All existing stress management techniques are aimed at alleviating the effects of stress, as much as possible to reduce the likelihood of future post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As a rule, these techniques require a significant amount of time, are of low efficiency, often require the involvement of a professional psychologist and the creation of special conditions for their implementation.
Today, methods are needed for the prevention of stress, for the preparation of the central nervous system at the physiological level to the effects of various stressors. Such techniques should be easy to master, highly effective and practical. It is easier to prevent the destructive effects of stress than to deal with its consequences. Not for nothing, stress is called the "silent killer." A few years ago, on the basis of the results of the Iraq campaign, the Pentagon allocated more than 100 million dollars to develop a program specifically to prevent stress conditions.
When interviewing at seminars, students most often refer to the folk remedy for individual correction of stressful states: alcohol intake. Indeed, taking a small dose of alcohol before a stressful event helps reduce the effects and consequences of stress. Easy, but dead-end path. There are other methods of preparation for severe stress. These can be various effects with a low level of stress, for example, roller coaster rides, action films and thrillers, etc. Thus, the psyche is prepared for the effects of stronger stressors. Widely applied methods of running in stress and in combat training. When this happens a certain adaptation to stress. However, all this requires a long time. In addition, external calmness does not mean that the body’s physiological reactions to stress do not occur, with all the ensuing consequences. For example, frequently encountered recommendations of mentally losing certain stressful situations cause the same physiological reactions of the body as in a real stressful situation, since our brain is not able to distinguish a fictional situation from a real one. As it often happens that a seemingly calm person suddenly breaks down when the last straw overwhelms his patience ...
In order to reduce the impact of the upcoming stressful situation, we can recommend special breathing exercises. They are aimed at increasing the content of carbon dioxide in the blood in order to expand the blood vessels and increase blood circulation in the brain. To do this, perform a quick breath through the nose, breath and slow, portion, exhale through the mouth. Also increases blood flow and alternate inhalation with nostrils with expiratory delay and subsequent expiration through the mouth. In addition, prolonged breathing causes a significant arousal of the respiratory center, and this, in turn, enhances the inhibition process in the cerebral cortex. This circumstance explains the expediency of using breathing exercises to reduce the level of mental tension.
Stress is the result of what happens in the brain, not what is happening in the environment. Any stress is always physiological, hormonal, and psychological. Therefore, in anti-stress prevention it is necessary to pay attention to the state of the brain. Under stress, at least one half of the brain is blocked. It means that in life-threatening emergency situations, often life-threatening, we are not able to make deliberate decisions. The reduced activity of the left logical brain hemisphere and the activated emotionality of the right hemisphere can lead to a negative psychological state, up to the onset of various phobias. Therefore, there is a need to quickly align the activity of the cerebral hemispheres, to make the brain fully operational. It should be noted that the important role of the interconnection of both hemispheres manifests itself in a person with a fully functioning brain (with a developed corpus callosum and interneuronal connections of the hemispheres of the brain) in that life support systems double, intuition starts to work effectively, the speed and adequacy of response to any external and internal stimuli, several times increases resistance to intoxication due to activation of the blood-brain barrier.
There are special exercises aimed at enhancing the interaction of the hemispheres of the brain and the development of their neuronal connections. This activates the activity of the hormonal system with the release of opiates such as endorphins and serotonin. It is a complex of such exercises that is an effective means of preventing stress conditions at the physiological level. The brain receives such a powerful feeling of pleasure from these exercises that, trying to save it, it blocks all the negative information that could disturb it. In this case, all incoming information is perceived and processed in full.
Exercises are based on the principle that by activating one half of the body, we activate one hemisphere of the brain, and by activating the entire body simultaneously, we thereby activate both hemispheres of the brain. In the exercises, those parts of the body that have the largest projections in the brain (fingers and hands, toes and feet, lips) are loaded. For example, when activating the fingers and wrist of the right hand, depending on the type of exercise, 25% and more of the surface of the cerebral cortex are activated. It is necessary to take into account that there is a so-called “zone overlap”, when neurons of one projection zone actively “cooperate” with neurons of another projection zone (for example, zones of smell and vision, motor skills and logical thinking). Such physiological overlap can reach 43%.
The exercises also take into account the fact that performing complex movements is possible only with the participation of a huge number of neurons on all floors of the central nervous system - the frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal lobes of the hemispheres, brain stem, etc. The more complex the new movement than the more conscious it is the greater the effect on brain function is. When performing a set of exercises, the brain's wave activity changes, a physiological state arises as after a long session of meditation.
