Soothe Anxiety with Binaural Beats Music
Discover the fascinating world of rhythms designed to calm the mind
Now more than ever we seek to find an island of serenity amidst the ocean of uncertainty. And we require solutions to ease suffering rather than the constant noise from cable news. If you’re open to expanding your mind and improving your daily well being, let’s explore what binaural beats have to offer. In this post we’ll discover what binaural beats are, how they work, potential outcomes, how to listen and self administer. Three curated music tracks are provided along with links to learn more. Enjoy!
Note: I am not a certified practitioner, nor an expert in the field of binaural beats (yet). Rather, consider me an enthusiast, a frequent user and someone possessing a natural fascination with the topic.
For many years this music has enhanced my state of well being. It has helped me cope with deep grief after the loss of a close family member. The music was a rock to aid me after the ending of a painful relationship with my partner and in dealing with false beliefs of ‘not being good enough’. With sadness there is light. The rhythmic sounds have also enhanced joyful moments such as walking the quiet streets of Toronto in an early morning snowfall.
What are Binaural Beats?
Wikipedia describes bilateral stimulations as:
the use of visual, auditory, or tactile external stimuli occurring in a rhythmic side-to-side pattern.
The below-curated list provides auditory and visual examples.
How Do Binaural Beats Work?
Many scientific explanations are outlining how binaural beats impact the brain, however, here’s a more simplistic point of view from binauralbeatsmeditation.com:
The science behind binaural beats occurs naturally in the brain. A different sound (tone) frequency is sent to the left and right ears through headphones. Upon hearing the two different frequencies (one in the left ear and one in the right), the brain interprets these two different frequencies as one consistent, rhythmic frequency, known as a binaural beat(s). The resulting frequency that the brain interprets is the mathematical difference between the two frequencies of the left and right tones that were sent to the left and right ears. The brain then follows along at this frequency.
Binauralbeatsmeditation.com describes this theory as ‘Frequency Following Response’ (FFR), a natural phenomenon that occurs in the human brain.
What Is the Outcome?
In dealing with loss and negative self-talk, my experience with binaural beats is soothing. There is a sense of stillness and renewed tranquility. You may also sense:
- Lower stress levels
- Quietening of the mind
- Meditative states
- Improved sleep
- Reduction in anxiety
- Enhanced cognitive performance
- A creativity boost
Disclaimer: the following statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. These are subjective statements and results vary from person to person. Further psychotherapeutic research and advancements continue in this area, Healthline reports the following:
While most studies on the effects of binaural beats have been small, there are several that provide evidence that this auditory illusion does indeed have health benefits, especially related to anxiety, mood, and performance.
For further reading on professional and clinical studies regarding binaural beats, publications and medical journals are cited at the end of the post.
How To Listen?
Psychology Today explains:
You listen to binaural beats using headphones. In each ear, you receive sound at a slightly different frequency (often accompanied by some relaxing background sounds). If your left ear receives a 300-hertz tone and your right ear receives a 280-hertz tone, your brain will process and absorb a 10-hertz tone.
How to Self Administer
Here are two ways you can approach binaural beats:
- Listen for pure enjoyment
- Listen with intention. Before starting the music, consider one belief system you hold to be true right now. Perhaps you feel anxiety somewhere in your body, or feel inadequate in any area of your life. Next, contemplate a positive experience associated with wellbeing. This can be the form of a recent encounter you had of self-soothing or self-acceptance. In the example I provided of not feeling good enough, I thought of a positive memory when I was a child and recognized by my teacher for creative writing excellence. Now — hold that positive memory close. Listen to the music.
Three Curated Examples
- Remove Negativity
This track inspires me to take my dog Astor for a long city walk on an early Sunday morning. No one is awake. It feels we’re the only creatures alive. Through this music I see the landscape in front of me with a childlike sense of wonder and awe.
The most mundane housework becomes energized. I feel a ‘wash’ of serenity come over me when I do the laundry. After listening to five minutes of this music, I can’t experience negative emotions.
- Improve Study, Concentration
The graphics are stunning in this piece. I have a sense of lying on the forest floor peering up towards the heavens. The mid-October chill has set in and the sky is a brilliant blue. All around me permeates the smell of decomposing leaves. I am focused and alive.
- Promote Deep Sleep
Within a few minutes of starting this music, I feel the sensation of floating in the clouds. My earbuds are in and I’m lying in bed. Restful slumber is a few breaths away. I appreciate how this track fades to a black screen after 10 minutes and reduces the amount of light on my iPhone and promotes a relaxing environment.
Interested In Learning More?
- GreenRed Productions YouTube Channel
- Nu Meditation Music YouTube Channel
- Awakening Planet YouTube Channel
- H4Happiness YouTube Channel
- Study Alpha Waves on Spotify
- Psychology Today How Can Binaural Beats Help You Sleep Better?
- Healthline Do Binaural Beats Have Health Benefits?
- LA Weekly Listening To These Beats Supposedly Gets You High. We Try Them.
- A Novel Insight of Effects of a 3-Hz Binaural Beat on Sleep Stages During Sleep https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165862/
- Atwater FH. (1997). Inducing altered states of consciousness with binaural beat technology. http://stealthskater.com/Documents/Lucid_05.pdf
- Lane JD, et al. (1998). Binaural auditory beats affect vigilance performance and mood. DOI: 10.1016/S0031–9384(97)00436–8
- Noise-induced hearing loss. (2017). nidcd.nih.gov/health/noise-induced-hearing-loss
- Padmanabhan R, et al. (2005). A prospective, randomized, controlled study examining binaural beat audio and pre-operative anxiety in patients undergoing general anesthesia for day case surgery. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365–2044.2005.04287.x
- Wahbeh H, et al. (2007). Binaural beat technology in humans: A pilot study to assess psychologic and physiologic effects. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2006.6196
- Weiland TJ, et al. (2011). Original sound compositions reduce anxiety in emergency department patients: a randomized controlled trial. DOI: 10.5694/mja10.10662
Sr Scrum Master Transitioning To Agile Coach | Heart-Centric Leader | Gestalt Psychotherapist-In-Training | Writer on Medium | Brand Ambassador Plentyworld.com for Mental Health Awareness | Editor, Being Well and Medika.Life