So often we hear of tragic non-accidental deaths of the rich and famous. Celebrities, and sometimes people we know personally, who have taken an overdose of their anti-depressants or anxiety medication, chased by liberal amounts of feel-good alcoholic drinks. Ativan and vodka anyone? Many of these eventual fatalities are preceded by years of therapy and prescriptions, seemingly to no good end.
Then there are those possibly more tragic situations where people spend years in therapy (or years without) living in emotionally painful and anxious states, unable or unwilling to seek help.
Therapy for the mind
Is it possible that more can be done? Both of those situations can be treated. The personal situation of depressed and anxiety-ridden people is the result of so many different causes, physical, situational, psychological and chemical. Ultimately though, the comprehension of one’s personal situation is experienced in the brain and an inward cognizance of your situation. We may not be able to control what happens to us, but to some extent, we can control how we react to it.
This is a bit of an oversimplification, as severely depressed people have chemical imbalances that may preclude the feeling of empowered choice and influence over their reactions, but that’s a small percentage of the people who actually are in therapy or undergoing some form of cognitive psychoanalysis. Many people are just prescribed drugs.
There are, however, options that require no drugs. There are alternatives that can supplement cognitive interventions. Therapy may include retraining of psychological behavior and increasingly, mental health professionals are looking to other ways to supplement traditional therapy and psychiatric drugs.
Music therapy is a fairly new field which is gaining ground as a supplement to pharmaceutical and psychiatric interventions. Both listening to music and playing instruments in either a group or solo situation has shown promising results in manipulating mood. Listening to music that is relaxing and mood elevating can have a significant psychologically uplifting effect on one’s state of mind. Music can make you feel better.
“It has been reported that music may have physiological effects on blood pressure, cardiac heartbeat, respiration, and improve mood state in people affected by anxiety, depression and other psychiatric disorders”. (Angelucci, Ricci et al, 2007.)
Intuitively and experientially, we know that music can improve our mood and can transform our feelings. Using music as a therapeutic intervention during stressful situations has been used and proven to be effective.
“Using music therapy during labor decreased postpartum anxiety and pain, increased the satisfaction with childbirth and reduced early postpartum depression rate. Music therapy can be clinically recommended as an alternative, safe, easy and enjoyable non-pharmacological method for postpartum well-being.” (Simavli, Kaygusuz, et al, 2014.)
Dopamine, oxytoxin, seratonin and endorphins can be regulated through diet, sleep, sunshine, positive relationships and exercise. Another factor to consider is that this elevation or transformation of mood is achieved by influencing the very “source” of the feelings themselves, brainwaves. Regulating the happiness brainwaves and triggering the release of the neuro-chemicals essential for maintaining a good mood and positive outlook is in effect tackling the problem at its foundation.
Having too few beta and gamma waves produced in the brain results in depression. Binaural programs such as the Synctuition audio tracks can regulate these waves as well as manipulating the release of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins – some of the essential neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation and elevation – our happiness hormones.
The Synctuition programs also encourage devoting time to listen to the audio. This personal time, in an undisturbed and stress-free environment, alone will go some way in placing you in the optimal frame of mind to benefit from the audio.
The optimal regulation of these brainwaves, along with simple lifestyle modifications like adequate sleep and exercise, can eventually reset your mental state and is more effective than therapy sessions alone.