You call it holiday time, I call it High Beta time due to all the stress. The holidays are here and we could all use tips to beat holiday stress.
High Beta is the extra fast brain speed. It is designed to help you during stressful situations, but after the stress subsides , it needs to come down. You can feel more relaxed again when High beta decreases. If it stays up, you can feel edgy, hyper-vigilant, neurotic, and anxious. At the same time, Alpha, medium brain speed, needs to be activated to induce that feeling of calm, relaxed focus.
During the holidays we can push ourselves so much that High Beta gets stuck. Stress builds and we begin to feel like we have to constantly go. We can actually get addicted to the feeling of being busy and over-stimulated. Excessive use of High Beta has been shown to be very bad for you and for humanity. Want to know how? Not only, is too much High Beta associated with anxiety and depression, alcoholism, and addictions, it has been linked to dementia and cancer. So use these 3 tips to beat holiday stress by keeping high beta down and increase Alpha to keep your brain healthy and your life balanced.
Here is the recipe for success. Alpha – High Beta = Happy Holidays
Tip #1 to Beat Holiday Stress
SAY NO, Don’t Over-Commit: Obvious, I know, but you are probably guilty of doing it. Say no to some events, parties, responsibilities to give your brain a break. Don’t over-schedule or over-commit yourself. When you are constantly on the go and especially when you have lots of items “running in your background” your health and wellness can break down.
If you drop a ball, don’t sweat it. While we are on the subject, give yourself a break too. Don’t feel guilty about not going to that party because your friend wants you to go. You can’t do everything so you shouldn’t try. Do what is good for you, not other people. Exercise control of your life and it empowers your brain. This makes your brain stronger and healthier. it also helps you feel calmer and more relaxed. Yes please!
With 5 school-aged children this is the busiest time of year for me. I basically never forget anything for the kids all year long, except at the holidays because there is so much. Each year I forget a gift, or a commitment. I don’t sweat it! I really don’t. I think to myself, “at least I never really forget stuff, no worries sister” and move on.
Saying no will decrease your High Beta brain power and help you feel less stressed. Alpha – High Beta = Happy Holidays.
Tip # 2 to Beat Holiday Stress
Treat commitments like a game. If you have lots of things to do, use them at brain workouts. Here is what I mean. When I go to family parties that I feel are a bit stressful for me, I consciously exercise my patience and kindness muscle. Just the other day I was with family that was constantly giving each other passive aggressive digs. Recognizing the pattern, I held my tongue and took a breath during each uncomfortable and unfortunate incident. I texted the hubs that I felt like I was training for a “brain control marathon” but guess what. I never became more anxious, as I usually would.
By responding to those digs with kindness, instead of reacting with annoyance, I felt a million times better. You know why? It is because I did not let High Beta rise. It was trying to go up, but I kept it in check deliberately. Each breath helped me to increase Alpha and stay calm. I have been successfully playing this game for a long time Give it a try. I think you find it is remarkable. Alpha – High Beta = Happy Holidays.
Tip #3 to Beat Holiday Stress
Spend time doing the things you love. I tell everyone in my office to find their “meditation” and do that thing everyday. Your meditation is the thing that you love to do that helps you feel calm and focused. It is different for everyone. For me it is yoga, running, reading, actual meditation and watching Netflix Christmas movies (this one is new). For my hubs it is golf, yard work, video games, and Netflix Christmas movies (yes, he says he is watching them “with me” but he secretly loves them).
When you do the things you love it increase Alpha medium calm-focused brain speed. Many times, around the holidays, we let these activities drop off because we are too busy with all the other stuff. Don’t let them drop off. Do them more! As much as possible. Remember, your brain needs these activities so you can stay healthy an well during the stressful holiday season. Alpha – High Beta = Happy Holidays.
Use these tips to beat holiday stress and enjoy the season.
If you are not able to use these tips because your brain is stuck in High Beta, then call my office at 919-401-9933. We would love to help you get unstuck and living your best life. You can check out our awesome Neuroscience services at Leigh Brain & Spine.
If you want to know more about how you can control your brain before it controls you, check out my Harness Your Brain on-line educational course so you can reach your full potential through improving your brain.