By Meg Deak MCAT, LPC
Stress is a just fact of life, right? Just muscle through it and keep going, because you’re too busy and don’t have time to relax, right? Well, stress can make us feel like there’s a tiger in the room. You may even be so used to the tiger, that feeling becomes normal. It’s really important to take the time to activate your relaxation response – send that tiger packing.
It’s easy to forget or ignore the damage the tiger can do. Remember stress brings hormones, like cortisol and adrenalin – these are for short term use, and not supposed to be constant. You owe it to yourself and your family to deal with the tiger.
Let’s talk about your nervous system. You’ve got a
- central nervous system
- spinal cord
- peripheral system − all the nerve connections from everywhere else that create pathways to communicate with your brain
Breaking it down further, you have an autonomic nervous system (think automatic) that keeps the show running, things like:
- heart rate
One part of the autonomic system, called sympathetic, is switched on under pressure – the tiger is in the room; the other part, parasympathetic, switches on when we feel safe and calm – the tiger has left the building.
When the tiger is in the room, heart rate and blood pressure sore, muscles contract and we consume a lot of oxygen – stress for sure!
Once safe, the switch is flipped, and the system:
- lowers heart rate and blood pressure
- relaxes muscles
- decreases oxygen consumption (the heart becomes more efficient)
Thinking becomes clearer; productivity and creativity increase – in a big way.
Our tigers can take the form of work and family stress, financial worry and chronic, troublesome thoughts, which often make us angry, anxious and reactive. Some tigers don’t leave the building – ever. The switch can’t flip…unless we actively flip it. Sometimes, we need to learn or relearn how to flip the switch – to activate the relaxation response.
Activate Your Relaxation Response
One really pleasant way to retrain your brain and autonomic nervous system to activate the relaxation response is through Vibroacoustic Therapy (VAT) & Brainwave Entrainment, which uses the vibrations of sound to lull your body into a state of deep relaxation. Over time, you can “remember” the feeling and recreate it – you can flip the switch.
With VAT and Brainwave Entrainment you can feel your muscles relax as you sit on a zero-gravity chair. As a special CD plays, you feel the vibrations from the chair, hear the sounds from ear phones, and see the vibrations as special glasses transform the sounds into mandala-like patterns of light. Your mind begins to quiet, as this whole experience takes your brain and nervous system into a deeply-relaxed, healing state.
Stress is a fact of life, yes, but to muscle through causes dis-ease and reduces productivity. Are you really too busy to manage your tiger?
Meg Deak, MCAT, LPC specializes in the management of stress, anxiety and emotional overwhelm.
For a free 20 minute complementary consultation including a vibroacoustic experience, Call us at 610-395-3355, today!
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