Another day of busy work is finally over and yet, you find it impossible to enjoy that well-deserved resting time. Your mind keeps going back to the problems left at the office, the bills to pay, or the uncertainty of the future. Soon, all those thoughts snowball into an unstoppable avalanche of stress and racing thoughts that won’t go away as night approaches. To enjoy a proper rest and recharge your batteries for the next day, it’s important to prepare your mind first. The best way to achieve this is with a period of evening relaxation.
“Obviously, there is a huge amount of pressure and stress and everything involved, so you need to have a place where you know you can switch off and recharge your batteries. I guess it’s private, in a way. But I just can say that it’s a very calm and very beautiful environment where I like to spend time.” — Novak Djokovic, professional tennis player, on his visits to a Buddhist temple to meditate and relieve stress between matches.
What happens during the day?
You wake up, spend around nine hours at work, return home, and get ready for a new day of more or less the same. By evening time, your batteries are running low and all you want to do is relax and sleep twelve hours straight. But you are tense, full of worries and racing thoughts. This is the result of all the stress you accumulate throughout the day, and the reason why so many people find it so hard to relax and properly recover for the next morning.
Feeling like you can’t wind down or find the energy to go on is perfectly normal. We live in a world that never stops and demands too much of us. Stress levels are rising every year with no signs of stopping. According to a 2019 report, many countries across the world have highly stressed societies. The United States, for example, makes it to the ranking with 55% of its population experiencing high levels of stress on a daily basis. Stress is typically common in the workplace, with 83% of American workers suffering from constant stress.
In Japan, death from overwork is common and it is termed as Karoshi. In 2017, 190 Karoshi deaths were reported. Stress is not only present in the workplace; it is also widely experienced by school and university students. A 2018 UK survey found that 83% of people aged 18 to 24 reported being so stressed they felt unable to cope with life.
Stress in numbers
Very often, as the day is nearing to an end and you’re trying to wind down, your mind won’t be quiet. No matter how hard you try, your brain keeps playing a compilation of your most regretful or negative experiences: a poor performance review at work, a heated discussion with your partner, an overpriced electricity bill, and so on.
Negative thoughts during bedtime are very common. According to clinical psychologist Deborah Vertessy, this happens because of human beings’ primitive need to protect ourselves. “In hunter-gatherer times, and indeed now, if we weren’t paying attention to the cliff or tiger ahead of us because we were distracted by a beautiful sunset, it could spell our demise,” Vertessy says.
This is why, if you find yourself worrying about mistakes made at work, it’s likely you are assessing your performance and looking after your livelihood. No matter how many positive experiences you have, your brain is really good at focusing on negative events. Although this kind of thinking can happen anytime, it is especially frequent at night as this is one of the few quiet periods when you can reflect on your day without interruptions.
The effects of daily stress in your body and mind
Scientifically speaking, stress occurs when you perceive danger from any source — a big deadline, an angry boss, relationship issues, etc. Immediately, your brain releases hormones that travel through the blood to the adrenal glands. These stress carriers sit on top of your kidneys releasing two stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, that act on your entire body.
Once the adrenal glands release adrenaline, you are ready to “fight or flight”. In such moments, your heart pounds soundly. This is because it’s supplying your muscles with blood. Your bronchial tubes (lung) also dilate in order to bring more oxygen, and your brain becomes more alert, ready to process information. At the same time, the adrenal glands emit cortisol into the bloodstream to fuel your flight. This is the perfect system response in the short term.
Needless to say, stress is only good when experienced in short amounts and temporarily. Real trouble starts when you develop chronic stress. Under constant stress, cortisol levels remain high in your body. Then, you go into survival mode and your body begins to store as much energy as possible. This energy storage overdrive leads to dangerous consequences such as heart disease, skin irritation, diabetes, burnout, anxiety, and more.
Is stress deadly? How can we live longer?
Chronic stress is linked to six leading causes of death including cancer, lung ailments, cirrhosis of the liver, accidents, suicide, and heart disease. A revealing study published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, found that participants who had high levels of stress and depression were 48% more likely to die or have a heart attack during the study period compared to the group that had low levels of stress and depression.
For the people already experiencing heart complications, high stress levels created a “psychosocial perfect storm.” The study’s lead author, Carmela Alcántara, an associate research scientist at Columbia University Medical Center, said in a statement, “the increase in risk accompanying high stress and high depressive symptoms was robust and consistent across demographics, medical history, medication use, and health risk behaviors.”
It seems like the answer to enjoy a longer and healthier life would be vanishing stress entirely from our lives. As stress is part of human nature, this is impossible. In the 2018 book, My Year of Rest and Relaxation, an unnamed narrator attempts to sleep for an entire year by taking a high dose of prescriptions to forget her problems and anxieties. The results, as you can imagine, are far from ideal. Although many of us cannot afford a full year of relaxation, making room in our schedules to destress, heal, recharge our batteries, and enjoy life is possible.
Cleansing your mind with evening relaxation
While there are no specific guidelines on how much relaxation you should incorporate into your routine, making time to unwind and detach your mind from the hustle of the world is crucial for maintaining good health. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, relaxing after work in the evening is not only necessary for stress relief but also the day-to-day recovery process. This is because deep relaxation allows you to get the rest and healing sleep you need to function at your best potential.
