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Emotional regulation is possibly the biggest challenge we have in life. Throughout the day our state of mind, our energy levels and our moods are in constant flux. Maybe you wake up feeling foggy, haven’t slept too well, need coffee.

Over coffee and breakfast, you watch the birds feeding on the windowsill, in the sunshine, and it lifts your spirit, you feel happy and are looking forward to the day. You start planning what you will do.

Then you get a text from a friend who has just lost her job due to COVID-19. She is very anxious, and thinking about this sends you into a tailspin. You start to worry and feel as though the world isn’t safe anymore. Then you start to worry about your own family, as one of your daughters is having problems at home.

You decide to go out and do some gardening, because you know that getting active helps you to feel better. So you get your gardening gloves on and go and dig up those bulbs, to put them away for winter. Pretty soon you are thinking of other projects you want to do and feeling much more optimistic.

Then at lunch time you listen to the news and hear about business closures, possible recession, shares losing value. You start thinking about your own problems, health worries and financial worries. It is all overwhelming, especially as you have no one to talk to. You don’t want to trouble your family. In fact you don’t feel up to calling anyone while you are in this state. The day clouds over and you really wish things were different.

When you are alone, it can be difficult to regulate your emotions and interrupt these negative thought spirals. But self-regulation is a challenge that everyone deals with all the time. In fact, things could be really great in your life, but if your emotional state is one of stress or depression, and you have trouble snapping out of that, you won’t be able to appreciate the good things in life.

For some people, anger is a difficult thing to regulate. For others it may be grief, and for some it is just a matter of regulating energy levels. Whatever it is, it’s all about what goes on between ourselves and our brain. What state are we in and how can we switch that brain-state when we need to? How can we go into peaceful sleep-mode when it’s time to rest? How can we switch on the get-up-and-go when we need to get a job done? How can we focus the mind when we are distracted by all sorts of worries?

Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding something that is going to flick the switch and put you into a positive mindset. Often physical exercise will do the trick as it changes your breathing and heart rate, and this has a big impact on the emotional state as well. Music is another way of quite quickly switching the mood, as it registers on many different parts of the brain and can remind us of positive memories. Sometimes we turn to food to try and make us feel better, but that can have unwanted consequences for the waistline!

We now know that certain parts of the brain and nervous system play a key role in how we feel and what physical and emotional state we are in. These include the amygdala, where negative emotions are generated, the hippocampus which houses memory, and the prefrontal cortex which is our thinking brain.

Our longest nerve, the vagal nerve, goes from the brain and the ear, all the way to the pelvis, and has a profound effect on regulating our emotional state. One branch of the vagal nerve causes the ‘fight or flight’ response, which is an instinctive stress reaction, affecting heart rate, breathing and many other bodily functions. Another branch puts us into shut-down, or rest and digest, where the brain is switched off, but the organs are working, like a reptile lying in the sun.

A third branch, only recently discovered, is called the social engagement branch. This is also known as the “great calming nerve”. When it is switched on, we are calm, trusting, alert, but peaceful. A good state to be in.

Some innovative scientists in recent years have discovered that activating little muscles inside the ear helps to switch on this calming nerve. One of these researchers was Dr Alfred Tomatis, a French ear nose and throat doctor. He spent his life developing a Sound Therapy program that activates those muscles and helps with hearing, learning, sleep, energy levels and emotional regulation. Not only that, but using this unique approach to ear health helps to reduce ringing in the ears, chronic blocked-ear and dizziness.

People who use the program say it gets rid of anxiety, enables deep, refreshing sleep, and encourages them to feel positive, energised and ready to reach out and communicate with others. Many have found this therapy to be the perfect answer for isolation, depression, and difficulty with regulating one’s moods. It is drug free, easy, enjoyable, and something you can do at home. The consultation and all the information is available by mail order and by phone, so you don’t have to go anywhere to start the program. It is listened to at home on a small, portable device, no bigger than a match box, with earphones. The music is played quietly so it doesn’t interfere with your daily activities, including talking on the phone or watching TV.

During the COVID lock-down, many people who are struggling with being alone and facing uncertainty have turned to Sound Therapy and found it very soothing and uplifting. In addition, the program has helped listeners to overcome insomnia and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

“For me to sleep through the night for a straight 6 hours is something I haven’t experienced in decades. I’m not giving up on the program and will continue to listen to my 3 hours per day. It’s really become a part of my life,” said Mark Douglas from Queensland.

Alison Hamilton from South Australia wrote: “The nicest effect of the program for me, is the way in which I find myself just feeling happy, quite frequently, for no particular reason. This is in contrast to feelings of sadness, and a general sense of being weighed down by life generally. I am finding it much easier to feel content and happy which reminds me of my general state of mind as a much younger person.”

To learn more or request free information on the program, contact the Sound Therapy national enquiry line on 1300 55 77 96 or visit www.mysoundtherapy.com/rd

This is sponsored content brought to you in conjunction with Sound Therapy.

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