Last week’s Friday Fixes shared suggestions on how to combat emotional eating, food cravings, and overeating by using your sense of sight. Thisweek’s installment is all about using your sense of hearing as a way to soothe yourself when the desire for unnecessary eating occurs.A huge way that I soothe myself with sound is through listening to music. I love all genres of tunes, but it turns out that I could be even more relaxed and mindfully aware if I listened to music in the correct frequencies. Most of you know that our brains produce five different wave frequencies that are measured in Hertz (Hz).
- Delta Waves (0.5 – 4Hz) are produced when you’re deeply sleeping.
- Theta Waves (4 – 8 Hz) are produced in the early stages of sleep, a during the REM stage of sleep, during guided imagery and during deep meditation.
- Alpha Waves (8 – 12 Hz) are produced when you’re in the process of doing mindless, passive activities.
- Beta Waves (12 – 25 Hz) are produced when you’re in a state of mindfulness, or awareness.
- Gamma Waves (25-100 Hz) are produced during periods of high concentration or consolidation of large amounts of information.
It’s possible to stimulate the brain to reach a state of enhanced awareness or relaxation through the use of music that has frequencies within the Hertz range of alpha, beta, or theta waves. Here are some examples of each type of music. Many examples like these can be found for free on YouTube.
Here’s an example of Alpha Wave music: (There’s a bit of an introduction before the music begins.)
Here’s an example of Beta:
And finally, an example of Theta Wave music:
Another way to achieve a deep sense of relaxation is through guided imagery. Guided imagery is a program of directed thoughts and suggestions that guide your imagination toward a relaxed and focused state. An instructor, script, or recorded session is used to lead you through the process. Often you’ll be asked to imagine a relaxing, natural environment ,like the beach or mountains. Throughout the script, positive messages are often repeated. When participating in guided imagery, it’s very important to make yourself physically comfortable. Some people recline, while others prefer to sit with their feet touching the floor. Guided imagery should never be listened to while driving
This example of guided imagery is also from YouTube.
In addition to taking advantage of your brainwaves in order to self-soothe, relax, or focus, here are several other ways you can use your sense of hearing to thwart cravings:
- Listen to your favorite music
- Head outdoors and find a quiet spot to sit and listen to the sounds of nature around you
- Listen to recorded nature sounds
- Hum a soothing tune or sing a beautiful song
- If you’re able, play an instrument
- Call a family member or friend ( I read a study a few years ago about how the sound of your mother’s voice can lower your blood pressure. This explains why my daughter called me six times a day her first year of medical school!)
- Read aloud your favorite poems, stories, or affirmations
- Listen to an audio book
How do you use your sense of hearing to relax? Is there anything else that could be added to the list?