Stress Relief

Stress Relief

Innovations in Stress Relief

Brilliant innovations in stress relief are either here or on the horizon. Those who suffer from stress are better able than ever to take advantage of some of these innovations that can keep the onslaught of stress from destroying their health, relationships, jobs and emotional well-being.

Bilateral Alternating Stimulation, biofeedback devices and guided stress relief applications are just a few of the ways technology and years of study have led to this day and moment.

Now, anyone affected from the pain and devastation that too much stress can bring into a life can shop around for the best treatment plan. You can be assured that you can get help from experts who are highly informed about these fascinating and varied stress relief innovations.

Bilateral Alternating Stimulation

Bilateral alternating stimulation is an innovation in stress relief that’s designed to use gentle vibrations to reduce stress and, in particular, to improve sleep patterns and your ability to focus.

The stimuli behind bilateral stimulation can be auditory, tactile or visual and works in a rhythmic pattern from left to right. An example of visual bilateral stimulation would be letting your eyes follow a moving light back and forth from left to right.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is part of the bilateral stimulation therapy and has been found to bring long-term relief to emotional stress such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Bilateral stimulation is achieved in EMDR by activating and then releasing any traumatic emotional experiences that may be causing problems in your nervous system and making you anxious or upset. This release lets your body and mind connection heal itself.

The same theory works with auditory bilateral stimulation, which works by listening to various sounds from the left to right sides of the head. When bilateral stimulation is used for therapy, it changes the way you react to certain memories and stimuli.

For example, the stimulus might be the sound of waves rushing in on the beach while interrupting a bad memory you just can’t seem to control. Your nervous system is immediately drawn to the sound (stimulus), preempting the memory.

Over a period of time, this changes the way the memory is stored and eventually causes you to stop responding to – or remembering – the bad memory. A good example of a product that promotes bilateral stimulation is called Touchpoints.

Touchpoints are wearable and are available in pairs. You wear them around your wrist and they have three settings – sleep, calm and anger. Obviously, the vibrations move from your left wrist to your right.

This device can be very effective in improving your sleep patterns and cognitive abilities. It’s controlled by an easy-to-use downloadable application and uses gentle vibrations that alter the way the brain reacts to stress.

Bilateral stimulation is safe and is even used on autistic children to calm them when outside sensory stimulation triggers hypersensitive reactions.

Biofeedback Devices

You can now purchase all types of stress relief devices that can help you promote your health and emotional well-being. Biofeedback devices can also be purchased to help pinpoint what’s causing your stress and what makes you feel relaxed.

The idea behind these types of therapeutic devices is that once you know what is stressing you out, you can avoid those stressors – and move toward more beneficial things or activities.

For example, a biofeedback device called WellBe is a stress therapy bracelet that you wear during the day. It monitors your heart rate and alerts you to times your stress level is increased based on people you’re around, location you’re in and the time of day.

A downloadable application offers you some biofeedback exercises you can choose from to help you relax. You can choose from meditation, deep breathing, guided imagination and more.

Another device – the Lief Smart Patch – is also a wearable piece that alerts you by vibrating when it detects an increase in heart rate. This signal tells you that you should change your patterns of breathing more like the vibrations you’re feeling from the device.

All the information you can gather from these types of devices are excellent methods of knowing when you’re in danger of increased stress levels and possible harm to your body.

As soon as you’re warned, you can adjust what you’re doing and take control of your responses to stress. The information you gather from these devices are sent to an app and you can then analyze the data.

It’s valuable information to have with you when or if you visit a doctor and will give him or her valuable insights into how stress is affecting your body. Training your mind and body about how to respond to stress can prevent future health problems.

Experts have used biofeedback to promote relaxation and feelings of calm for a number of years. Studies have shown that when you’re experiencing stress, body functions change.

Your heart rate, skin temperature, sweating, muscle movements, blood pressure and breathing rate are affected during stressful moments and biofeedback is the information delivered to a device when stress occurs.

Relaxation techniques you can practice include deep breathing such as in yoga exercises and guided imagery, in which you focus on the color and texture of a particular image.

Mindfulness mediation is also a relaxation technique where you are trained to focus your thoughts on stress and then practice releasing the negative emotions. Progressive muscle reaction can be used to relax various muscles in the body.

Biofeedback devices are becoming more sophisticated and helpful and you’re sure to find a device that fits your needs and that can help you track and relieve stress for the long-term.

Guided Stress Relief Apps

Having too much stress in your life can do a number on your health and the way your mind and emotions function. In fact, too much stress can kill you. That’s why it’s important to pinpoint where your stress is coming from and do something about it.

