insomnia that occurs at least three nights a week and continues for a month or longer. Ruminating in bed on daily basis about pending works, unresolved issues, and emotionally devastating long-term life-changes, or excessive worrying about future uncertainties are some of the common reasons leading to chronic insomnia.

Most people who experience persistent stress and anxiety or panic attacks on a daily basis report that they have trouble sleeping. While stress and anxiety interfere with sleep, sometimes it becomes difficult to tell whether one is having trouble sleeping because of anxiety, or one is anxious because one can’t sleep. Actually, it may be both. Whereas stress and anxiety can cause sleeping issues, or worsen existing ones, lack of sleep can also cause an anxiety disorder.

It has been demonstrated that sleep debt can have severe ramifications on one’s anxiety levels. A study has shown that grave sleep deprivation leads to an increase in one’s state of anxiety, depression, and general distress in comparison with individuals who had a normal night of sleep. According to another study, individuals who were sleep deprived reported a greater spike in anxiety during tasks and rated the likelihood of potential disasters as higher when sleep deprived, as compared to when rested.

The amount of sleep an individual gets each night also governs how well he or she can deal with anxiety and stress. When an individual is severely sleep-deprived, the deprivation acts as a chronic stressor that hinders brain functions and leads to an overload on the body’s systems, which in turn, contributes to brain fog, confusion, memory loss, and depression, making it harder for the individual to deal with stress. Also, sleep deprivation leads to an imbalance in the hormone levels that increases anxiety levels. Anxiety issues are also worsened because of

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Chronic sleep deprivation can result in a range of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, excessive daytime sleepiness, memory problems, weight gain, and increased levels of stress hormones.

Also read:

Five Tips for Better Sleep
Self-Help Techniques to Manage Anxiety
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Risk of Alzheimer’s May Rise Due to Stress

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Someone who is the victim of (or threatened by) violence, injury, or harm can develop a mental health problem called postraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can happen in the first few weeks after an event, or even years later.

People with PTSD often re-experience their trauma in the form of “flashbacks,” memories, nightmares, or scary thoughts, especially when they’re exposed to events or objects that remind them of the trauma.

Psychologists, therapists, or psychiatrists can help people with PTSD deal with hurtful thoughts and bad feelings and get back to a normal life.

What Causes PTSD?

PTSD is often associated with soldiers and others on the front lines of war. But anyone — even kids — can develop it after a traumatic event.

Traumas that might bring on PTSD include the unexpected or violent death of a family member or close friend, and serious harm or threat of death or injury to oneself or a loved one.

Situations that can cause such trauma include:

  • violent attacks, like rape
  • fire
  • physical or sexual abuse
  • acts of violence (such as school or neighborhood shootings)
  • natural or man-made disasters
  • car crashes
  • military combat (sometimes called “shell shock”)
  • witnessing another person go through these kinds of traumatic events
  • being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness

In some cases, PTSD can happen after repeated exposure to these events. Survivor guilt (feelings of guilt for having survived an event in which friends or family members died) also might contribute to PTSD.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of PTSD?

People with PTSD have symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression that include many of the following:

Intrusive thoughts or memories of the event

  • unwanted memories of the event that keep coming back
  • upsetting dreams or nightmares
  • acting or feeling as though the event is happening again (flashbacks)
  • heartache and fear when reminded of the event
  • feeling jumpy, startled, or nervous when something triggers memories of the event
  • children may re-enact what happened in their play or drawings

Avoidance of any reminders of the event

  • avoiding thinking about or talking about the trauma
  • avoiding activities, places, or people that are reminders of the event
  • being unable to remember important parts of what happened

Negative thinking or mood since the event happened

  • lasting worries and beliefs about people and the world being unsafe
  • blaming oneself for the traumatic event
  • lack of interest in participating in regular activities
  • feelings of anger, shame, fear, or guilt about what happened
  • feeling detached or estranged from people
  • not able to have positive emotions (happiness, satisfaction, loving feelings)

Lasting feelings of anxiety or physical reactions

  • trouble falling or staying asleep
  • feeling cranky, grouchy, or angry
  • problems paying attention or focusing
  • always being on the lookout for danger or warning signs
  • easily startled

Signs of PTSD are similar in both adults and teens. But PTSD in children can look a little different. Younger kids can show more fearful and regressive behaviors. They may reenact the trauma through play.

Symptoms usually begin within the first month after the trauma, but they may not show up until months or even years have passed. These symptoms often continue for years after the trauma. In some cases, they may ease and return later in life if another event triggers memories of the trauma. (In fact, anniversaries of the event can often cause a flood of emotions and bad memories.)

PTSD also can come on as a sudden, short-term response (called acute stress disorder) to an event and can last many days or up to one month.

People with PTSD may not get professional help because they think it’s understandable to feel frightened after going through a traumatic event. Sometimes, people may not recognize the link between their symptoms and the trauma.

Teachers, doctors, school counselors, friends, and other family members who know a child or teen well can play an important role in recognizing PTSD symptoms.

Who Gets PTSD?

Not everyone who goes through a traumatic event gets PTSD. The chances of developing it and how severe it is vary based on things like personality, history of mental health issues, social support, family history, childhood experiences, current stress levels, and the nature of the traumatic event.

Children and teens who go through the most severe trauma tend to have the highest levels of PTSD symptoms. The more frequent the trauma, the higher the rate of PTSD.

Studies show that people with PTSD often have atypical levels of key hormones involved in the stress response. For instance, research has shown that they have lower-than-normal cortisol levels and higher-than-normal epinephrine and norepinephrine levels — all of which play a big role in the body’s “fight-or-flight” reaction to sudden stress. (It’s known as “fight or flight” because that’s exactly what the body is preparing itself to do — to either fight off the danger or run from it.)

How Is PTSD Treated?

Many people recover from a traumatic event after a period of adjustment. But if a child or teen has experienced a traumatic event and has symptoms of PTSD for more than a month, an expert’s help is recommended.

Therapy can help address symptoms of avoidance, intrusive and negative thoughts, and a depressed or negative mood. Mental health professionals who can help include:

  • psychologists
  • psychiatrists
  • licensed clinical social workers
  • licensed professional counselors
  • licensed trauma professionals
  • bereavement specialists

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is very effective for people who develop PTSD. This type of therapy teaches ways to replace negative, unhelpful thoughts and feelings with more positive thinking. Behavioral strategies can be used at an individual’s own pace to help desensitize him or her to the traumatic parts of what happened so he or she doesn’t feel so afraid of them.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) combines cognitive therapy with directed eye movements. This has been shown to be effective in treating people of all ages with PTSD.

In some cases, medicine can help treat serious symptoms of depression and anxiety. Medicine often is used only until someone feels better, then therapy can help get the person back on track.

Finally, group therapy or support groups are helpful because they let an individual know that he or she is not alone. Groups also provide a safe place to share feelings.

Looking Ahead

PTSD can be very challenging and may require a lot of patience and support. Time does heal, and getting good support from the family can help an individual move forward.

Source link