You’ve had a busy day. Your mind seems to be in overdrive, buzzing at the level where it almost feels numb. In this “beta” wave state you’re in a mental busyness where you can’t really think. Messages come in from everywhere, your radio, smart phone, television and people such as colleagues, family and friends. Everything seems to be coming at you, demanding your attention. Fragments of conversation during the day, conflict that has been unresolved, remarks people made are all still hanging out in your head. You find it difficult to relax to calm down and slow your brain to a pace where ideas start to flow.
In the “beta” wave state it’s difficult or almost impossible to come up with new ideas. Studies show that unrelieved stress produces hormonal imbalances. It can suppress the immune system, which is responsible for fighting and destroying things like viruses and even cancer. Studies have further shown that the mind and emotions can directly affect our health. Yet the reduction of stress is better for learning, well-being and creative thought. But it is difficult to change your mental state unless you know how.
How do you quiet in your mind so you can find solutions and become more creative?
One of the most effective ways is to learn simple techniques of relaxation, including deep breathing and visualisation. You may think that you have to spend a lot of money on programs that help you obtain a “super brain”. Unless you want to. These packages can be exorbitant. It’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with them. But for those on a tight budget or don’t have the financial means to buy such packages there are low cost, no-cost techniques.
One of the techniques is called awareness relaxation. This involves correct breathing – the type of breathing that is used in practising meditation or yoga. Even body exercises such as shoulder and neck exercises, hand and arm exercises and leg exercises help to get your body into a relaxed state. You can get into relaxed states by sitting in an upright chair, sitting on the floor, anyway you want really. Find the best place for you where you are free from interruption.
You might also want to consider basic visualisation techniques. These help you get into a relaxed mental state through imagery. There is no need to go for the esoteric in creative visualisation. All you need to do is use theatre the mind visualisation where you go to a quiet place and watch the movies of your mind, recalling images of relaxation, such as a sunset at the beach or a mountain vista or even wondering in your garden feeling relaxed. Any pleasant relaxing experience or environment will assist.
Music can also be a form of helping you to relax. But not any music. You will need to find music such as meditation music or classical music that helps to bring about the alpha mental state. I’m not going to recommend any specific music. It’s better that you search for something that you enjoy and that relaxes you. All you need to do is get yourself into a relaxed positions such as sitting in an armchair and listen to relaxing music with your eyes closed for a few minutes. It might be difficult at first, but when you do it a few times, you’ll get used to it.
There are many other relaxation techniques that can help get you in a more relaxed alpha mental state and support you in coming up with new ideas. Just remember that learning to relax takes time. Try it out for a few times before you give it up as something that doesn’t work for you. If specific relaxation exercises seem foreign to you, perhaps go do something like taking a walk in your garden, in a leafy park or along the beach, which could work just as well to clear your mind and induce an alpha state.
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