Or have you ever beaten YOURSELF up…in your mind…for things you should have done, or said?
Both of these are examples of how your mind plays a role in managing stress and anxiety.
Now as you might have guessed, the mind is a pretty big topic, so it will take some additional articles to discover the secrets of how to decrease stress by training your mind.
But don’t worry, we’ll take it one step at a time.
Remember the way you will learn about this…first observe others and then observe yourself.
Once you have done this, then it’s time to learn the stress management tools.
The Law of the Outer Voice
What You Hear Affects Your Stress Level.
This next law of stress management requires you to tune into is your mind by first listening to what others are saying with the tone of their voice.
(Think: they are “saying” run for your life or all is well).
Notice that when you listen to someone talk, you repeat what they are saying or create a mood in your mind because of the sound of their voice.
Our mind is talking pretty much all the time, and has an attitude or mood all the time.
The part of your brain that decides on stress or no stress is listening to our thoughts and especially to the mood we’re talking about here…so what is going on in the mind rolls right into the decision-making of the body’s mind and then into our body.
Listen for the Outer Voice
The first step is to understanding how what you hear affects your stress level is to listen to people talk!
Are folks in your life speaking fast or slowly, loud or softly?
What about the actual tone of their speech?
Do you feel comfortable listening to them speak or on-edge?
We are all projecting an “attitude” when we speak to others or ourselves.
And what are you hearing?
How is your body breathing and what are your muscles doing when you listen to this person speak?
- Your body is reporting in
Is the tone of the speech going to help your inner child feel safe and like “all is well?”
Or would the tone of the voice you are hearing create fear in a child?
(I bring up the child example here to help you understand that the part of our brain that runs the body and listens to sound like speech, has the mind of about a 3 year old…)
Fight or Flight?
Now that you are on to the sound of voice as a clue to stress…
Listen to speech…in your personal life, on T.V or just in passing throughout your day.
This can be a way to understand if the folks around you are feeling stressed.
Are you hearing people who are probably threatened or aggressive, or calm and secure?
Check out the voices on the news or in movies…what are they telling your body????
Is the message “Be afraid and ready to run or fight” or is your body hearing the “all clear”?
(When you tune into your body’s reaction, you are using body language or body feedback for information about your body’s well-being…this is biofeedback)
The Voice Response…
What did you discover about the tone of the voices you are exposed to in your daily life?
There are no hard and fast rules about what is going to make YOU feel stressed or relaxed…we are all different.
Certainly an angry or frustrated voice could set any of us off…
But maybe a stressful sound for you is loud or excited or maybe a fast voice triggers your tension response.
Is there a voice you can bring to mind very easily that is a stressful one?
(I hope it isn’t someone in your DAILY life…but often for folks dealing with stress there is someone… like someone at work or a neighbor whose voice triggers signs of stress).
And they may not even have to be physically present.
Just imagining the sound of their voice can have the same effect on your body as if they are actually right there.
What about a relaxing voice?
Is there someone in your life that you feel really comfortable around?
- Maybe part of that feeling good is their voice.
Can you imagine a voice that you just love to hear…maybe it’s a parent or loved one or someone in public life like an actor with that deep resonating bass voice…?
Just like a voice can cause stress symptoms, the right voice can take your mind to a place of peace and relaxation.
Be Alert for Sounds of Trouble
You know from our previous article that when you see someone breathing short, chest breaths, or see that their jaw and shoulder muscles are pumped up getting ready for a fight they are under stress.
Similarly when you hear (and feel in your body) that the sound of their voice is stressful…it’s an alert that you are in a stressful situation.
Be alert to the signs of stress around you.
CHOOSE to help yourself when you are on a “battlefield” by taking some belly breaths and letting the tension melt out of your muscles as ways to deal with the stress
Help your body recover when you find stress…do not wait, just do your Brief Recovery Exercise at the time…it just takes a few seconds
In our next article, we will get deeper into how to beat the negative effects of stress with the biofeedback techniques to control the inner voice in your own mind.
See you in the next blog.
You are doing GREAT!
Want to learn more ways to relieve stress?
Take the first step!
Click here for my Special Report: Biofeedback Training- Discover the Power of Your Mind to Control Your Body
Author: Jinny Joy LaRock, RN, BCB Sr. Fellow