A set of exercises with loading projection and associative brain zones is desirable, if possible, to perform the first month daily. This is the perfect option with the greatest efficiency. It is during this period that new interneuron connections arise and begin to work. In the future, it will be enough to carry out the complex once a week for one hour or as needed. The fact is that the positive physiological state of the brain caused by exercise persists for a long time (up to a week or more). Allowed to perform one or more exercises to obtain the desired effect. For example, you can simply fold the palms of the minutes on 10 – 15, which not only levels the activity of the brain hemispheres, but also normalizes the body’s acid-base balance. Putting the fingers to the forehead, for example, we thereby increase blood flow and heat in the anterior part of the brain and stop the classic stress reaction (outflow of blood from the complex thinking area of the anterior part of the brain to the rear survival centers). Effective and simple stroking with warm palms of the head for 3 – 10 minutes.
One of the principles laid down in the system of exercises is that the more biologically expedient the coordination of movements is, the easier and more precise it is performed, and the more coordination contradicts the biologically established coordination, the more difficult it is. Initially, all exercises are learned and performed with open eyes, and later with closed ones, which increases the effectiveness of the exercises. It is not necessary to do all the exercises at once. In the future, you can also reduce the number of exercises while maintaining the result of their performance. Duration of lessons - 30 – 60 minutes. Each exercise is performed 10 – 15 times.
Complex of exercises
Position - sitting.
1. "Fist-edge-palm". The palm is on the table, the fingers are straight; squeeze a hand into a fist, put a palm on the edge and straighten your fingers; palm on the table, fingers straight; squeeze a hand into a fist, etc. First, do it with each hand separately, then with both hands at the same time. Complicate: the right hand begins, with one movement we connect the left hand, that is, we get asynchronous movements.
2. "Ear-nose." Use your left hand to hold the tips of your nose, and your right hand to hold your left ear. At the same time, let go of your ear and nose, clap your hands, change the position of your hands with the exact opposite.
3. On your right hand, put a thumb and index finger in a ring, then a thumb — a middle finger, a thumb — a ring finger, a thumb — a little finger. On the right hand, connect the thumb - the little finger, then the thumb - the ring finger, the thumb - the middle finger, the thumb - the index finger. We connect fingers synchronously, with small pressure. Gradually accelerate the rhythm and change the position of the hands in space.
4. At the same time and synchronously with two hands we write in the air the alphabet, numbers, eights. The amplitude in the range of "head - hips".
5. We write different letters and numbers in the air simultaneously with two hands. For example, the left hand writes “0”, and the right hand writes “1”; the left one is “1”, the right one is “2”, and so on. Run from “0” to “9”.
6. We write in the air with two hands and at the same time different numbers or letters and at the same time quickly exchange them. For example, the right hand writes “1”, and the left one writes “3”, right after that the right hand writes “3”, and the left one “1”. Repeat several times.
7. At the same time, we press the fingers of the left foot and squeeze the fingers of the right hand into a fist, while making a sharp movement with the lower jaw and lips to the side; then we press the fingers of the right foot, squeeze the fingers of the left hand into a fist and make a sharp movement with the lower jaw and lips in the other direction. Do 2 – 3 minutes, gradually accelerating the pace.
8. Left hand palm over the abdomen. The index finger of the right hand lies horizontally on the upper lip, and the middle finger is horizontally on the lower lip. The mouth is ajar. Rub the upper lip back and forth. Change hands. To do on 2 – 3 minutes.
9. The index finger of the right hand on the upper lip, the middle finger of the hand - on the lower lip. Vigorously rub lips, at the same time we squeeze and unclench the fingers of our left hand into a fist and press in and out our toes. Change hands. To do on 2 – 3 minutes.
10. Hands extended to the sides at chest level, fists clenched. Rotate the fists at the same time in one direction, another, in different.
11. Connect the tips of the fingers of both hands in front of the chest. Without separating the contacts of the fingers, we fold and spread our palms, pressing in the places of the contacts of the fingers. At the same time we press and unclasp our toes.
12. Extend arms and legs in front of you. We make synchronous cross movements with arms and legs.
Position - standing.
1. Standing do circular movements or draw eights in the air with the left hand, and with the right hand we write the alphabet and numbers in the air. Change hands. Repeat several times.
2. Pre-teach 4 movements for the right hand: to the side, up, to the side, down. Repeat several times. Then we learn 5 movements for the left hand: forward, to the side, up, forward, down. Repeat several times. Now we make these movements simultaneously, each for our own hand. To do within 2 – 3 minutes.
3. Various cross movements. For example, with your right elbow, touch the raised left knee, then with your left elbow, touch the right knee. At the moment of touch, press the fingers of the feet and squeeze the fingers into fists.
4. Calling the letters of the alphabet in order, do the following at the same time:
Al - Bp - In - Gl - Dp - Eo - El - Zn - Zo - Il ...
where: l - raise your left hand up and bend the right leg at the knee;
n - raise your right hand up and bend the left leg at the knee;
0 - lift up both hands and stand on tiptoes.