The study also found that the most common activities to achieve evening relaxation are yoga, breathing exercises, listening to music, and meditating. When the former is practiced during the evening, you experience the relaxation needed in order to get a restful and deep sleep. As you would know, a good night’s sleep keeps you healthy and productive during the daytime.
Another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine included adults with trouble sleeping. Half of them were taught meditation techniques that invited them to focus on the present moment. The other half completed a general guide on how to improve sleeping habits. The amazing results proved that the group of meditators experienced less insomnia, depression, and fatigue by the end of six sessions.
The relaxation response
“Meditation is just one of a smorgasbord of techniques that evoke the relaxation response,” says Dr. Herbert Benson, director emeritus of the Institute for Mind Body Medicine. The relaxation response is a deep physiological shift in the body that is the opposite of the stress response. It can help relieve many stress-related symptoms such as depression, pain, and high blood pressure.
According to Dr. Benson, the relaxation response engages the parasympathetic nervous system. This system conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. Learning to master the relaxation response is ideal to heal ourselves and become better equipped to deal with life’s unexpected stressors.
Like many other experts in the field, Dr. Benson recommends dedicating relaxation at least 20 minutes of your day. “The idea is to create a reflex to more easily bring forth a sense of relaxation.” With time, achieving a relaxation response will become much easier. When practiced during the evening, you will be programming your mind for a night of deep, healing sleep.
Top 5 Relaxation Techniques
There are a number of things you can do to elicit your relaxation response. You could pay for an acupuncture session or professional message, for example. But, to help you save time and money, here are 5 practical and inexpensive techniques to incorporate evening relaxation into your daily schedule:
1. Relaxing Music
For centuries, music has played a vital role in the history of humankind. Even if you are not a music aficionado, you still hum, sing, dance, and clap from time to time. After all, the human brain and nervous system are hard-wired to respond to rhythm, repetition, tones, and tunes. In fact, music can alter our emotions as demonstrated by several trials on music for stress relief in difficult circumstances.
For example, a study of 80 patients undergoing urologic surgery under spinal anesthesia found that relaxing music can decrease the need for supplementary intravenous sedation. Patients who listened to music needed less calming medication than those who listened to white noise or simple chatter.
Finding the perfect relaxing music can be difficult. Fortunately, at Synctuition, our team of experts analyzed the latest and most relevant research on stress and audio therapy to isolate the sounds that work best to relax the mind. Our audio journeys combine relaxing music with beautiful sounds, which are perfect to facilitate meditation, guided imagery, and inner exploration.
2. Body Scan
This type of meditation requires focusing your attention on various parts of your body. You can start with your feet and slowly work your way up. As you do so, try to concentrate on how that part of your body feels without labeling the sensations as either good or bad. A body scan is a perfect practice to boost your awareness of the mind-body connection.
3. Guided Imagery
When you practice guided imagery or visualization, you conjure up a scene in which you feel calm — free of all fears and anxieties. It can be anything: a soothing place, experience, or scene that helps you relax and become more focused. This technique may be challenging for people who constantly experience intrusive thoughts or those who find it difficult to create mental images.
Yoga is an ancient art, which combines deep breathing with a series of postures and movements. The physical aspect of this practice provides you with an enhanced mental focus capable of reducing racing thoughts, anxiety, and stress. It can also improve your flexibility and balance.
There are several types of yoga or similar practices (tai chi or qigong) you can try depending or your needs. If you haven’t been active in a while, or are experiencing health issues, pain, or any disabling condition, make sure to consult your doctor before engaging in these exercises.
5. Repetitive Prayer
For this technique, you silently repeat a short prayer, mantra, or phrase that is meaningful to you. While doing so, try to focus on your breathing. This method is especially appealing and effective if spirituality is an important aspect of your life.
How does Synctuition make evening relaxation effective?
Synctuition is the culmination of a decade of hard work by a select group of neurologists, medical experts, psychologists, meditation experts, and sound engineers. Our team spent years recording the perfect combination of natural and beautiful sounds to fight the effects of stress and toxic thoughts.
With Synctuition, you will get a pleasing mental shower at the end of each day to achieve an advanced evening relaxation. Its sophisticated program includes 3D sounds, Gamma range binaural beats, rhythmic entrainment, and personalized voice frequency. All you need is a set of headphones and 25 minutes of your time.
Synctuition has been specially recorded using technology able to deliver audio as it happens in real nature. When you hear birds singing or waves gently crashing against the sand, you are listening to the real thing. This will make the experience much more immersive and dynamic.
Binaural beats are generated when slightly different modified sounds travel to each ear. This allows the brain to create a third, imaginary sound to compensate for the difference. In this way, binaural beats stimulate rapid and efficient communication between the brain’s hemispheres. As proven by science, enhanced communication between the opposite sides of the brain carries a huge range of benefits including improved cognitive performance, better memory, and intellectual functioning.