There are guided stress relief apps that can help you with your struggle. It’s a technology that has spiraled in recent years and the innovations are amazing. These apps have been tested and deemed to be helpful in stopping stress in its tracks.

Most apps available today work with Android and iOS and also have web versions. They’re inexpensive and help you deal with stress in various ways. Some may be able to immediately calm you when stress overcomes you.

Other apps can help you meditate or use biofeedback while others simply help you sleep. You can find stress-relief gadgets based on cognitive behavior therapy to work on changing your patterns of thinking and behaving negatively.

A behavior therapy app called Pacifica even tracks your thoughts and helps you set goals. You can get this app on a subscription basis and have an ongoing stream of information.

There is an acupressure app (Acupressure: Heal Yourself) available that teaches you how to use various acupressure points on your body to relieve stress. This method of stress relief may also help with addictions and pain relief.

Most of the stress-relief apps are inexpensive and you can cancel your subscription or membership whenever you want without incurring a fee. Some become helpful tools to share with your doctor or therapist so he or she has more information about how stress is affecting you.

If you’re dedicated to finding stress busters for yourself, research some of these guided stress relief apps and try a couple. It may take some time and effort to find what’s best for you, but when you do, it will be life-changing.

Fisher-Wallace Stimulator

One of the newest and most talked-about innovations in stress relief is the Fisher-Wallace Stimulator – a device that helps treat depression, sleep patterns and mood improvement. It’s also used by many substance abuse recovery clinics.

This device was invented by a group of engineers and doctors and uses waveforms to slightly stimulate the brain so that it manufactures more neurochemicals and serotonin that can help sleep patterns and boost moods.

Doctors are also finding that certain types of stimulation help relieve depression, anxiety and pain. This stimulator resembles a headband with wires descending to a box that looks similar to a remote control and runs on batteries.

There are other devices similar to the Fisher-Wallace Stimulator, but this particular one has been approved by the FDA, which is a monumental accomplishment. It takes about 30 days to accurately assess if the device works for you or not.

Researchers and scientists are finding that certain types of stimulation can make a difference in treating patients who are depressed, in pain and having other mental and physical health problems.

There is a deeper type of brain stimulation (DBS) which requires a neurosurgical procedure in which a device (sometimes called a brain pacemaker) which is designed to send electrical impulses to the brain to help with Parkinson’s disease, obsessive-compulsive- disorder and other conditions that are resistant to other types of treatments.

Now, researchers are conducting studies to see how stimulating the brain may also be used to treat other disorders without surgery. PTSD, major depression and severe pain are just some of the harmful conditions that electrical stimulation may relieve.

Electrical stimulation devices have been around for awhile, but many had issues with safety and how much stimulation is good for the brain. Now that more research has been done and verified, studies indicate that stimulation can be very effective in helping with many health and emotional issues.

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

rTMS (Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is a long medical term that translates to a type of brain stimulation that doctors are using to treat anxiety and depression.

This form of treatment has been approved by the FDA and uses a magnet to target certain areas of the brain that have been affected by stress and then stimulates those areas to help them change.

rTMS is sometimes used as an additional type of therapy when other treatments are being used. This may account for the varying reviews that patients have given the therapy.

Some say that the treatments were very effective while others claim it helped very little. Doctors may try antidepressants and psychotherapy before they resort to trying rTMS – or, they may use it in conjunction with other types of treatments.

A session of rTMS might last a half hour to one full hour and the procedure is non-invasive. It is performed by a medical doctor. The patient will be in a reclined position and the doctor will place an electromagnetic coil near your head.

The doctor will then place the coil on the forehead close to the mood-regulator area of the brain. Magnetic pulses will pass through the coil to the targeted area of the brain in certain nerve cells.

The prefrontal cortex of the brain us usually targeted when the patient is suffering from depression. The electrical current stimulates the brain cells so that depression may be reduced.

rTMS is a preferred treatment for those patients who may have a high risk of tolerating anesthesia used for more complex procedures such as ECT (electroconvulsive therapy).

There is usually no pain involved with rTMS treatments, but some patients do describe it as uncomfortable – a tightening or tingling sensation. Side effects of rTMS might include slight headaches or lightheadedness and for some – temporary hearing difficulties.

Another side effect might be a temporary tingling sensation in the scalp, face or jaw. Cost for the rTMS treatments are fairly expensive, running from $6,000 to $12,000 for four- to six-week treatment plans.

If you’re interested in trying rTMS treatments, check with your doctor to see if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. More studies are in progress now to determine the long-term effects of rTMS and which symptoms respond best to the treatments.

