¿Le gustaría calmar su ansiedad en solo 8 minutos? La neurociencia dice escucha esto

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¿Qué pasaría si pudiera mostrarte una manera de calmar la ansiedad en minutos usando principios neurocientíficos?

No es una solución permanente. Pero recordé haber leído sobre eso hace años y lo intenté esta semana.

Honestamente, me sentí abrumado por la rapidez y eficacia con la que funcionó.

Se trata de escuchar una sola pista de audio de ocho minutos diseñada y grabada para desencadenar ciertas respuestas neurológicas en su cerebro.

Un colega aquí en Inc.com escribió una vez que redujo la ansiedad en un 65 por ciento. Admito que lo abordé con escepticismo, pero como son solo ocho minutos y casi no requiere esfuerzo, lo intenté.

La pista de audio está al final de este artículo si prefiere seguir adelante. Pero creo que ayuda poner todo esto en contexto.

Más de la mitad de los estadounidenses esperaban que el día de las elecciones fuera el día más estresante de sus vidas este año. ¿Añades el coronavirus, la situación económica y el miedo generalizado que muchos de nosotros percibimos como producto de la vida de principios del siglo XXI?

La palabra en la que me meto es «SOBAR» para «estresado más allá del reconocimiento».

A veces, la solución es terapia o ayuda médica. Ciertamente he hecho uso de esto en ocasiones; Está completamente desactualizado señalar el estigma asociado con la búsqueda de ayuda profesional de salud mental.

Pero también hay algunas cosas muy simples que puedes hacer tú mismo: Los períodos de entrenamiento cortos e intensos son muy efectivos y pretenden pasar tiempo con amigos (también virtualmente).

La meditación funciona de la misma manera que agregar plantas y otras plantas a su área de trabajo. Ah, y un «paseo impresionante» en la naturaleza, como informaron recientemente mis colegas Minda Zetlin y Jessica Stillman, produce resultados fascinantes.

(Siguiendo su consejo, yo mismo hice un «Awe Walk» el día de las elecciones; me ayudó un poco y le tomé algunas fotos geniales).

Pero este interludio musical de ocho minutos podría ser el más fascinante.

Se remonta a 2011 cuando una banda británica llamada Marconi Union se asoció con terapeutas de sonido para crear una pista llamada «Weightlessness» que estimula ciertas respuestas neurológicas cuando la gente la escucha.

Estos incluyen: frecuencia cardíaca más baja, presión arterial más baja y niveles disminuidos de cortisol, una hormona del estrés.

Los investigadores dijeron que luego tocaron la canción para un grupo de 40 mujeres, rastreando su respiración, actividad cerebral y presión arterial, y encontraron que era un 11 por ciento más relajante que la canción que encontraron el calmante para el estrés más cercano publicado en el periódico británico, El Telégrafo.

«La canción … contiene un ritmo sostenido que comienza a 60 latidos por minuto y se ralentiza gradualmente a alrededor de 50. A medida que escucha, su frecuencia cardíaca se iguala gradualmente a ese latido», dijo Lyz Cooper, fundador de la Academia Británica de Terapia de Sonido. dijo al periódico.

El hecho de que la canción tenga casi exactamente ocho minutos de duración es importante, agregó, porque «se necesitan unos cinco minutos para que se lleve a cabo este proceso conocido como arrastre».

Otros elementos incluyen la estructura de los espacios entre las notas de la canción («creando una sensación de euforia y comodidad» según Cooper) y el hecho de que «no hay una melodía repetitiva que permita que tu cerebro se apague por completo porque tú no intente más tiempo para predecir lo que sigue «.

Todo el truco se reduce a que la investigación demuestre que «La música funciona a un nivel muy profundo en el cerebro, estimulando no solo las regiones responsables del procesamiento del sonido, sino también las asociadas con las emociones «, dijo el Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson, neuropsicólogo que supervisó el estudio.

