As you know, the brain controls the body. However, the body can also control the brain to a certain extent – this feedback works both ways. You have probably heard about biofeedback technology, which requires special hardware and software. However, it is possible to direct the work of the brain in the right direction without special devices – to do this, you need to consciously use the biofeedback mechanism to change your thoughts, emotions and stress levels.
How biofeedback works
Your brain is able to recognize changes in your body – heart rate, breathing, muscle tension, sweating – he is busy with it all the time. To use biofeedback, you need to understand how it works.
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Your brain constantly receives signals from all parts of the body, thanks to which it learns information about the environment and initiates the emergence of certain feelings and human behavior.
Signals containing information about heart rate, respiration, digestion and other bodily functions are transmitted along the vagus nerve, which travels through the upper body directly to the brain, where these signals are processed. Many physical sensations, such as rumbling belly, muscle tension, various pains, have an emotional component that the brain adds. So, you can interpret and influence the physical sensations, the signals of which enter the brain.
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How to use biofeedback to your advantage
To use biofeedback and set the brain to positive, you can resort to the following actions:
- Wash your face or splash cold water on your face.
Cold water stimulates the vagus nerve, so if you're stressed or worried, just slurp cold water on your face.
- Use the power of music.
Music increases heart rate variability. Listening to music has a powerful effect – music maximizes the use of the limbic system, which regulates emotions.
And it will become brighter for everyone, including you. Smiling causes the brain to release dopamine, while it does not have to be sincere – the brain is not able to distinguish a sincere smile from a squeezed one, therefore it reacts to them in the same way – hormone of happiness.
- Stand up.
Research has shown that a person who is standing upright is more confident and determined. Also, this posture adds optimism.
Posture – an important source of biofeedback not only for your brain, but also for those around you. Slouching also reduces energy levels, so even while sitting, keep your back straight.
- Relax your face.
When you frown, the muscle located on the forehead, between the eyebrows, tenses up. When you tense this muscle, it seems to the brain that you are upset or worried. So try not to frown.
- Relax your jaw and tongue.
In stressful situations, people often clench their teeth and tense their tongues. Therefore, to calm the mind, it is enough to consciously relax the lower jaw, perhaps even move it slightly, opening the mouth. Also force yourself to relax your tongue.
- Follow your breath.
Breathing techniques for relaxation also work on the principle of biofeedback. A slow and deep breath in the belly acts as a sedative – the heart begins to beat more slowly, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated. Place your hand on your diaphragm and take a few deep breaths, counting to six, feeling yourself gradually relax. Accordingly, to cheer up, try breathing faster.
- Tighten and relax your muscles.
Take a deep breath and tense a muscle (it could be a muscle in your face, arm, neck, back), and after a couple of seconds exhale and relax it.
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