Mastering the Art of Letting Go

Sometimes letting go is hard – like breaking an old, addictive habit. There are so many obstacles to overcome and negativity to rethink. Hanging on too long may be blocking your health, happiness, love, success and more.

Mastering the art of letting go of something holding you back takes courage and determination. Then, and only then, can healing occur and you can begin the recovery period and live again.

When you choose to hang on to negativity, it’s like you’re choosing to take poison every day and the stress. It’s time to take action and take the steps necessary to bring positivity back into your life.

Refusing to Let Go Is Like Poisoning Yourself Slowly

When you’re burdened by negativity in your life, it’s like a chain around your neck weighing you down and keeping you from success and happiness. Refusing to let go of the negativity can bring stress of such magnitude that it is like slowly poisoning yourself.

Life is good about knocking you down and making you feel defeated. You could be disappointed in yourself or someone who has hurt you. You likely think about it every day – possibly every minute – and you’re constantly giving momentum to that negativity.

It may seem impossible to let go of those feelings, but like everything else, there are ways to let go and focus on building your energy rather than letting it slowly seep away. Fear of letting go zaps your energy and keeps you from having the inner peace you need to move forward.

Letting go is like every other bad habit that you want to rectify. In the beginning, it seems impossible, but the more you practice, the easier it will get to let go of things like toxic relationships, negative thoughts and grudges.

It may be easier if you identify one thing to let go of in the beginning. Working on one issue at a time and focusing on letting go makes it easier to go on to the next issue when you’re ready.

For example, you may be struggling with forgiving someone and still hold a grudge that’s stressing you out. Forgiveness of a wrong done to you is one of the most difficult emotions to work through.

First, realize that forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re dismissing what was done to you. What it does mean is that you’re proposing resolution for the negative thoughts and emotions you’re having about the person.

There are many ways to forgive. Looking for the positive in a person who once hurt you is one way and journaling helps to find those good points. You may also try empathizing with the person.

Perhaps he or she has been going through trials in his or her life that caused the negativity toward you. Or, remember similar mistakes that you have made that hurt someone that you really didn’t mean to hurt.

Remember that forgiveness is more about relieving your stress than benefiting the other person. Also remember that you need to protect yourself from more hurt from that person.

Forgiveness shouldn’t manage to leave you open to more negativity, so if protecting yourself may mean spending less time with that person. Protecting yourself is part of the process of letting go.

Five Things You Should Let Go of for Stress Relief

Keeping things that bother you in the forefront of your mind can cause stress that never seems to go away. There are certain stressors that are more damaging than others and can make you feel so bad about yourself and other people in your life that you become paralyzed and unable to feel happiness.

There are five top stressors that people have the most trouble letting go of.

  1. Anger – Feelings of resentment, revenge and bitterness may accompany anger in your life. Unless you can work your way through the anger – whether you’re angry at a person or a situation, it can affect all areas of your life.

You can either hold on to that anger and face the many health and emotional consequences or learn how to forgive and move on with your life.

  1. Grief – Loss of a loved one – either in death, divorce, estrangement or other way – can cause grief that is difficult to let go of. Grief is a normal response to a loss and there are five stages that you need to deal with.

First is denial. Then, anger, bargaining, depression and, last – acceptance. You may go through only one or two of these stages, but the important thing is the ending of grief by acceptance, then letting go.

  1. Resentment – Resentment is similar to anger in that it can permeate every area of your life and keep you from enjoying people and experiences. Holding on to resentment zaps your happiness.

One popular quote about resentment likens it to taking poison and expecting the other person to die from it. With both anger and resentment, the cure involves acceptance, forgiveness and letting go.

  1. Control – Those who have a need to control others are especially vulnerable to bringing unnecessary problems into their lives. When you let go of the need to control you’re actually gaining.

You’re gaining the ability to accept people as they really are rather than being disappointed over and over again because they’re not conforming to your wishes or expectations and to appreciate and enjoy relationships without judgment.

  1. Past – Issues that happened in the past can haunt you until you die unless you learn how to let go of all the negativity. It might be that you’re clinging to the past because it was a happy time for you.

Because of situations you can’t control, those happy times are gone. It could be a relationship, job or something else you cherished. Or, you could cling to unhappiness from the past. Developing a more positive attitude and/or forgiveness may help you move on.

The urge to hang on to anger, grief, resentment, control and the past can be overpowering, but learning how to let go of these debilitating feelings can open doors to happiness you never thought possible.

Allow Yourself to Go Through Emotions

It’s difficult to let go of situations and people unless you go through an emotional process first – such as crying as much as you need to or expressing your thoughts  or feelings in a way that gets it across to the other person(s).

