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Brainwave Entrainment and Anxiety
Many of us have heard of brainwave entrainment and we are also familiar with anxiety. You may be wondering how the two are related. According to clinical studies, brainwave entrainment seems to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. It is also known to relieve the symptoms of depression and stress, which are both closely connected with anxiety. This finding could bring hope in the lives of many Americans who are troubled by an anxiety disorder.
Statistics of anxiety disorder in America
According to the records of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the approximate number of adult Americans who are suffering from an anxiety disorder is 40 million. This is about 18.1% of the people in this age group. When we say anxiety disorder, it includes problems like panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder.
With these alarming numbers, it is a relief that these new studies have found the relation between brainwave entrainment and anxiety disorders. If you have an anxiety disorder, there are high chances that you will also develop another one. It is important that you look for safe and effective treatment options like brainwave entrainment to help with your anxiety.
Scientific proof of connection between Brainwave entrainment and anxiety
Many studies have been conducted to observe the effects of brainwave entrainment on anxiety symptoms. In a study published back in 1993 by the International Journal of Psychosomatics, it was found that audio-visual entrainment or AVE (a subset of brainwave entrainment) has been used to relieve patient anxiety and jaw pain during dental treatment procedures. This is following the 1992 publication of the Medical Hypnoanalysis Journal, which showed that people who have undergone an AVE treatment program showed a decline in the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The Journal of Neurotherapy published a study in 2009, which conducted a test on women with seasonal affective disorder. Audio-visual entrainment devices were used in this study. After the test, the anxiety and depression symptoms of participants went down significantly. These participants also experienced an improved social life as well as increased happiness. They were more energetic, sociable, and fit, with a healthy amount of weight loss.
How anxiety works
Suffering from anxiety is a terrible and frustrating situation. We know that there are many problems in life that cannot go away. We also know that unless we are fine with taking a prescription medication, the anxiety will keep haunting us. Even if we are willing to medicate ourselves for our problem, there are chances that it would fail. Sometimes, we may even start to fear the anxiety even more than we fear the root of the anxiety. This is when the disorder controls your life; but it doesn’t mean you have to give up.
There is a natural mechanism in your mind that has the ability to defeat anxiety. This means that you already have the necessary tools for living a stress-free life. It’s important to remind yourself that the anxiety you are suffering from is created by your mind itself. Similarly, your mind has the power to remove that anxiety and replace it with calmer thoughts.
We were born with only two innate fears – the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. If you have any other fear or anxiety besides this, it has been developed and learned as you grew up. In simple terms, if it is possible for you to learn something, it is also possible to unlearn it. But it is not that easy to simply unlearn something that has been strongly implemented in your mind. That’s where brainwave entrainment comes in handy.
Understanding the relation between brainwave entrainment and anxiety
As you might already know, anxiety can be relieved substantially by reaching the healing state in your mind. Brainwave entrainment helps you reach this state more easily. When you reach the healing state, there are many important things happening in your brain. With these activities, your brain can become more balanced. Your brain can process lopsidedly if its right hemisphere is processing too much information. The healing state in your mind can help you shift some of the extra processing to the left hemisphere, which is less emotional and much calmer.
When this happens, your thinking becomes calmer and more logical. This process also suppresses activity in the area of the brain that is responsible for stress reactions. This area is known as the amygdale. Your stress reactions can make your heart beat faster, your breathing quicker, and your palms sweaty. When the activity within the amygdale is suppressed, it increases your stress threshold. This means you don’t react as severely or as frequently as you used to.
This entire process leads to an increased production of beta endorphins and serotonin in your brain. As these hormones can help you feel happier, you remain more positive and more energetic.
How brainwave entrainment works against anxiety
The frequencies produced in brainwave entrainment makes it easier for you to reach a deep state of mental relaxation. Listening to these audios on a regular basis will help decrease your heart rate along with your overall level of stress. Doing this can also help you build and improve the neural paths in your brain. This makes it easier for your mind to return to the healing state. In simple terms, brainwave entrainment can wire your brain to easily return to relaxation states, so that you can use it in your day-to-day life.
For instance, there are some people whose brains do not produce alpha waves on a regular basis. Alpha waves are brain waves that resonate just below beta, which is where your brain normally is when performing normal day-to-day activities. These people are often anxious and stressed out because the lack of alpha waves prevents their minds and bodies from relaxing. Listening to alpha brainwave entrainment tracks can help these people in training their brain to start producing more alpha waves.
As there is a strong scientific proof of the relation between brainwave entrainment and anxiety, experts are coming up with new ways to implement this technology for anxiety treatment. You can even find many websites that offer brainwave entrainment tracks for people with anxiety disorders.