Sin embargo, dada nuestra situación en el mundo y a pesar de mi escepticismo sobre las soluciones rápidas, lo intenté.

Lector, funcionó. Durante el tiempo que estuve escuchando la canción, sabía exactamente para qué era, me sentí relajado.

El leve dolor de cabeza sinusal que había sufrido desapareció. Podía sentir que mi respiración y mis latidos eran lentos. Una sensación de calma me envolvió. Escuché un timbre bajo, casi como una versión agradable de tininitus.

Esta tampoco es una panacea. Ciertamente, no sustituye la combinación de todos los hábitos enumerados anteriormente ni la ayuda profesional. Pero si está asustado y tiene ocho minutos de sobra, puede que le resulte realmente interesante.

El título está incrustado a continuación y puede encontrarlo prácticamente en cualquier otro lugar donde descargue música.

Funcionó para mí. Me gustaría saber si también funciona para ti.

Las opiniones expresadas por los columnistas de Inc.com aquí son las suyas propias, no las de Inc.com.

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The audio track is included at the bottom of this article, if you'd rather skip ahead. But, I think it helps to put this all in context first. 

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More than half of Americans anticipated Election Day this year would be the most stressful day of their lives. Add coronavirus, the economic situation, and the general anxiety that many of us feel as a product of early 21st century life?

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The word I settle on is "SOBAR," for "stressed out beyond all recognition."

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Sometimes, the solution is therapy or medical help. I've certainly availed myself of these at times; it's wildly outdated to suggest any stigma associated with seeking professional help for mental health.

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But there are also some very simple things you can yourself: short, intense periods of exercise are highly effective, as well as being intentional about spending time with friends (even virtually).

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Meditation works, as does adding plants and other greenery to your work space. Oh, and going for an "awe walk" in nature, as my colleagues Minda Zetlin and Jessica Stillman have reported on recently, yields fascinating results.

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(Based on their advice, I took an "awe walk" of my own on Election Day; it helped a bit, and I got some great photos out of it.)

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But this eight-minute musical interlude might well be the most intriguing.

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It dates back to 2011, when a British band called Marconi Union teamed up with sound therapists to create a track called "Weightlessness," that would stimulate specific neurological reactions when people listened to it.

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Among them: a lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, and reduced levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. 

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Researchers said they then played the song for a group of 40 women, tracking their breathing, brain activity and blood pressure, and found it to be 11 percent more relaxing than the next-most-stress-reducing song they could find, according to results published in the British newspaper, The Telegraph.

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"The song ... contains a sustaining rhythm that starts at 60 beats per minute and gradually slows to around 50. While listening, your heart rate gradually comes to match that beat," Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, told the newspaper.

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The fact that the song is almost exactly eight minutes is important, she added, because, "it takes about five minutes for this process, known as entrainment, to occur."

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Additional elements, include the structure of the gaps between the song's notes (designed to "create a feeling of euphoria and comfort," according to Cooper), and the fact that there is "no repeating melody, which allows your brain to completely switch off because you are no longer trying to predict what is coming next." 

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The whole trick comes down to research that shows that "music works at a very deep level within the brain, stimulating not only those regions responsible for processing sound but also ones associated with emotions," said Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson, a neuropsychologist who oversaw the study.

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Anyway, given where we are in the world, and despite my skeptism for quick fixes, I tried it.

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Reader, it worked. During the time that I listened to the song -- fully aware of what it was designed to do -- I felt myself relaxing.

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The mild sinus headache I'd been enduring disappeared. I could feel my breathing and heart rate slow. A feeling of calmness enveloped me. I began to hear a faint ringing sound -- almost like a pleasurable version of tininitus.

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Again, this is not a cure-all. It's certainly not a substitute for combining all the habits I listed above, or for professional help. But if you've got anxiety, and you've got eight minutes, you might find it really interesting.

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The track is embedded below, and you can find it pretty much every other place you'd download music, too.

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It worked for me. I'd love to hear if it works for you, too.

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