Studies have shown that bottling up such emotions as anger can increase your cancer risk and chip many years away from your life. When you release the emotions, blood flow increases to the left, frontal area of the brain and helps you let more positive emotions in.

Negative and suppressed emotions play an enormous part in the future of your mental and physical health and well-being. Such emotions often lead to bad habits to try and relieve some of the pressure caused by bottling up emotions.

Turning to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and junk food may all play a part in the research findings concerned with bottled up emotions, but it’s clear that coping with these feelings is much better for you than holding them in.

You may be able to put on a very good act – both for others and yourself – and convince yourself that you don’t have a thing in the world that’s depressing you and stressing you out. Eventually, those bottled up feelings will explode, just like a bottle of soda that’s been shaken and all of a sudden letting the cap off.

Rather than blowing up all at once and causing all types of consequences, it’s best to vent your emotions a bit at a time – much like slowing turning the cap on a shaken up carbonated beverage and letting some of the fizz happen a little at a time.

You may hold in your true feelings in a relationship to keep feelings from being hurt or save the anger outburst until later and then let a whole barrage of anger and hurt surface. Or, you might take your hurt out on someone else.

Beating yourself up because you didn’t speak up when something occurred to make you angry or upset also brings on toxic emotions than can stress you out and bring you down.

Rather than putting yourself at risk by bottling up your emotions, try healthy ways to vent such as exercise, talking to a therapist, anger management, journaling or another of the many ways to get out negative emotions rather than bottling them up and risking a blowup.

Learn That Forgiveness Doesn’t Mean They Got Away with Anything

Learning how to forgive can release you from some negativity in your life that are weighing you down and keeping you from the happiness you desire. Forgiving has different connotations for different people.

Resentment, anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge are generally involved in situations where you want to forgive someone. That makes it more difficult to navigate than solutions to other types of problems.

If a person has hurt you seemingly beyond repair, that person has control over your feelings and emotions until you can forgive and let go. The hurt may always be there, but when you forgive, you’ll lessen the grip of control and set yourself free.

The benefits of forgiving others are many. Your mental health and acuity will improve because you’re not always thinking about negatives. That can cause a positive change in relationships and any hostility and anxiety you may feel toward people.

As for your health – letting go of anger and using the power of forgiveness can affect your blood pressure, immune system and heart. Depression is less likely to get you down and your self-esteem can be heightened.

When you forgive, a wonderful thing happens to your brain signals aren’t trapped into letting in negative thoughts and emotions. You can choose what you want to think about and you’re not always obsessed with getting even or hating the person who hurt you.

Think about it. It’s the best revenge possible that the person who hurt you isn’t controlling you any longer – and that’s what the power of forgiveness can bring into your life.

Not forgiving can take away your joy in life and prevent you from moving on from paralyzed and hurt feelings to a happier and much more inspired life. Today, scientists and medical experts concur that holding on to a serious resentment can be toxic to your health – both mental and physical.

Rather than looking at forgiveness as a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength – that you’re in control of your own life and can adapt to life and all its trials and tribulations in a way that improves your odds of survival – and life-long happiness.

Channel Your Distress Into Something Positive

Turning your hurt feelings and distress into a positive outcome is a challenge. But when you take action, everything changes. Remember the times when you had a work task that you kept procrastinating about.

If and when you took action to complete the task you gathered momentum and were successful. If you didn’t take action, you may have suffered consequences – maybe severe, such as losing your job or working on a relationship.

When you’re focusing on the past and all the damage that you’ve incurred from others, you’re not able to get to all the positive things that are going on your life. You’re not able to create a positive life, either.

It’s a spiraling downturn of energy and mental health that you may never get back if you don’t take steps to make things happen that are positive in your life. Grudges, resentment and other types of pain limit what you can do and who you can be.

You may also be tolerating people or situations that you think you can’t control. But that thinking can drain you of your energy and chip away at your health. Why not channel those tolerations in a positive way that will cut them from your life?

Tolerations or anything that drains your energy should be channeled in another direction. If that means out of your life, so be it. Making the effort can release an unimaginable amount of stress from your life.

Pursue greatness in your life rather than bend to controlling or distressful situations or people. When you’re caught in a web of feelings of revenge, toleration, grief and resentment, you may not realize the toll it’s taking.

The price you’re paying could be toxic to your health and your future. Learning to channel the feelings or emotions out of your life or at least into a better place can open all sorts of positivity and light and get you closer to the place of true happiness.

Channeling your distress into something positive brings a peace into your life that you won’t every find when you remain angry and upset and unforgiving. You have choices to make.

You can either live your life feeling bad about yourself and others or you can take your power back by taking action to rid yourself of negativity by doing what it takes to master the art of letting go.