We all know and have felt varying levels of stress through our lives. We have both learned and deep-seated responses to stress. From all the layers deep down at the bottom innermost pathways of the limbic brain to the more easily accessed conscious layers, we are still subject to “fight or flight” as well as heart-attack inducing daily pressure from work, traveling and the many things piled on by modern existence.
Managing this is necessary for a healthy and happy life. When the methods we use to manage stress become stressors themselves, it’s time to change your habits.
You have two choices: reduce your stress, or up your tolerance.
There are many sources and advice for reducing stress, not so many for how to increase your tolerance to the stressful situations we encounter daily.
Music and beats
In a study by Bruno, et al looking at the effects of drumming and repetitive beats on stress hormone levels,” Exposure to repetitive drumming combined with instructions for shamanic journeying has been associated with physiological and therapeutic effects, such as an increase in salivary immunoglobulin A. In order to assess whether the combination of repetitive drumming and shamanic instructions is specifically associated with these effects, we compared the effect of listening to either repetitive drumming or instrumental meditation music for 15 minutes on salivary cortisol concentration and on self-reported physiological and psychological states. …
A significant decrease in the concentration in salivary cortisol was observed across all musical styles and instructions, indicating that exposure to 15 minutes of either repetitive drumming or instrumental meditation music, while lying down, was sufficient to induce a decrease in cortisol levels. However, no differences were observed across conditions.
Managing the Mind through Meditation
Anecdotal and scientific evidence and see this valuable resource of links and information on the benefits of meditation, from Live and Dare, http://liveanddare.com/benefits-of-meditation, points to thousands of studies and articles on the benefits of meditating.
Reduced anxiety, depression, stress and increased emotional well-being are just some of the positive effects of meditative practices. But mediation is So Hard. Especially for our seven-second attention span brains.
With brains so trained to multi-focus on various electronic and device-based inputs, perhaps using these devices along well-trodden neural pathways to assist our focus on our Inner focus is a quick and useful way to entrain a higher stress tolerance. The effect of drumming and repetitive rhythms on our endocrine system in the Bruno paper points to this.
Get sound assistance. Achieving different mental states can be achieved through sound and aural waves manipulation.
There is additional evidence to suggest sound can be effectively conducive to achieving higher tolerance to stress. In a study Bruno et al, found that listening to repetitive drumming, irrespective of the audio suggestions accompanying it, had a positive effect on the endocrine system and its response to stress.
They also noted in their article that: “Exposure to repetitive drumming combined with instructions for shamanic journeying has been associated with physiological and therapeutic effects…
So, you don’t only have two choices – reduce your stress, or up your tolerance. There may be a third choice. Upping your tolerance may train your stress response in a way that makes you take better control of your life.