Synctuition uses binaural beats in a very special frequency: the Gamma Hertz (Hz) range. This magical frequency facilitates the brain’s synchronization and body relaxation. Interestingly, only highly disciplined monks with wide meditation experience have shown the ability to naturally move their brainwaves into the Gamma range.
Scientists have discovered the specific sound rhythms and frequencies that relax the heart rate and decrease cortisol stress levels. The data also shows that certain rhythms enhance mental performance leading to improved learning and better memory. Synctuition’s rhythmic entrainment frequencies provide a stronger formation of neural connections during listening by increasing neuronal responses in brain networks.
Personal voice frequency
To help you fully relax while listening to the tracks, Synctuition mixes your personal voice frequency into the journeys. Your own voice resonates smoothly with your unconscious mind, creating sensations of comfort, safety, and relaxation with its familiarity. If you are already feeling self-conscious, don’t worry! You won’t be able to hear your voice in a way you’ll recognize.
80 magical journeys
Synctuition counts with 80 unique, magical audio journeys designed to help you achieve your evening relaxation. Each journey holds a meaning that is derived from life such as love, memory, faith, or intuition. Some journeys will relax you, others will stimulate your mind, and some might even challenge you emotionally. They are grouped in 4 levels and each one is designed according to the steps you need to take in your journey towards a more fulfilling life.
The first level, Discovering Your Path, introduces you to the program and gets your brain used to Synctuition. The second level, Journey Of Life, increases in intensity and invites you to take a big step towards internal happiness. Inner Voice, the third level, helps you master the skills to take control of your life. And, My Inner World, our fourth level connects you to your inner self like never before.
The more you listen to the journeys, the more in touch with yourself you’ll become. With time, you will start noticing how easy it is for you to relax whenever you need it most. When listening during the evening, you will fall asleep easily resetting your body and mind to function at their 100% capacity the following morning.
Benefits of Synctuition before bedtime
Sleep is the time when the brain goes into maintenance mode; it decides which memories to keep and which ones to discard. When you fall asleep with negative thoughts and emotions after a stressful day, the brain processes all this information and stores it in the long term memory valve. Over time, this process can cause bad habits, addictions, and emotional issues that diminish the quality of your life.
When you practice your evening relaxation with Syncuition, you are filtering bad content out of your long term memory while also enjoying the following benefits:
Less stress and anxiety
When you remain fixated on problems without any break, you become tense and anxious. With time, your “fight or flight response” gets chronically activated, making you feel like you are literally fighting for survival during the majority of the day. This feeling is difficult to escape and can persist for years without help. Synctuition helps to dissolve sources of stress and anxiety by untangling the negative thinking patterns that created them in the first place.
Control of addictions
Addictions disrupt all areas of your life, and sleep and mental peace are no exceptions. According to one estimate, people who struggle with addictions are 5 to 10 times more likely to experience sleep disorders. Regular evening relaxation with a touch of mindfulness can help to identify the source of addiction and let go of it.
A razor-sharp memory
When it comes to storing and retrieving information, the region of the brain known as the hippocampus is extremely important. It is especially neuroplastic, which means it can strengthen and grow new cells, regardless of age. All it takes is the right stimulation. Harvard neuroscientists have studied the brains of meditators for years discovering that they seem to have well-formed, highly developed Hippocampi.
Reduced jet lag
Constant traveling can have long-term negative consequences on people’s mental and physical health. Dehydration due to dry pressurized cabin air, motion sickness, general fatigue, and mental stress are among the most common jet lag symptoms. Entering into a relaxing state with Synctuition’s audio journeys is an excellent solution to soothe the effects of jetlag.
When you arrive home after an exhausting day at work, you don’t always get the rest you need. This is the way it is so difficult to find the motivation to keep going and give all your best the next morning. Evening relaxation sessions will progressively boost your motivation and willpower.
Successful visionaries of the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates relied on their instinct and exuded confidence when it came to making life-changing business decisions. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, how can others believe in you? Gaining confidence might seem like an impossible task. However, through mindfulness and inner exploration, it is easy to achieve as your positivity will boost.
Higher levels of happiness
Happiness is all science. Serotonin and endorphins are the chemicals in charge to regulate the perfect mind state we known as happiness. Professionals have concluded that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, such as meditating, helps you tap into your happy chemicals.
An acute intuition
Intuition is commonly regarded as the sixth sense and the most powerful of them all. It has its roots in the brain, as this is the most powerful sensory organ we have — capable of being trained to develop memory, language skills, mathematical abilities and also intuition. All of this is achieved thanks to neuroplasticity, a property of the brain with the ability to produce change and adapt. The strength of intuition largely depends on the ability of your left and right brain hemispheres to communicate, which is easily achievable with mindfulness.
Makes the Law of Attraction work
The key to seeing the positive effects of the law of attraction in our lives is preparing the mind before the most important part of our daily rhythm – sleep. The brain is very active during sleep as it processes the avalanche of information received during the day. This is also when the brain decides which memories to keep and which ones to discard in the long term memory valve. If we are to use the Law of Attraction to our advantage, is important to block negativity and go to sleep with a positive mindset. Regular sessions of mindfulness and evening relaxation are the perfect way to do this.
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