All you need is your phone.
We all seem to be looking for a way to dial back the crazy when life gets overwhelming.
But there are several cool life hacks for that available NOW on your mobile device.
Here is a five-step plan for de-stressing and resetting your brain (and stress levels), all available on your phone.
Step One: Turn off audible notifications
Do those dings and beeps and whistles and squawks and customized ring tones of all kinds yank your attention all over the place, even when they go off on someone else’s phone?
Silence everything on your device except for incoming calls you want to take, and give your lizard brain a huge break from the tiny fight/flight/freeze response that happens every time something wants your attention.
Stay focused on tasks without sacrificing yourself to serial distraction.
Step Two: Turn off the visual notifications, especially for social media
How much of your day gets sucked up responding to email, texts, or social media?
Some of us conduct business in the social web, it’s true, but it makes extremely good sense to be aware of how we spend those 23 days per year on our mobile devices.
Best 21st-Century life hacks to manage your time?
My favorites are Tim Feriss’ Four Hour Work Week or Kevin Kruse’s 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management.
Step Three: Use the "Do Not Disturb" option on your phone a LOT more often.
Want to really focus, even for a few minutes? Use your device’s "Do Not Disturb" setting, or just leave it somewhere where you can’t see or hear it.
This is especially important while driving.
Shut it all off, even for a few minutes, for a deep sense of peace.
You can read more about how your device kills productivity here, but as soon as you adjust to not being constantly distracted by the noises, notification and temptations, you'll notice an increase in a lot more than just productivity.
Step Four: Use your device to reboot your brain and your mood.
Long, boring meeting? Up-regulate your physio with hip-hop, Bach or Mozart (or whatever up-beat playlist gets you going).
What about those angsty days where everything hits the fan?
Reverse the brain drain with a down-regulate playlist. Use your faves — they’re the most powerful songs on your device.
The idea? Listen to the opposite of what makes you crazy, stressed or bored.
Step Five: Do some deep brain work with binaural beats
The science on this is so cool that it almost sounds unbelievable.
We can actually change our internal chemistry based on vibration, whether that’s the frequency of light or sound.
Listen with headphones to a slightly out-of-phase vibration — a binaural beat — and your brain/body will respond.
Binaural beats can put you to sleep, encourage lucid dreaming, boost your beneficial hormones, strengthen analytical thought, amp up creativity, and can even defeat headaches.
Alzheimer’s disease appears to respond to intervention from flickering light, a related phenomenon.
I can’t wait to see how this will translate to a device app some day!
Yes, you need to do these steps in this order. Even if you're tempted to just skip ahead.
It seems counter-intuitive to cripple your device, I know, but with a little practice, you will be able to get all the way to Step Five.
Trust me, once you give yourself that kind of care, you won’t want to go back.
Bill Protzmann is a speaker and life coach on a mission to raise awareness about the power of music as self-care. Want to join the music care movement? Check out the Music Care website or sign up for lessons.