It’s been over a year now since the world ceased to exist the way we knew it. New strains of the virus surfaced in many countries; new waves of COVID do not give much hope for a return to ‘normality’ any time soon. Without a question, these are unprecedented times, with the focus still needed to remain on our mental health and wellbeing.
We are yet overloaded (and oftentimes overwhelmed) with countless expert opinions on how to protect our physical and mental health. For those who feel confused with all the information and don’t know which tips to follow, here are my three top tips on how to keep a calm mind and resilient health even in the toughest time.
Turn the news off
If you want to grow resilience and mental strength (yours and your loved ones) don’t let the fearful news get into your house (and minds!). When you are scared, the stress hormones are released in your body in order to make you ready for fight or flight. Not only the immune system shuts down (we open ourselves up to infections and inflammations) but also our ‘thinking’ regions of the brain give away the control of our mind to more instinctive and ‘primitive’ parts of the brain. Simple translation: we become the dumber version of ourselves.
Don’t allow others to scare you. By others, I mean media, but also friends and relatives who are so willing to share negative news and staggering statistic with you. Remember: worst-case scenarios and beliefs based on fear are responsible for sending a stress signal into the brain and that opens up your body for disease. So regardless of what happens out there, don’t let the fear be present in your mind.
Practice heart-brain coherence
The next step is to consciously choose to shift your inner experience from fear or frustration into compassion, caring, appreciation or gratitude. What happens then is of paramount importance: your heart sends a rhythmic, harmonious, and coherent signal to your brain. And this signal causes the brain to release very powerful healing chemicals.
This is the real conversation that is happening between your heart & brain! Elevated emotions of appreciation, gratitude, carrying or compassion send a low-frequency signal of 0.1 Hz to the brain; this frequency can be measured electrically yet it’s below our hearing (whales communicate on this frequency). Pioneer studies of the Institute of Hearth Math in Northern California are showing it’s the optimal frequency to harmonize the heart with the brain.
Here’s the key thing: your brain can be in one state at the time. When you’re in a state of coherence, there’s simply no room for producing toxic biochemistry of stress and fear in your body. In other words, by practicing heart-brain coherence you leave your brain no choice but to produce the chemicals that will heal your body, and strengthen your mind.
The most successful people on the planet have long known that meditation is not for monks exclusively. Ray Dalio, for example, has credited his meditation practice with being the single most important reason for his business success today.
R. Dalio speaks openly about how meditation practice allows him to think more clearly and creatively when making decisions. In the state of meditation, your brain waves slow down allowing you to significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and sleep disturbance. Meditation is also a proven tool to come up with the solution you’ve never come before (many globally recognized entrepreneurs call this practice a key to their business success and fulfillment in life).
Take a lesson from the most successful and happy people in the world and include meditation into your daily routine.
By Dr. Anna