Movement can be changed to any, the main thing - to preserve their diversity. You can do this exercise in a sitting position, lifting or straining only the fingers and toes.
5. Transfer your body weight to your right foot, make circular movements with your left foot, and write your name, surname, alphabet or numbers in order with your right hand. Left hand can stick. Change your arm and leg. Repeat the exercise several times.
6. For the right hemisphere of the brain, the left leg, bent at the knee, slowly and evenly rises to the “1 – 2 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7” score. When the thigh reaches the horizontal level, with the right palm press on the left knee from above, in three stages:
1: light effort with the palm on the knee on top - 7 seconds,
2-th: strong effort - 7 seconds,
3-th: lower the leg to its original position - 7 seconds.
The hand presses just above the knee. With your left hand you can lean on something or set it aside and bend at the elbow. The back is straight. Repeat 6 – 8 times.
For training the left hemisphere, the right leg and left arm are used. Repeat the same 6 – 8 times.
7. Walking in place, eyes closed. At the same time, we draw eights with our hands or we make circles with our hands in front of the chest (arms extended forward, open palms pointing forward, fingers up). Change the direction of circular movements with his hands. Make 1 – 2 minutes.
8. Standing, feet shoulder-width apart, arms bent at the elbows, fists clenched. Take a breath. On an exhalation we squat, we take away knees in the parties, and heels come off from a floor and almost concern each other. Simultaneously with the squat, we make two jogging movements forward with open palms (fingers up). The back is straight.
9. Stand straight, spread your arms to the sides at shoulder level, palms down. Without changing the position of the hands and crossing your legs, slowly rotate, trying to make as much as possible full turns.
10. Hands stretch forward, eyes close. Walking in place and at the same time making movements with your hands, as if you are screwing a light bulb. Change the position of the hands: up, to the sides.
11. Stretch your arms forward in front of your chest with your palms down. Step with your right foot to the side, cross your left leg with your right leg, placing it behind you, at the same time cross your outstretched arms in front of your chest, left hand from above. Return to the original position and repeat in the other direction.
If possible, perform additional exercises that do not require specially allocated time for classes:
1. "Mirror drawing." Take a pencil or a marker in each hand. On the sheet, we begin at the same time with two hands to write letters, numbers, to make identical drawings. This exercise can be complicated: with the left hand we write “0”, and with the right hand we write “1”, then with the left hand “1”, and with our right hand - “2”, etc.
2. Take a pencil or a fountain pen in each hand. Connect their tips at one point on the sheet. Start writing from one point one word at a time, with your left hand - from left to right, and with your right hand - from right to left. Let it initially be short words.
3. Take a pencil or a fountain pen in each hand and two sheets of paper. At the same time start to write with two hands any text, for example, a previously learned poem. The right hand writes from left to right, and the left hand writes from right to left. The exercise can be complicated when the right hand writes from right to left, and the left hand - from left to right. Previously, you can practice and write just short words according to this scheme.
4. Take a pencil or a round stick in each hand. At the same time, rotate the pencils in both hands with your fingers, while trying to actively use all your fingers. Rotate in one direction, another, in different directions.
5. Try writing a name with your left hand on a piece of paper at the same time, and your last name with your right hand. Then vice versa.
When performing exercises, you must follow a number of rules.
1. Exercises are not performed with poor health, illness, while taking medication and alcohol and other artificial stimulants (caffeine, nicotine, etc.).
2. Do not exercise when feeling pain!
3. Before and after doing the exercises, do not take any artificial stimulants (alcohol, nicotine, caffeine) for 2 – 3 hours. Otherwise, there is a severe headache.
4. Exercises (all or part of the complex) are performed at least 2 – 3 hours before sleep. Take into account the full moon when the cerebral circulation increases.
5. All loads (the number of repetitions of exercises and the number of additionally stimulated areas of the brain) increase gradually and taking into account good health.
6. Loading additional areas of the brain during exercise occurs gradually:
a) when performing exercises, we use background logical music (in the Baroque style, preferably Mozart) to activate the auditory area of the brain;
b) use tonic odors to activate the brain's olfactory zone (lemon, jasmine, rosemary);
c) in the future we introduce other additional stimuli - taste (for example, prunes or dried apricots), tactile (for example, when performing exercises, additionally roll peas or prickly balls between the thumb and index fingers);
9. An additional burden is to perform certain exercises while standing on one leg on a bar 10 – 15 cm in height (with the eyes closed);
10. When performing exercises, a powerful additional load is loading the frontal lobes of the brain (zones of complex thinking) - in parallel with the exercises, mentally repeat the multiplication table (multiply not only to 10, but also to 20, 30 ...), multiply double digits, repeat previously learned poems and t. n.